“The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.”
– Alan Saporta
I’ve been writing the last couple weeks about the explosion of social media in the online world. And yes–there’s a BUNCH of hype about it.
Well, I’m here to cut through the crap for you…because you run a REAL business–not some pyramid scheme, or scam mechanism. (I’ll get to the place where I stand corrected in a moment)
There’s a lot of folks who are hopping on these platforms whose primary motive is to scream for “followers” and recruit unsuspecting suckers for their money-making schemes.
But that does NOT mean you should avoid these platforms–in fact, I (perhaps obviously) HIGHLY recommend you not miss the boat on this rapidly-exploding phenomenon.
Because “Social Media” represents one of the best (and easiest) methods for getting new local leads into your business in 2010.
Using it properly requires that you get that straight–it’s not about grabbing a bunch of hype or gaming the system. It’s about building real relationships…and this is rapidly becoming the “platform of choice” for a WIDE slice of your potential clients [meaning they PREFER communicating through that medium].
So you really can’t afford to miss out on it.
As you may also know, I’m conducting a teleconference breaking down *simply* how to use these platforms for THIS purpose–and how you don’t have to spend a lot of time to do it.
The phone event is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 9th at 1PM (Eastern).
See you then!
Anyway, on a personal note, I got an email last week (before Thanksgiving), which was sobering for me.
It was from a father who had also adopted children, and he wrote:
They are your children. Legally, right? So stop calling them adopted. My child is my child — not my adoptive child.
Man, was he ever right. I quickly wrote back and thanked him…and it made me re-address in my mind why I speak about my children the way I do.
You see, part of my goal–and YOUR goal–is to connect on a personal level with your clients and contacts. One of the surest ways to do this is to be as open and transparent about your “real life” as you possibly can.
So, my children are obviously a BIG part of my personal life these days…and using “adoptive children” was shorthand for me to talk about them–without going into the full story. But it was also LAZY on my part…and this father was quite right to correct me.
So…I’m grateful, Ralph. And I’ll try not to be lazy about that in the future. But I won’t stop letting my clients into my “personal” life (and Ralph wasn’t suggesting otherwise), because it’s important that you get the “real me”. Yes, I’ve been a successful marketer for years–but I ain’t no fancy-pants “guru”, or distant figurehead. You get the real me.
And your clients want that from you, too. Don’t ever forget it.
Now, this week, I’ve re-printed an article by one of my marketing mentors, the man who pioneered “Internet Marketing” as it’s now known … he’s a Princeton grad, and conducted the first ever conference on the subject waaaay back in 1994.
Anyway, I study his work (still), and implement much of what he teaches directly on behalf of our clients. And he’s real smart about this Social Media stuff, which you’ll see. Like me, he’s a recent convert to Twitter…but is doing it right. The “rules” for Twitter are a little different than for other media, and I thought you’d really enjoy this.
The Truth About Twitter
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“Profit For Life”
Tax & Accounting Business Marketing Strategy
The Truth About Twitter (by Ken McCarthy)
If Twitter is new to you — or if you’ve been taught how to abuse Twitter by one of the slime ball Internet gurus who strive mightily to poison everything in their path — let me explain what Twitter is and how to be entertained and informed by it.
Step #1. Open an account at Twitter.com It’s free and truly easy. Took me about 60 seconds once I got down to it.
Step #2. Pick a user name you’re going to be happy living with a long, long time. If your own name is available, grab it. God bless the person who did this for me a year or more ago. If your name is taken, come up with a relevant handle.
Step #3. Fill out your profile. Again, simple and easy. 60 seconds maybe, even for me.
OK, now you have an account and a profile. It’s time to play…
Here’s how you play Twitter
1. Go to “Find People” and search for friends, colleagues, “celebrities,” news outlets, media, businesses and institutions who are Twitter publishers that you may want to hear from on a regular basis
2. When you see someone you want to hear from, just push the “Follow” button.
When you open your Twitter page, you’ll see SHORT messages from these folks, sometimes self-contained, sometimes pointing to other web resources (articles, videos, interviews) for you to check out.
3. Choosing friends and colleagues to follow is easy. I have friends who I LOVE and don’t get to see anywhere near much as I’d like. What could be better than hearing from them more often? On any subject really.
Celebrities are pretty easy too. You know who you like. You want to hear from Shaquille O’Neil? He’ll drop you a line or two or more every day. Paris Hilton? Ditto. (Though please tell me there’s no one reading this who actually wants to hear from Paris Hilton.)
Personally, I “follow” the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the BBC. All stuff that I follow every day anyway.
I also follow entertainment publications like the Village Voice, Offbeat Magazine (from New Orleans), and the Onion (humor.)
Now instead of going TO this stuff, it comes to me.
“Hmmm…that looks interesting.” Click.
You know what Twitter really is?
It’s an RSS reader that you actually want to use.
(If you don’t know what an RSS reader is, don’t worry. Just use Twitter. For everyone else, I’ve always said that RSS readers were the greatest idea in the world with the worst name ever invented. The Twitter folks, god bless, didn’t make the same mistake.)
OK, now you’re getting all this great entertainment — news items, jokes, notes from your buddies, pointers to interesting articles, now what?
“Now what?” is you start publishing which on Twitter is called “tweeting.”
Tweeting is a stupid name and it’s 90% of the reason I wrongly assumed Twitter was ridiculous.
But Twitter is not ridiculous.
It’s a tool for sending good stuff — in short bursts — to people who want to hear from you.
What to say?
Now that you’re ready to start writing, the million dollar question is “what do you write?”
This is the tricky part which is why I suggest that you become a Twitter reader first, before you start writing (or tweeting) anything.
The best way to get good at anything is to find people whose style you like, “follow” them and take the parts of what they do that you like and mash them together into a style you’re comfortable with.
As I write this, I’ve been a Twitter user for less than 12 hours and I can already see what I like and don’t like.
What NOT to do
The thing that I loathe — and it’s a fatal turn off — is people who tell me about their latest product all breathless-like with exclamation points.
Even more offensive is people who recommend something they’re obviously earning an affiliate commission on.
I don’t begrudge anyone earning a commission, but don’t clutter up my Twitter channel with spam so you can play the law of large numbers and grind out a few bucks.
On Twitter you’re a publisher — that’s what you are, a micro-publisher, but a publisher nonetheless. Your job is to inform, educate, entertain and amuse and point people to resources that do the same.
If you do this people will read you and they will tell others about you.
This is better than the alternative which is they click “unfollow” and make you disappear forever.
If you’ve got a business, let your prospects and customers know you have a Twitter channel and what your address is.
The question is if you tweet will anyone even care?
Here’s the answer: It’s the old SW4 rule.
Some will, some won’t, so what? Someone’s waiting.
There’s no accounting for taste and some folks are just plain going to like you. Take the ball when they give it to you and run with it.
If anything I’ve said has struck your fancy, give Twitter a whirl — as a normal user, not as some super slick “social marketer.”
Personally, I already see Twitter as invaluable.
Guaranteed, you can make millions without ever opening a Twitter account…
But you might LIKE what Twitter does and if you like it, you might figure how to become a contributor to it and if you’re a contributor to it, this will contribute to you raising your profile, increasing your visibility, and adding to the celebrity structure you’re creating. A virtuous cycle.
Twitter is a medium.
It’s a medium some people like — just as some people like newspapers, while others like radio, and still others like TV.
It’s a medium some folks pay close attention to throughout their day.
Twitter will ultimately help you create more readers for your sales letters and deliver them to you in a state of mind in which they’re receptive to what you have to say.
Start by enjoying it.
I hope you enjoyed that…I’ll be going over this kind of stuff on the call next week.
Wednesday, December 9th at 1PM (Eastern).
Connect with me (and other BuildaHerd friends) here: www.Facebook.com/buildaherd
See what I’m up to (and receive regular insider tips, not seen anywhere else) on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/natehagerty