Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are crucial to spreading your message, growing your network and building your reputation online – but for a lot of people, turning that into cashflow is a challenge. While promoting your expertise and personality is part of the “acceptable” social media ethic, asking for the sale can sometimes feel icky and ill-received.
Let’s talk about how to fix that. :-)
Self Promotion and Promotion Are Two Different Worlds
On social media sites, no one is going to knock you for bringing the focus on yourself (provided that’s not all you do). Your fans and followers want to hear about your latest projects, your business growth, who you’re meeting with. There’s an incredible dynamic of sharing going on where people actually want to spread the word about your hard-earned successes, your thought-provoking blog posts and your all-too-human moments. Self-promotion is part of the conversation.
But when the stream becomes littered with product promotion, that dynamic can turn on you. While some people will get excited about your offerings, other people won’t – and if the conversations start getting too focused on links to sales pages, people can begin to tune you out.
Does that mean you can’t sell via social media? Of course not – social media is absolutely essential for bringing in an audience, deepening the trust factor they have in you and warming them up for your offer.
But the offer itself? If you make it solely on social media sites you may be disappointed with the conversion. That’s because while the courtship may take place on Twitter or Facebook, the proposal works best when you have them somewhere else: on your email list.
Building A List Is Where Promotion Really Works
One of the reasons that social media sites (including blogs) are less effective at driving sales is because people look at them in a non-linear way. Depending on what time of day you pop on Twitter of Facebook, you can miss 95% of what specific people are saying as their messages get buried in the stream.
The same goes for blogs – when things get busy, people can’t keep up with the dozens of blogs that they follow. And so your short-term sale doesn’t get seen until it’s been long over.
Email is a different story. It’s linear. When people fire up their inbox, they read the subject line of every message to decide whether to open (or delete) them. If you have a list you can mail to, you can let them know about your offers as soon as they’re available – and they’re much more likely to see them.
Plus, people are used to seeing offers in email. Seeing a link to click that goes to a sales page isn’t going to seem jarring to them (and if they don’t want to deal with the stress of their inbox, that click may be a welcome diversion).
That click is where sales come from – and that’s why you want to focus on building your list just as much as you focus on warming up your audience on Twitter and Facebook.
How To Build Your List Without Being Lame
What I tend to see people do when they want to build a list is they either put something up like “please join my newsletter” or they make a simple “bribe” like a free report to get people to sign up. That tactic may have worked 5 years ago, but it’s not that effective now.
It gets even worse when the free thing being offered is tired, recycled content (or something shallow and superficial because the author didn’t want to put the “good stuff” in there). They just want to give away the small stuff.
The problem with giving the small stuff away for free is that the bar has been raised, and everybody can tell when it’s small stuff. So it’s a lot harder to get people to get (and stay) on your list than it used to be. You need to step up your game and offer something “above and beyond” is you want to wow ad woo people onto your list.
Create A Resource Worth Being Wowed About
When I work with one-on-one clients, I always tell them to treat their free offering like a product – create something truly worth paying for. This serves two purposes:
First, it blows their minds because you’re giving them something much more than they’re used to getting. That’s going to establish an amazing level of credibility with them right off the bat.
Second, it gives you a competitive advantage. If you have the guts to deliver product-quality stuff for free, you’re going to be ahead of all the people who don’t. They aren’t going to do what it takes to catch up, and you get the reputation for being a premium provider (who can charge premium rates).
This is exactly the model I used with The Launch Coach Library – it’s an enormous online business resource with 4 free workbooks (almost 100 pages in total). And each workbook is contains product quality content, too.
Still, giving all that away was a difficult thing to come to grips with. When you give something away that you truly could charge for, it feels painful because you’re thinking of the effort you put in and the money you “could” be making if only you charged for it.
The truth is, though, the opposite actually occurs – that time you put into creating that free stuff now will come back to you in the form of loyal fans ready to buy from you, again and again.
How To Make Your Audience Tell Other People About Your List
The key to getting people to talk about you is getting them results. Whatever it is that you offer as your free list-building content, make it something that gives them an immediate result, a take-away that makes them better off than they were before they got on your list.
And to take it a step further, share the results with your audience. Blog about their success with your free offer and use that as social proof that what you offer works. Encourage your audience to tweet or write about that success story and spread the word. Put the spotlight on them, and they’ll be more than happy to tell others that you helped them.
Do this over and over again, and you reputation (and list) will increase. Each time you tweet about a new success story, the older ones will join in with their retweets as well. It builds and builds, and your list does, too.
If you really give your audience something worth sharing, you won’t have to beg them to spread the word, either – they’ll want to do it. Solve their problems and help them move forward and they’ll become more than customers – they’ll be come referral engines that bring you more buyers every month.
Take One Minute Now To Make Your List More Attractive To People
I don’t want you to leave this post without taking one step towards making your list grow at a faster rate. Think of one highly valuable product-quality solution you can create in the next week or two, and tell us what it’s going to be so you can create some accountability for making it happen.