If you have watched as many movies and TV series as I have since March of last year, ‘vig’ may be a term you are familiar with. Vig … is slang for vigorish. Vig is the juice, the squeeze, the charge that a businessperson gets for helping broker a transaction or attached as interest on a loan.
In the movies, vig is usually connected to illegal gambling and personal loans from burly gentlemen in back rooms. Looking at this system from a higher vantage point, vig provides a path for a business to be paid for facilitating a transaction. Transactions and payments come in many forms.
With business cashflow and marketing budgets still not fully flowing from the buyer side, if every conversation you want to have is about sales or you, it’s over. Take some time to step up your resource/referral game. Creating a credible community of connections can help you continue to engage with your customers, share new ideas, introduce them to someone new, and you get the juice as a reward.
If you are ready to embrace this concept and get your community vig going, here are a few ideas to get started…
Categorize Your Connections
Every now and then I take a look to see who I am connected with. I go through my social accounts, my LinkedIn groups, my newsletter mailing list, and believe it or not my sent email. In sent email, I find a list of really amazing people who I interacted with briefly, or maybe just once, and I had forgotten about. My social accounts always yield surprising results. On Twitter, I have found several blue check accounts following me. Taye Diggs stands out for a few reasons… why is he following me is certainly the most topical… but hey, he is!
This exercise is to understand the players you have on your team, on the bench and can reach in the stands if you need their assistance, or someone you know needs their assistance. Create a list and categorize it by what your connections can add to your business through products and services you don’t offer, and then reverse it and create a list of connections that you can add to their business. It may seem tedious but having these lists handy means you are always in the game – you can quickly find someone to ask, or help, or refer, or partner, or whatever works so you don’t ever say no and don’t get left out of any transaction that crosses your path.
I admit it. I am a LinkedIn troller. I read all comments in conversations of interest to me, I watch who my connections interact with and what they are talking about. When I come across people adding value or offering a perspective in a unique way, or they have something to offer of interest for my connections, I reach out to connect. Referencing the thing that made me want to connect is a good practice and instant conversation starter, too.
In most cases I am connecting to add a player to my resource team, offering an invitation to join me on a podcast or partner for an event or in some manner that shares information with the Printerverse. My vig, my juice, comes from the content I can share from our transaction, and their vig, their juice for participating comes from the association – my industry credibility makes me connection/partnership worthy and my audience is filled with business possibilities. It’s a win/win/win – for that person or company, the audience, and me.
Capitalize on Your Connections
Vig is interest, it’s extra. It’s juice, something squeezed from the deal. We often associate it with money, but there is exponential interest in collaboration and relationships, too.
I have a few go-to printers, I go-to, when I am asked for help that a printer can resolve through knowledge, through their connections, or through their products and services. They are my go-to printers because we, as a collective ‘helping’ unit, see the long-term value – the extra juice – for being a reliable resource. Sometimes they make a new customer during the initial information transaction, more often they don’t. But they make a new connection, a new follower, a new newsletter subscriber, a new blog reader, a new resource for info… and the help seeker has a new referral to pass along.
People don’t have time or money to waste. Their streams are clogged with noise and consistent unsolicited and irrelevant information. Holding a spot on a ‘go-to resource’ list gives you a unique advantage for the first shot at helping, and for being passed along as a helpful person. Create content and conversations that focus on everything you do, everything you know, and how you help when you can’t do it yourself. Give your connections a roadmap to capitalize off you and give your customers simple, pass along info and resources for the topics that matter to them.
Convert Your Community!
2020 was about survival, 2021 is about creating opportunity and making the most of it. Consider strategically expanding your community and tapping into them to help others as a way to earn your interest in the vig economy. Sometimes it truly is who you know vs. what you know, that pays off.
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse™ at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist™, industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse, the cultivator of Print Production Professionals the #1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl #1 at GirlsWhoPrint, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4 PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors including the 2016 Girls Who Print Girlie Award and sits on the board of The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi and is a Member-at-Large for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.
Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer. She currently provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through PMC and works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers, and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers, and achieve success with their social media and content marketing endeavors.
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