Relationship First - Then Consider Selling Me Something
Heads up! Rant coming!
Network marketers, sales professionals and very small business owners (solo business owners) are going great guns on social media. Those who aren't selling enough are blaming their audience, their product, their company. Those who are selling enough (and more) understand that social media is a tool - just one of many - to be used to build their business.
Social Media Means Being SOCIAL
Those who use Facebook personal profiles and Groups to blast promotional messages truly don't understand that the platform they're using is for them to meet people , get to know them, have conversations, share interesting things with each other. You know, like when you go to your friends' house and gather around the kitchen table to share about the week. Or you meet up at the local coffee shop or diner and chat about what happened when you were on vacation, sharing pictures of the new niece in the family.
Those who use LinkedIn status updates and Discussions in Groups to blast promotional messages truly don't understand that it's meant for them, as professionals , to discuss business and career topics . You know, like when you meet fellow professionals for lunch and talk about the office, the boss, the new policies announced by HR. Or, how your last job interview went and asking for some help to refine your answers for those pesky interview questions.
Social Selling Doesn't Mean Blasting Your Promotional Message to Everyone!
Really. I'm not kidding.
Just like in 'real life ', attending networking events and scheduling 1:1 coffee meetings, the use of online platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blab, and of course beBee, and others to build your network and your business is the beginning ... not the end!
With this in mind, I realized that there many that don't understand the ' how' of using these platforms to begin relationships related to business. Some believe that Facebook isn't for business people (wrong!). Some believe that LinkedIn is only for business people (wrong!). Some don't know what to do with beBee (Okay, I'm new enough here to admit that I'm at the beginning of the learning curve).
Do You Network Online Like You Do In Person?
If I met you at a networking event what would I think of you?
Not your product or company...you.
Because it is you I am meeting.
It is you I am having a conversation with.
It is you I am seeing in front of me.
What would I think of you?
Now, apply the same question to your activity online.
How do you speak to me? With respect for who I am and why I am there? Or, as a billboard for you to blast your message to? Or, as a potential customer and the minute I want to talk about something other than you or your product you hand me your card and walk away?
When you ask me a question, what do you do? Do you listen to what I am saying so you can find commonality or learn something new? Or, are you looking at me while listening to a side conversation that might be more interesting than me?
Am I a fellow human being to you or a dollar sign?
Honestly, what you think of me is being reflected in your online activity - and is the reason you're not getting the results you're looking for with your social media activity.
How to Fix It
Learn how to network. Really. I'm not kidding. Whether it's online or in person, look for those people who are engaging in conversation with other attendees and those on social media. They are focused on the beginning of the relationship ... the 'getting to know you ' part ... the first, second and third date part.
For those of you wanting to learn how to network online, you can. As the host of a monthly, virtual (online) networking meeting, I can assure you that you can learn from attending my meetings or one of the other seven occurring each week.
Consider this your invitation to try it out. There is no cost to attend. Webcams and audio (through webcam or headset) are requested so that all in attendance can see and hear you. The structure of the meeting is very similar to the ' in person ' networking meetings you're used to - those sponsored by your Chamber of Commerce, local business associations, business groups, civic groups. There is a presenter, with Q&A after the presentation, followed by introductions from everyone present. Register here: The GROW Alliance Meetup.
It's networking with no expectations of referrals , no requirements of being in a particular industry or profession. It is the perfect place to learn how to network online ... in a structured setting designed for professionals, so you'll be very comfortable. To see how to begin the relationships with professionals from around the world.
Interested in joining us? My meeting is the first Tuesday of the month at 1 pm ET and you can register to receive the ' join the meeting ' link. You'll receive an email reminder with the join link the morning of the meeting. You can attend as often as you like.
I welcome invitations to connect. Though I will warn you - upon connecting with me (here on beBee, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blab or elsewhere) if you blast me with promotional messages on my News Feed or via private messaging, I will disconnect from you. Because you're showing me that you really don't see me as a professional, a fellow human being or as someone deserving of respect.
Let's connect :)