FOR THE RECORD. I have NEVER created a sale from these things:
Social media post or story
Blog post on my website
I have made millions of dollars in sales... years in a row for myself and clients... without those things. In fact, when I focus on these types of things too much... I start to lose money and clients. In-Person Relationships (face to face or voice to voice)... tried and true... are the only way I create sales.
I don't say this to brag (or to speak negatively to those who are already finding success here), but instead to help those who feel overwhelmed, unsuccessful, or broke because they don't have these things... YOU DO NOT NEED THESE THINGS TO START MAKING MONEY.
So if you get all leads from social media - good job! and you can skip this article - it's not for you special few.
This article is for the rest (and the majority) of #emergingbrandowners, #founders, and executives hired to run a #smallbusiness who feel burnt out, broke, and stressed trying to create sales through social media - allow me to debunk 3 lies AND provide 3 steps to a less stressful sales funnel.
YOU KNOW I'M TALKING TO YOU IF...
You work too much on creating those items listed above... if you hate it... or if you like it but feel exhausted working in your business right now – it’s likely you’re accidentally giving energy to things that don’t create enough revenue - that includes social media, blogs, and freebies.
It’s so tempting when you feel like you’re underwater to just keep hustling in hopes MORE work will generate MORE revenue. It’s because we leaders of business and sales aren’t afraid of hard work.
But remember - every effort you’re taking in the wrong direction means you’re SPENDING time or MONEY not serving your true customer. Doing the important but unproductive actions, because they work for some businesses, will lose us money and time “hustling” in the wrong direction.
THE LIES WE HEAR
LIE #1 - THESE THINGS ARE ESSENTIAL - I made millions in revenue for the first 6 years without these things. So don't be confused, I am only now starting to build them and they only help me #PROVE that I am a consistently effective communicator and consultant to people who have already have seen me in person. I didn't need them and I've built them slowly just as proof to people I have already built relationships with of my work. They are literally the LEAST effective way I get in front of people.
And a lot of other business owners that you are impressed with built their businesses without it too... in fact, the young #ElonMusks and #JeffBezos of the world are not sitting there crafting social media posts or reading yours. Most founders and decision-makers don't have time to sit on social media all day, because their time is consumed with being the janitor and CEO in their business... surviving. This means there are a TON of AMAZING stories of success that are not being told to you.
Not every method of getting customers that is POPULAR or works for a celebrity INFLUENCER will work for your business. Often people who DO post online have a business that is served by posting. If it's an influencer selling business courses - they make money selling business courses OR a product business who again makes money with advertising to a brand audience they have figured out.
LIE #2 - THESE THINGS ARE CHEAP - In the age of social media post feeds like FACEBOOK... INSTAGRAM are an overly saturated space. You have ZERO control over whether your audience even sees your hard work. Social media takes SO MUCH TIME... because the environment is more saturated, your post today will not be seen... you now must post every few hours. And reply to comments on each post... research hashtags in each area.
Unless you have a ton of time (and aren't working 80 hours a week in your business) to be effective you either need to hire someone to do this for you (requiring a budget and a skilled employee) OR you must become an expert on #lookingcool, #productselfies and #hashtags. Ummmm... who has time for this OR cares if you're a small business owner? No hate for those who do, but MOST people running a business do not. In both cases, you will trade a lot of time OR money. Until you know how to do this effectively - save your time and money and figure out a different method of relationship building that actually works.
LIE #3 - THESE THINGS ARE A POTENT RELATIONSHIP BUILDER - Social media engagements are the least potent and slowest way to build a relationship. This is because relationships require honest, timely, back-and-forth communication and listening - which takes forever with only 140 characters. And until you have CUSTOMER SERVICE staff or you personally enjoy social media - it will be a slow train to build a conversation with your target customer. Plus it's hard to build trust with pictures that can be stock, doctored... edited, and outsourced to a social media manager in a different country.
In fact, social media post correspondence OR freebies can become an easy way for business owners to HIDE behind busy work rather than doing the harder work of getting in front of a person face to face. Social media protects you from face-to-face rejection. Or needing to listen to complaints or objections that you must understand to improve sales conversions. Without the pain and pleasure of real communication, you can literally work years and miss understanding what your customer is telling you they need from you. Your sales can be stagnant for that reason without you realizing that it's your fault for hiding from building a real friendship with your customer.
THE TRUTH OF WHAT WORKS
FOUNDER TRUTH #1 - CLARITY - To be sure your focus is effective you must become clear on 1. Who your target client is 2. What method will work best for you to reach them, and 3. Focus on it.
FOUNDER TRUTH #2 - FOCUS- With limited resources, you MUST focus on the biggest leverage point (where investments reap the BIGGEST rewards) to survive. Success comes when you are doing the most productive activity for your business with your target customer.
FOUNDER TRUTH #3 - IN PERSON - Nothing beats face to face or voice to voice interactions. THIS is where the depth of relationship and trust is created. And in-person interaction will move your sales cycle LIGHT YEARS ahead. Imagine how much more memorable a coffee with a friend is compared to a text conversation? This is also true with the person you want to loyally be your client for life.
YOUR NEXT STEPS:
Take one minute (and I mean it – scratch answers out on a post-it note with the first answer that comes to your mind in 60 seconds) to think about the answers to these questions:
How much time in a week am I spending doing sales or marketing activities?
How many leads and clients do I create?
Out of all of those activities WHICH ONE is most productive at producing clients?
When you have answers to these questions – congratulations you just finished your first SELF CONSULTATION and wrote a plan for how to re-direct energies for a more productive business.
The next steps are to NOT GET DISTRACTED from the most important activities. Stop doing stuff that feels urgent but isn’t. Do the stuff that matters. Stop arguing with me about it… and do it. 😉
It’s ok to STOP growing for a second and figure out which clients have actually generated profit. It’s ok to NOT be a social media influencer company (with daily posts and full-time social media staff) if that is not where your target audience is. It is ok to only focus mostly on one tradeshow that produces meaningful relationships and save the money in your budget to invest more there. It is ok to only do Amazon ads and not Google ads if you make more money there right now.
Our goal in business is to create margin (in the form of joyful satisfaction, time, and cash). If you're burnt out - you need to change your strategy.
I'm not saying don't do social media, freebies, or blogs. But I am saying that I don't think it is essential, cheap, or most potent way for the majority of businesses to grow. Especially for small businesses where the founder is struggling to keep up - lacking time or cash.
The key to REDUCING overwhelm and increasing sales is having clarity on what works – and focus on that.
If you want help creating a winning business growth strategy OR want accountability to stick to it - you can hire me to be your coach. Click to schedule a 30-minute call: https://bit.ly/2Gzh1k9.
Now I want to hear your opinion and answers! What creates effective sales leads for you?
What some other people say...
CLICK TO WATCH: https://youtu.be/yivnyt3PknU
MORE ABOUT START TO SOLD Whether it’s packaging, product development, brand design, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, or operations, and logistics, you’ll get the in-depth, relevant, and actionable advice and resources you need, here at the Start to Sold Blog. SUBSCRIBE TO YOUTUBE CHANNEL: https://bit.ly/3cDZS39 MORE ABOUT EMILY PAGE Emily is CEO of Pearl Resourcing and has managed and launched multiple 7-figure brands in Costco, Williams-Sonoma, Kroger, and Amazon. She’s bringing you the expertise, resources, and mentors you need so that you can develop products and make them sell. http://pearlresourcing.net https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilypage/ http://instagram.com/EmilyAnnePage/ http://emilyannepage.com
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