Pick Your Brains
How many times have you gotten this call or gone out for this coffee??? “I just want to pick your brains… How can I…” – Translation “I want some free advice to see if I can truly do this myself.” If you are like me you have absolutely no problem with this. Everything you ever wanted to know about anything is on the internet FOR FREE! The real question is to ask is, “How much time do you have to learn it, and are you willing to invest four times that to get it right?”
I had one client that wanted a one page website and was willing to pay $250 to get it done. Then afterwards he had buyers remorse and wanted 5 more pages to tell the REAL STORY. Once the price had risen to over $1000… I was met with a “Harumph… I will do it myself.” Over a month later he did it and it looked great. I met up with him and told him nice job. He said “I got it done in only 40 hours!” I don't know about you but in most people's world… that is $2000-4000 in lost business to save $1000?
Pick Your Lanes
There is a flipside to that coin, “I know you have written a book and have some insight to where our customers are, can you show me (us) how to get to them? (good start) But I really don't want to spend any money or (staff) time to communicate with them. I just want them to know that we are the best at what we do.” Nobody wants to hear the REAL answer. “If you are not willing to invest in your audience, then you are insignificant to them… You are just another advertisement!” That is what most people (especially experienced business owners) are used to, just put out ads and that grows sales. But, in this new world of social media, it's about relationships. You have to be willing invest time and knowledge in others to get them to pay attention to you. If you teach them HOW to use you and your products or services better, then you become the go to resource when the needs arise. If all you want to do is “Sell Them Your Stuff”, then you just become more noise in a VERY NOISY WORLD!
You have to pick a lane. Do you want to be a trusted resource that is looking out for them and their business? Or do you want to be another ad hoping for .01 or .1 return on your advertising efforts and budget? Make it about them and you have a better chance of getting much more interaction, engagement and ultimately sales… that's because you are looking out for their best interests and not just yours. Here is a little more perspective:
- I Want To Sell My Stuff – Myth: There is a ripe and targeted audience in website.com… All I have to do is get my messages to them and they will buy my stuff. Reality: Yes… there are targeted groups on almost every social media site, but they can smell a salesperson a mile away. They don't go there to be sold… they go there to learn, share and grow. If your only objective is to sell people your stuff – Don't Use Social Media!
- I Want To Sell My Stuff – Myth: If they only see my messages there is no need to convince them anymore, they will get to my website and buy my stuff. Reality: Yes… branding through posts will make you top of mind, but people are only going to engage with useful information that enhances their businesses and really don't care about yours. Also, you have to guide them back to a website or landing page before they will interact with you on another level. If your only objective is to sell people your stuff – Don't Use Social Media!
- I Want To Sell My Stuff – Myth: I don't want to interact with people, I just want them to know I am the industry leader and buy my stuff. Reality: Businesses do not do business with other businesses… people do business with people. People do business with people they Know, Like, and Trust, not ads. If they have never met you or someone in your company in person, then you face an uphill battle to earn their trust (and sales). If you are not willing to invest time to post questions, answer questions and interact with people… don't waste your (and their) time. If your only objective is to sell people your stuff – Don't Use Social Media!
If all you want to do is get other people to spend money with you, then advertise your way to success. In my business, every time I get tempted and try to advertise, I end up with the wrong clients (tire kickers and price shoppers). These are often people, who even if I do sell them, we often regret the transaction because they can't communicate what they are REALLY selling, and they don't understand the value of what I am doing for them.
REAL RELATIONSHIPS are what social media is all about. Have patience, spend the time to get to know people, and do your best to solve their problems… even if you never make a penny. You and your business will be more respected and more valuable to the community for that!
What stories do you have with advertising or social media that you can share? Comment Away…