The (REAL) Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

As a speaker marketing expert and head honcho of an inbound marketing agency serving speakers, consultants, and thought-leading professionals, I often find myself with prospects who want to get involved in social media but – sadly – do not understand the intent, ideas, or influence factors that make social media an effective tactic in their overall marketing arsenal.

How can I put this? Ummm… well, they’re idiots.

Relax… IDIOT is an acronym that stands for the 5 key misconceptions, faulty assumptions, and pillars of goofy thinking that prevent most thought-leading professionals (YOU perhaps??) from generating maximum results from your social media efforts.

Namely…

I: I, Me, My syndrome

D: Dumb it down

I: Information without invitation

O: Over-selling

T: Today vs. tomorrow focus

Let’s take a look at each of these in a bit more detail:

I: I, Me, My syndrome. No, your social media postings do NOT need to be all about YOU. In fact, if all you talk about is YOU – your company, your book, your blog, your brand, your articles, your resources, your tools, your programs, your products, your services… people will ignore you, tune you out, and dismiss you for the self-centered idiot that you are. (Please remember – idiot is an acronym used throughout this post.)

Experts promote other experts. Experts are not insecure about shining the spotlight on others. Experts are curators and pointers-out-of-cool-things. Experts post book reviews BY other experts FOR yet other experts’ books.

As long as YOU can be counted on to share interesting, relevant, valuable, sometimes even edgy content, guide your followers to the “good stuff” online, and position yourself as a reliable sherpa in your expertise, you’ll get PLENTY of attention, love, and respect. Even MORE SO if you’re not a mental weakling who is focused only on hyping your own crap.

Grow up. Step up. Be a real expert and learn once and for all – it’s not about YOU.

D: Dumb it down This mistake comes from the fear that if you give away your VERY BEST ideas, strategies, tools, tactics, insights and other secret sauce (yes, the stuff you get paid BIG BUCKS for with your paying clients!) that you will somehow diminish the demand for your paid products and services.

So you “dumb it down.” You post that second-rate article. You remove some detail from that tip sheet because you want people to buy your consulting services and not do it themselves. You post the video that only has 3 of your 10 key ideas because heck, if you gave all 10 ideas, they’d never hire you to keynote at the big industry conference – you’ve already “spilled the candy in the lobby.”

Yep – you guessed it: You’re an idiot.

The reality is – it works 180 degrees the other way. The ONLY way folks are going to pay you the big bucks is if they have a FIRSTHAND experience of your genius – if they feel it, taste it, touch it, and fully experience it. ONLY THEN will they want more. ONLY THEN will they share it with their colleagues. ONLY THEN will they call their boss over to look at your website or email them your link.

Do you want to be SHARED – or do you want to be SCARED? Your call – but you already know which answer will make you more money. Unless you’re an idiot.

I: Information without invitation Social media sites are not a dumping ground for your old, outdated, crappy content from books you wrote in the 1980s or articles that you could never get published.

Even rock-solid, current, highly relevant information is NECESSARY but NOT SUFFICIENT to fuel your thought leadership platform and build your empire as an expert.

Here’s a secret – the internet actually does NOT need more information posted on it. Not from you. Not from me. Not from anyone.

An effective social media campaign will share information of standalone value and then INVITE a two-way (or 5-way or 17-way) conversation around that information.

Ask questions, seek engagement, invite involvement.

Offer value, seek opinions, spark conversation – and ask the most powerful question in sales AND leadership AND relationships: “What do you think?”

O: Over-selling One particularly idiotic individual told me that he wanted ALL his Facebook posts to have a hyperlink. Every. Single. One.

Hyperlink to where, you ask?

To HIS online store, HIS products, HIS books on amazon, HIS speaking page, HIS consulting page, HIS services overview. He said, “If you’re not linking every Facebook post to a selling opportunity, you’re just putting a lot of dead-end junk on Facebook and you’ll never make any money.”

Wow – this guy is a WORLD-CLASS idiot.

Social media is not about posting “here’s how to buy my crap” – it’s not about creating an extra dozen or so sales pages for your products, services or programs.

If your goals are: Sell on Twitter. Sell on Facebook. Sell on LinkedIn. Sell on YouTube…

Your results will be: Unfollow. Unfriend. Unlink. Unsubscribe. You’re done. Buh-bye. Idiot.

Lesson 1 for you to share with your idiots: Content comes before commerce.

Lesson 2 for you to share with your idiots: First you earn their attention. THEN you earn their money.

T: Today vs. tomorrow focus The final mistake is to think of social media in the same way that you might think of outbound sales activity.

Think about it: Cold calls. Email blasts. Direct mail. Do those things and the natural question to ask is – OK, how much did we sell?

You made 100 dials, you connected with 20 humans, you had 14 conversations, you qualified 5 serious prospects and then how much did you SELL TODAY?

You sent 10,000 postcards. Requests came back for 300 quotes. So how many widgets did you SELL TODAY?

Social media doesn’t work that way. Social media is… well, social. It’s about relationships and trust. Relationships and trust don’t have an ON/OFF switch – they develop over time.

Transactions happen today from relationships you built last week, last month, and last year. The benefit of that – and the reason it’s worth the “wait” is that social media gives you a permanent asset – TRUST.

Blog entries are forever. They continue to sell your expertise, your company, and your value day after day, week after week, year after year. LinkedIn recommendations are forever. People that wrote glowingly of you in 2002 are still “selling” for you and your reputation TODAY.

A voice mail? BEEP – gone. An email? ZAP – gone. A face to face meeting? DONE – bye. Those happen today and they’re gone today.

Sure, you have to sell today. You have to make your quota today. You have to feed your family today. But social media marketing helps you ensure that what you create ONCE today works and lasts and brings customers and clients to you for many years to come…

Not because you SOLD them like an IDIOT — but because you built the trust and relationships that HELPED THEM BUY today, tomorrow and beyond!

So… what do YOU think?

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About the Author

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David Newman

David Newman, best-selling author of “Do It! Marketing” and creator of the Speaker Profit Formula; host of the iTunes Top 50 business podcast “The Speaking Show”; connect with David on Facebook and watch our current free on-demand masterclass.

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