OK, so I was wrong. Social media can work. As Charlie Brown would cry, AAUGH!
I’ve used social media grudgingly, expecting nothing, only to recently find proof of value. When a referral said they’d listened to my podcasts, I knew I was screwed–it can work. Those podcasts launched our client/vendor relationship.
If this is the future of marketing, and if marketing is the step before sales, and if I want to continue providing value to those who need my services, my options are, for the moment at least, rooted in social media.
Yes, I know what I’m supposed to do in today’s electronically driven world of influencers, digital creators, and internet celebrities. However, living in that realm is not a particularly comfortable space for me.
There’s something about communicating to a “community” rather than an individual that just doesn’t feel right. So, get over yourself, Larry, right?
And to that end, I offer some advice to my colleagues who have yet to cross that bridge and come over to what may be seen as the dark side of sales and marketing, social media.
All my business comes from referrals, and I do very little marketing.
In the mid-2000s, I realized social media might become important and I began dabbling. First some YouTube videos, then some LinkedIn posts. I even tried Twitter and Facebook for a bit. Nothing seemed to take hold.
Even so, I kept poking and prodding, dabbling in the dark arts of social media as my book was coming into form. If nothing else, without social media, I was guaranteed that my book would flop.
As the COVID era destroyed all active forms of communal gatherings, so too did most of my referrals decline. Starting in mid-2022, referrals seemed to start picking up.
November through February has typically been a slow time for me. By the time October 5th, 2022, rolled around, all my available consulting time was booked from November 2022 through February 2023. Activity has not yet slowed down.
Back to my newest client, a referral. During our first meeting (on Zoom), one of the owners told me she had been doing her research, she had seen some of my videos, listened to some of my podcasts, and looked over my website and blog. They were also familiar with my new book, Businesses Don’t Fail, They Commit Suicide.
Mind you, this was two days after my referral source called to tell me about them.
At first, I was surprised, then impressed with their efforts, then pleased once I realized the years of continued social media contributions had finally proven to be of value. And I guess, that’s the point.
Social media doesn’t DO anything unless someone sees it. And they aren’t going to see it unless they are interested and have a reason to look. But when someone is interested in you or what you do, wouldn’t you rather have them look for and find information about you BEFORE you meet with them?
Wouldn’t you rather have them coming to that first meeting with some understanding and an informed opinion, than completely unaware and ungrounded?
I know I would, and I know it told me a lot about my newest client. They are serious, do their research, spend wisely, and understand what they want. That they chose me was a gift. And I’m going to love working with them.
So, I have no insights, tips, or tricks to share. Only this–do not ignore social media. If only for yourself, capture your insights, your thoughts, your comments, your advice, and share it online. I promise, one day, when somebody who needs it finds it, you’ll be glad you did. And you might even make some money!
Stop working in a vacuum. Email me at email@example.com or call 916-798-0600 and schedule a 20-minute exploration session. We’ll talk about what makes your business special. We’ll discuss how to leverage it across multiple markets. We’ll do some discovery to find your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. With the dramatic changes happening around us, now is THE best time to begin.