Your online presence and marketing needs to reflect your in-real-life offering.
“But wait,” you’ll argue, “don’t people become very successful online without venturing outside to create #irl contacts?”
In our experience, no. The clients who we build websites for that go from $0 to $1,000,000 in a year, or who experience some other kind of measurable change, have a real-life product that serves real-life people, and they are already good at making real-life connections. They are just looking to amplify their message to a broader audience.
Every year, “experts” come out with data and stats you can follow and become super successful doing X,Y, and Z in the online marketing world.
“Can’t I just follow those?”
The answer: The data is tracking actual success stories. The success stories are successful because people did online what they were doing in real life. Many times, by the time the data can be analyzed and written about, it’s probably not relevant anymore. You’ll be doing what worked a year ago.
The fastest way to build your online business is to engage with people in real life in a value-giving way and then replicate that in your online interactions.
Your interaction with people online becomes artificial, annoying, ineffective, or downright creepy if not backed by flesh-and-blood interactions.
You see, online marketing, like any marketing, is a thin manifestation of real-life relationships. If you’re not honing your real-life relationship-building skills, no amount of online marketing coaching is going to fix that.
It’s not going to take the place of knowing how to meet new people with heart and genuinity. It’s not going to take the place of having quality products that add value to people’s lives. It’s not going to take the place of being able to sit down face-to-face with someone and make a connection.
Something called manners comes into play, too.
I have to love what Darius Foroux says in his excellent post, “The One Thing Nobody Ever Told You About Personal Branding.”
“Every time you’re trying to craft a witty tweet, cool looking Instagram pic, or a funny Facebook post, just know this: No one cares.”
And Jeff Bezos:
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
Get off the Internet. Get off Facebook. Meet some people who are not merely “collections of pixels.”
Then you’ll have stories to tell. Then you’ll have wisdom to share. Then your voice will not be lost in the cacophony of the content-sharing disaster.
Case study: Domino’s #EasyOrder
Domino’s earned media coverage by allowing customers to tweet a pizza emoji to the @dominos Twitter account to order their favorite pizza. It became a hit and made the list for “10 top social media marketing success stories.”
Interesting to note is that the customers using this tweet-to-order already had to have a profile set up with Dominos, so Dominos would know their favorite pizza. That way when they got the tweet, they could make and deliver the pizza—that simple.
So the people this social media marketing idea affected were current customers of Domino’s. Domino’s is a loved brand, connected to real people that already love their pizza.
The click-to-tweet didn’t create loyal customers. It rewarded the ones they already had.
Then, of course, it caught the interest of media and pizza-lovers and engaged new customers. But it did so by building on the real-life connections Domino’s already had.
So we’re not saying your social media genius can’t earn new customers. We’re just saying it probably won’t create them out of thin air.
And that it won’t be as effective as building on your real-life connections.
In other words, be a good person and do good work.
Then you’ll have something worth sharing.
Stop Demanding Attention and Start Earning It, by Jon Westenberg
The One Thing Nobody Ever Told You About Personal Branding, by Darius Foroux