When we get to talking about social media, people immediately start to yammer on about numbers.
“How many friends do you have?”
“I need 100 more Likes on my page.”
“She has 10,000 Twitter followers. Whoa.”
And then there’s the blog or email subscriber numbers.
And the story is that bigger is always better.
And yet….I know some people with big social media numbers, who launch programs with high expectations to bring in big cash who fail miserably.
Like, they are miserable by the measley number of people who buy their thing, because in their mind, an email list of 70,000 should equal 5,000 sales.
Sorry to tell you that despite or desperate need to measure and count and hoard the data, those number DON’T MATTER when you want to actually make money online using social tools.
There. I’ve said it. Bigger isn’t better.
What works in selling things online (and off, for that matter) is relationships.
Maybe you are thinking, “DAMN, Susan. Why are you trying to sell this idea of relationships? I tried that and it doesn’t work!”
The problem, friends, is relationship marketing requires that you, in fact, build relationships with people. You cannot act like you have a relationship with them. You can’t fake it, pay it lip service, or manipulate people into liking your stuff and then start to be all Mary-marketer with them.
This week a business coach friend of mine (who has a Facebook Group with about 350 people in it) offered a $5000 retreat to a small group of folks and he sold out in 4 hours. He asked for feedback on a bigger shindig and got over 100 responses from people raring to go. He has 350 in his group…..100 responses. How’s that conversion rate?
But what he offers isn’t slick, “client attractive” marketing systems. He offers solid advice, a unique voice and relationships with his small tribe. He responds to every Facebook post, “likes” the responses to his posts, replies to private messages.
He doesn’t need 5000 people on a list to sell out a 100 person conference. He needs 350 people. See the difference?
Another super example is Amy Clover over at Strong from the Inside Out. She wants to talk to people about surviving suicidal ideation and coping with depression. So light and airy and feel good…not so much. And yet, she is honest and has very, very clear goals that she pursues using social media to get her word out. Her work is to break the stigma of depression. She is building a community around that goal. She’s starting a non-profit. She’s building a business.
She lets us see who she really is and builds relationships.
Why relationships beat numbers every time
We do business with people we know, like and trust. It’s wired in our brain that way. Back in the day, you didn’t take food from a guy you didn’t know. What if his cave was contaminated and you got sick? You shared with people you knew and trusted. It’s biological, baby. Get stuff from only those you trust or risk an ill fate.
This concept is well known and taught in all the marketing classes.
But the marketing teachers gloss over it. “People need to knowlikeandtrust you,right?”
Stop. Slow down. Yes, they really need to Know. Like. Trust.
Nothing else matters.
Not how swanky your website, or the number of people who sign up for your well copywritten free report.
They need to get to know YOU.
This is gonna take TIME!
Yes, you are going to spend time to nurture relationships.
But would you rather have a few real conversations during the day, or spend that time optimizing SEO or testing which color opt-in box gets more people to click?
This is a big message that some marketers are trying to tell us.
Gary Vaynerchuk is all about relationships.
Seth Godin is sharing his perspective on being unique and standing out in a connection economy.
Chris Brogan responds personally to people who email him.
Last I checked they had no problem selling lots of books, filling a big conference hall and getting paid well to do it.
Please do not chase numbers. Talk to people.
Show them who you are and ask them how they are.
And when you do have something to sell, they will be thrilled to buy from someone they know, like and trust.
Relationships are really how business works.
Are you interested in the psychology of social media? Well, it just so happens we’re going to talk about that in my new FREE teleclass series, The Psychology of Business. Click here for details and to register.