Everyone is trying to win in the social networking marketing space. But while they do so, I watch them use their social networks primarily to say…. No SHOUT, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!”.
Unfortunately, in the crowded, and often loud world, of social media marketing, this amounts to annoying static. It rarely results helping the shouter grow their business in any significant way. In fact, it turns people off.
Become a teacher and say, “Learn from me.”
Instead of a social media marketing plan, you need an education plan. You need to change what you are saying from “Look at me” to “Learn from me.”
And I don’t mean, learn about my products or my services.. that’s just a disguised form of “Look at me.”
Often, when I try to direct some clients or peers on using a “Learn from me” model, what I find is they end up with something that looks like/sounds like:
- Here is the best ways to use our product.
- Here is how our services can best serve you.
- Here are 10 unique ways that our customers use our products.
- Let us educate you on how our services differ.
Again, another form of “Look at me!” It’s awful to watch – embarrassing really.
Give information away so that, if they are capable, they can do it without you! In fact, educate yourself out of a job! I promise it works.
A lesson from the consulting world
Several years ago, when I had my first consulting company, I used to give a lot of free workshops. I’d cover network scripting, office automation, web applications, group security concepts, and other technical know-how.
When I gave these presentations, I provided the real knowledge – behind the scenes / under the hood – what you should be doing. I gave my presentations away with samples. I didn’t hold information back for the “real workshop” – the $299 but get it today for $199 bait and switch. I hate those seminars! You do too.
The result is that I can track our 4 largest clients over 2.5 years as having come directly from one of these free workshops. Additionally, we won several smaller clients as well. These, in turn, became referrals to other clients.
Learn from me by the numbers
Let’s examine the numbers. Now, this is largely by memory, so it is not a scientific analysis of the effectiveness of this method of “marketing.” And make no mistake, it is marketing. I’ll explain the psychology of the effective workshop below.
I knew that if 20 people attended my workshop and I covered a specific technical discipline, that between 3-8 of them could run with my information and start using the technology immediately. They didn’t need me. In fact, some of those people became resources – stretching the technology more than I had in a short period of time. That’s great! I’m glad to have been of assistance and they were grateful I’d shared the knowledge.
Another few would never hire me either. They simply didn’t have the need or the money. Again, that’s okay. At a minimum, those people knew I had knowledge and that I shared that knowledge. That doesn’t suck for sure!
But, out of our theoretical 20 people, there were 8-14 that were very interested in having me speak to them. Between 2-5 of them were ready to do something right away. And even if they had the in-house talent, they didn’t have the available time to allocate to the project. These became clients.
They didn’t just become clients for that technology, however. Because, once we were in the door, we found other places we could help. We started with logon scripts using kixtart for one client and ended up doing more than $150,000 in additional projects in our first 6 months. That’s pretty good pay for a 1 hour free workshop.
The Podium Imparts Credibility/ The psychology of the educator
Let me explain why being a teacher/ workshop leader/ educator is a great marketing strategy.
People buy on trust and in knowing that you can make their problem go away.. or something like that. I’m talking services but there is a reasonable equivalent with products.
I work with a number of entrepreneurs and executives on their presentation skills. Some are nervous that they won’t share some dramatic new information with their audience. They are afraid that most of the audience will know a good deal about their topic – and there are times this is true.
However, I explain that the “podium imparts credibility.” If you give a decent, high-energy, presentation and you are telling the bulk of your audience things they already knew, you are considered pretty smart. Because, well, your attendee knows he is pretty smart and you reinforced what he knew… therefore, you are an expert.
And you are bound to share one small piece of information, either hard knowledge or a perspective that is new to many of those attending. The combination of this small bit of new knowledge and those ideas you reinforced that they already knew, establishes you as a bona fide expert.
You almost cannot lose!
Don’t be boring
Al Gore learned this – you can too. I won’t discuss in detail but whether a public presentation or content for your blog, website, or social network, boring is a kiss of death!
Go forth and educate
You want a powerful social media presence? You want people to return to you again and again?
Give them true knowledge. Enough knowledge that they won’t need you..
When you do that, they’ll need you!