The following is a guest post from Shayla Eaton, President of Curiouser Editing. Since many of you are involved in Direct Sales/MLM companies, I felt this was an appropriate post. The information here will HELP you grow your business which, of course, increases your income!
We all know the drill. When you open a spammy email or message, it usually starts out with something like: “I own such-and-such company and we’re looking for people JUST LIKE YOU to make this company successful. I heard about you from such-and-such Facebook stalking and think you, a complete stranger, would make a great fit for our team. If you’re ready to make a trillion dollars an hour, then email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
We hit delete and move on with our lives because we know it’s a scam.
Except my comical example really happened, and as much as I love hyperbole, I hardly exaggerated the scenario. That man (we’ll call him John) was attempting to market his services to me.
Everyone knows the best way to market yourself is to network. But does networking mean introducing yourself to complete strangers on the Internet and hoping to connect toward a mutual interest?
Well, yeah, kind of.
But not the way John did.
A few months ago, an author in Jon Acuff’s 30 Days of Hustle group told us about her first novel and how excited she was for the release date. I asked her, “What’s your novel about? When does it release?” She told me it was a fantasy novel and that her release date was on her birthday—and our birthdays were just two days apart.
Right then and there, I preordered her book and shared it on social media and we became buddies. Since then, I’ve attended her online launch party and she’s joined my own author-centric Facebook group, sent me a client and a mutual friend in the same business, and has recommended my publishing services to her followers.
All because I took a moment to ask her about her dream. That novel is her baby, and I showed her that I cared about it.
I didn’t private message her to explain who I was and what I did and why she should hire me to edit her book. I didn’t ask her about her novel so I could spam her and prompt her to block me out of frustration.
I simply connected with her.
Now let’s go back to John. Three months after his super weird and unwanted message, he messaged me again—this time spelling my last name incorrectly. He used that eyeroll jargon: “If you are a hard worker and you love helping people like I do, you’ve got to see what I am doing. I’d love to share it with you. This is not spam! I am looking for sharp people who want to help others and make tons of money doing it.”
Pro tip: If you have to tell people it’s not spam, it’s probably spam.
(By the way, John never actually told me what he did for a living.)
Good marketing isn’t spam. Marketing is about connecting. It’s about becoming friends with people in your target market so they become loyal followers. For my authors, I call these people “book ambassadors”—loyal readers who fangirl over your book and tell all their friends about it.
If you’re marketing correctly, you can have brand ambassadors. Yes, they fangirl over your blog posts and articles and videos. They think you’re the bee’s knees.
When I explained to John that he had already contacted me and I had said no, his response was: “Oh, sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”
There are real people out there like this trying to market their services and products to us. They think this works, because that’s what they’re taught to do: drive every single human crazy until you make a sale.
But great marketing doesn’t make you the villain. In fact, it doesn’t even make you the hero. Your customer is the hero, and you are the quick-thinking sidekick—the go-to person who can solve a problem for the hero. You’re the one who suggests a safer route and leads the way to victory.
John didn’t understand who the hero was when he messaged me. And unlike him, you don’t have to spam people to make a sale. You want to make a sale? Ask people about their dreams. Tell a story about your client’s success. Relate to people. Geek out over the product you’re using or the services you’re offering.
Just like every writer’s first lesson: show, don’t tell.
Show me how your self-help book changed someone’s life. Show me how your finance coaching got your client out of debt. Show me how your fitness regime got someone six-pack abs.
And for heaven’s sakes: spell my name correctly.
Shayla Eaton is the president of Curiouser Editing and a connoisseur of the writing and editing process, having edited over two hundred books and countless articles, blogs, social media posts, and web copy. She is the author of The Curiouser Crusade and the Pre-Publishing Checklist.