I recently removed the term “social media” from everything I do. The misuse of that phrase makes me want to stick a fork in my eye, slit my throat and hang myself all in tandem. Self proclaimed “social media experts” don’t go around professing their results like how I got over 10,000 people to tune into a live panel in under an hour or sold over 60 test copies of an ebook without any brand recognition in just a few weeks. They don’t share the upfront truth with their clients that social is about building relationships, not quickie trigger sales. These experts usually go around name dropping some influencer like Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble, speaking some so called techie lingo and boasting their twitter following and facebook friend count. All that doesn’t mean they know how to utilize the online space to gain real traction for a company. Sadly, most of the time these gurus don’t know to even to ask their client what their expectations are.
Years ago I teamed up with the only social agency I trust, bigMETHOD, (recently acquired by BLITZ). They never pretended to have a crystal ball promising results nearly impossible to achieve. All the momentum they did gain for their clients they were able to back up with analytical documentation. They were straight up, no BS and it was refreshing. Clients signed up because of their success stories. In fact, the founders rarely focused on building their own brand name. They understood it wasn’t about them, it was about what they were able to do for others.
A few months ago bigMETHOD’s co founder, Greg Cargill, and I were asked to speak on online marketing to members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). In meeting with people at SAG I learned that actors build their career based on casting directors. And commercials were their bread and butter. Using the online social space it seemed so easy just to reach out directly to casting directors and form those relationships. Putting my words in motion I put together a video reel and I contacted a woman in my mastermind group, founder of Friends in Film, to critique it. She quickly said to do it right I need to take Killian’s Workshop. Upon clicking to Killian’s website I was blown away because he connected more effectively and authentically with his audience than any marketer I’ve seen in a long while and he’s not even an internet marketer. His whole site was based on his students return on their investment. His twitter feed and facebook page showcased results and reported resources.
10 plus years being an entrepreneur I have learned no one cares who we worked for, what we know or how cool we are. Those components may get us the contract, but at the end of the day what will keep us 110% booked and products sold out will be what we have achieved for others and how much we care. When I read through Killians site I knew, with no doubt in my mind, he’d deliver. I knew he was dedicated to the success of everyone who worked with him. That was proven by the insane amount of referrals he gets and how his workshops are consistently filled to capacity months out. Its incredible, but not surprising. If his clients achieve the results they wanted by working with him why wouldn’t they profusely promote his abilities to everyone around them and take his workshops again and again.
I decided to sign up for his class. I knew he was someone I MUST learn from. He understood business, he understood customer connection and communication, he understood value and credibility. Plus it would add to my speaking abilities to be the best I can be on stage and a new experience to potentially book commercials. There was too much to lose not to sign up. But as I mentioned before, his workshops are filled solid months out, so for days I pressed refresh on my computer browser hoping someone would drop out so I’d be able to snag their spot. A couple days before class number 1 started that’s exactly what happened and I raced to the billing page before I missed out.
He has been exactly as others have experienced him; to the point, no nonsense, no better workshop for commercial acting than his. Reminds me of Seth Godin‘s book “The Dip”, where Godin emphasizes that there is no point in building a company if your product or service isn’t the best in the world. Richard Branson says that you should be so proud of what you offer you want to shout about it off the mountain tops for everyone you know to hear.
If social media twitperts would focus on sharing what they have achieved for others and less time on their online cool factor this internets industry wouldnt have such a sham name.
The key to all this is defining oneself as being able to achieve X with absolute certainty and knowing you are the absolute best in the world at achieving it. That there is no convincing involved because your success speaks for itself and people would be gravely mistaken to not work with you if they are wanting X. This means if you are an independent without a huge team behind you to support all the work it takes to run a full blown social media campaign then just be excellent at one specific thing. Whether that thing is Facebook brand pages, Twitter engagement, Email list building, pick one. Because each one of these things has so much to it the learning is endless. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. BE a specific thing to specific people who have that need. Care about those people and they will naturally refer others to you. After all, isnt that what “social marketing” is - Referrals.
Go to Killian’s website and study how he communicates with site visitors. You’ll see what I mean. The easiest monetary investment for a potential client or customer to make is in certainty. To know what they CAN EXPECT from your work or product. That means you must confidently know what you are able to deliver. If you aren’t the best of the best today, that’s okay. We all start somewhere, but from this day forward focus on that very specific skill in order to BE someone of certainty. In the meanwhile be honest about your skill level with those who work with you so that you can build a long lasting relationship.
I was listening to this talk today with Gary Vaynerchuk. His points reinforced what I believe. He said that in today’s business landscape it is a must to genuinely care about the people and companies you work with. Not just their wallets, but their lives. Otherwise you’ll fall behind.