Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into action...in a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
email:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Is Social Networking supposed to sell?

by Randall Craig on May 16, 2012

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Business Development, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

Consider these Tipsheets: there are over 350 of them, and they certainly don’t “sell” anything.  Each week, I give away a small nugget of information, and tie it to an immediate action.  These non-salesy Tipsheets, like the vast majority of blogs, are designed to credentialize expertise and build trust, slowly over time.

Interestingly, I recently received an email from a reader saying that he was about to unsubscribe, but he wanted to give me “a chance” and explain why, in person.  As this reader was in the same city as I was, I took him up on his offer to meet for a coffee.  Social Networking translated into real-world networking.

Beyond the introductions and pleasantries, what I received was a high pressure sales pitch for their marketing services.  As the service wasn’t needed, the meeting ended relatively quickly.  There was no follow-up email post meeting.  And a few weeks later this person unsubscribed.  (It’s ironic – he is the one that needs to see this post!)

Lessons learned:

  • Developing relationships takes time, both in the real world and in Social Media.  Trying to make a quick sale over coffee is great if you’re selling coffee, but bad if you’re selling something more complex – like anything.
  • Bait-and-Switch is a bad networking strategy.  If the invitation to meet is for one purpose, don’t trot out something different.
  • A blog is a great place to develop and explore ideas over a longer term.  And in so doing, a blog is also a great place to develop trust.
  • Follow-up after a network meeting is critical.  Like the blog, a real-life meeting and a follow-up email are merely steps up the relationship curve.

Social Media can be used to sell, but one of the most effective strategies has to be Give to Get;  the sale will take place, but only when you’ve demonstrated your expertise, earned the trust, and the buyer is ready to buy – which may take years.

This week’s action plan:  Where does your blog fit on the sell/no-sell continuum?  If you’re not happy with it there, make a change.  If you don’t blog, look back at your favorite blog (besides this one!) and evaluate it: where does it fit on the continuum?  And how would you feel if it was changed?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

Previous post:

Next post: