Organic Facebook: Fact or Fiction?

I really get tired of having to argue the point against the common belief that organic Facebook doesn’t exist and it’s all too hard, but I suppose while people keep messing up there is still a need. You can get good results without Facebook ads. The role of Facebook ads (including boosted posts) is to push your Facebook Page out to an audience, guess what, organic Facebook does the exact same thing. Let me show you.

Here are three lots of insights, none of these Facebook Pages have run ads in the past four weeks, one hasn’t run an ad in over a year. One has 571 fans, another 1617, and the third has 9 614 fans.

Just so you know, these organic Facebook results aren’t freakish once offs and they were all from the same day.

I manage all three pages. One page has about 50% bought fans. Two of the pages run entirely on posts scheduled outside of the native Facebook scheduler. One page runs a mixture of native and external scheduling.

One of them is on the Business Manager platform, one is my page, one I have been managing since October 2016, and one I have managed for four weeks.

I understand why Facebook Page owners get frustrated with Facebook. They spend hours and hours trying to get results and get nothing. They spend hundreds or thousands on Facebook Ads only to feel that they have to continue running them so that their regular posts get seen.

In fact, the two clients here were skeptical to start with. One, also a business coaching client, was so time poor they just handed over their Facebook knowing that I couldn’t do any worse. The other page had just finished up with another social media manager and didn’t think they could get any better. Talk about a hard audience!

But see, that’s the key, the audience. One of the things Facebook Page owners say to me is that they are overwhelmed by the information and advice out there. They don’t feel that they understand the technology and so they don’t think they will be any good. Well, they’re going to prove themselves right if they keep thinking like that.

What Facebook Page owners don’t realise is that the Facebook Algorithm is all about behaviours; how many of our friends liked it, how likely we are likely to like it, how often we interact with a Facebook Page; it’s about what we do and not the technology we use to do it. So why are they so worried about not understanding the technology? Shouldn’t they be more concerned about not understanding their client?!

That’s it though. The message Facebook Page owners are receiving is that organic Facebook is all about the technology, but it’s not. Behind that technology is a number of consultant Psychologists and Neuroscientists working out how your customer is reacting, how you’re reacting, and what that means about what you choose to like, share, or comment on. It’s about people.

Now the problem with most of the organic Facebook advice out there is that they believe what they read and they make it about the technology. Why? Because that’s popular, that gets clicks, and it’s easier to understand and explain how something works rather than why something works. Understanding people is a complex task, that’s why Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Neuroscientists study for so long.

So it’s no wonder you’re not getting anywhere with your organic Facebook, you’ve been fed the wrong end of the stick. But when you stop to think about it, it all makes sense:

You’re trying to get a person to like, comment, share, message, buy. So why are you not concentrating on the person first?

If this sounds all too familiar, then I have developed this ebook on how I achieved these results. Use it to help put your clients front and centre and watch your organic Facebook, your Facebook Page, and business, grow. Join my Facebook Group where I provide more insights into the world of client behaviour, social media, & growing your business. Keep watch on my Facebook Page for the next round of my Organic Facebook Course. And finally, book a consult with me where I can zero right in on and address your specific issues.

And if you were wondering, the pages happen to be in order (left > right) in increasing Fan numbers and mine is the one on the left.

The four pillars of social media success

The most common reason business owners come to me is because they know their social media should be working, but it isn’t and they need help. Over the years I have realised that there are some business fundamentals which apply to social media. To be honest, that really isn’t that surprising as marketing on social media is really an extension of any marketing program and in the end, it’s still a person you’re trying to influence – regardless of platform.

I think that’s key and it tends to be forgotten in the hoopla we are presented with having a business social media presence. Too much emphasis is placed on the technology and tools and not enough is placed on the people. The people are actually the most important part of this whole online effort. You want people to part with their time, effort, or money and not a piece of technology. I feel that business owners, trying to navigate this minefield alone, are distracted by the technology circus and I am determined to break through that.

I want to take you back to some fundamental business principles so that you can use these as the basis of how you work online. I have to admit, when I start feeling like I am losing my way, the numbers aren’t going where they should, I bring myself back to a few key points and things turn around. They always do.

So what are the four pillars you need for social media success?

Right person, right place, right time, right thing

These four pillars may look familiar. That’s because they are tried and tested business principles. They are not new school, they are not grounded in technology, they are focused clearly on your customer. That’s where you need to be. The problem I see with concentrating on the technology is that you are navel gazing, you are focusing on your business and not on the person you need most to grow your business.  So let’s get started.

