How do you promote your business? Your blogs? Your anything?
The online community is incredible because it allows anyone to share their content easily and seamlessly across a wide range of networks. Social media makes it simple to give away your content and/or promote YOU – how cool, right?
But lately it’s turned into a massive wash cycle of spam, self-promotion and advertising in the most obnoxious ways. I get so much junk mail from random LinkedIn members that I rarely visit the site, Twitter folks are still dumping Auto-DM’s in my box, email marketing isn’t unique anymore, and Facebook – well, we all know what’s happening to Facebook.
There isn’t anything we can do about how Facebook chooses to run their business, but there is plenty we can do when it comes to our own. It’s time to clean it up, folks! No more random, mass emails to people promoting your product, no more automating a hello, and no more shoving your services down someone’s throat when you don’t know them. The business success stories are above this behavior, not below. They are innovating ways to market, not taking advantage of their target audience.
As social media sinks deeper and deeper into our everyday lives, our BS level decreases. We ignore the annoying ads that blink and flash, we don’t pay attention to billboards, we get ticked off if videos start as soon the page loads, and we have absolutely no issue hitting that delete button when we see too many emails from any one identity.
So what’s the answer? Relationships. Yes, they take time. Yes, they involve being personal and letting your identity/personality be known. Yes, they aren’t easy. But heck yes – they are what must invest in if we want to succeed with new consumers. We must build relationships and then promote.
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
1. Take the time to offer a genuine, real hello to a new fan or follower.
2. Begin conversations in forums, message boards, comments, on social networks, and offer valuable solutions.
3. Find out where your target audience might be, pack and lunch, and start hanging out – virtually of course.
4. Figure out what you have to offer for FREE, and start gifting it to new online friends/fans.
5. Think about what forms of promotion/advertising tick you off, and find a way to repackage it in a non-invasive way for your audience.
Look at what it takes in your real life, your personal life, to make a relationship work. If we demanded a new acquaintance immediately be our friend, they’d run. It’s the same when it comes to online promotion. Slow down, take the time, and you will see the results. And in the meantime, you’ll be creating an impressive brand who has integrity. Definitely not a waste of time.