Right person

You might think I have got this wrong, but remember it’s a person you are trying to influence and so they need to be the first thing you consider. But what is it that you need to know?

The most important piece of information you need to know is:
are they the decision maker in the purchasing decision

You need to know if, at the end of the day, they are the one who approves the purchase. Once you know this you can then look at the remaining pillars.

Right place

No point being in the local paper if it just lays on the driveway. Same as there is no point being on one social media platform when your clients are elsewhere. But how do you know where they are? The simplest question is to ask them when they are purchasing from you. Ask which social media platforms they use. The next thing is research.

I recently reviewed the Sensis Report into Australian Social Media Use.  Let’s just say that so long as you’re on Facebook, you’re fine. Here are the top 3 platforms by age:

 

Right time

So while most of my enquiries come about Facebook Pages, there is one consistent error businesses are making, time. You see, most business owners post on Facebook when they have a few minutes at work. It’s convenient for them, they’re online so why not post! Wrong! Most of your clients are at work and then most of them will only have access to social media on their phone.

So when is the right time to post? Like being in the right place, you will know from the statistics (insights) and interaction you get on your social media. Still not sure, then have a look at these statistics.

So, when are you posting on social media? Are you posting in the evening or first thing in the morning? If you’re not, then I strongly suggest you do this for a week or two.

Right offer

Now I am not advocating the ‘buy my shit’ approach to marketing. Ramming stuff down a consumer’s throat just isn’t the way.

Now you’ve got your business in front of them now is not the time to go backwards and make it all about you. You still need to make it all about them. This is where you need to understand their psychology, this is where your client avatar comes in, this is where (to be honest) it gets hard because you need to make it all about what they want/need/feel/believe.

How do you find that out? Ask them (see a trend?), look at their reviews/feedback, and do some profiling. This step should take you some time and it is likely to shift as your business grows and you experience a range of clients and you learn who you prefer. That’s good if it does. Now I don’t expect you to go alone on this step and I am happy to review and advise what you have.

From here?

Congratulations, you now have a solid plan on who, where, when, & what you are marketing to on your social media. Keep asking questions, of them, your business, download my latest Facebook Plan on growing your Facebook Page, and of course you can join me in some one on one work or we can brainstorm in my Facebook Group with a group of switched on business owners who are reaping the benefit of an engaged and profitable social media presence.

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Killing off your confidence gremlins

Can I be honest? I get struck by the confidence gremlins. They come and shake me every so often. They whisper the meanest things in my ears. They laugh at me when I feel like I’m starting to get somewhere. They really enjoy pulling me down a peg or two. Now while they are quieter than when I first started my business, it seems they still attack when my defences are down, when there’s a lot going on in my life, when I’ve been sent something from left field – that’s when they creep back in.

These confidence gremlins take on so many forms:
- the imposter gremlin (they’ll see you for the fake you really are)
- the cricket gremlin ( no one wants what you have to offer)
- the comparison gremlin (you’ll never stack up to this other person)
- the undeserving gremlin (you really don’t deserve success)

And these little monsters relish in attacking when you least expect it, heck, I think they lay in wait for

when you’re at the top of your game and then they attack to bring you down to earth.

What’s prompted me to write this is a number of things. It’s coming through a period where I was rattled. It is also looking back on conversations I have had with friends and clients and realising that something just isn’t getting through.

I by no means believe I am the first or am I alone in addressing these gremlins, nor do I think this list is comprehensive. What has become clear is an issue I was unable to see, it often sits at the centre of this.

I believe that we spend far too much energy putting the emphasis in the wrong place.

Emphasis on competitors

While speaking with a new coaching client, she mentioned that she was feeling incredibly inadequate because she was looking at others in her industry, seeing how they were succeeding, and wondering why she wasn’t. I told her that I too had been there (and I sometimes slip back) and the only way to stop feeling like this is to stop looking. Stop looking at the Social Media, unfollow them or unfriend them, just don’t put yourself in that position. Why? Because the vast majority of us only put the best achievements out for the world to see, we don’t publicise our struggles, and that gives you an incredibly biased perception of their achievements. (I also learnt that a lot of the success out there is funded by debt and I don’t value success at any cost)

Emphasis on valuing the wrong people

In a recent coaching session, my coach reminded me of some work by Brené Brown. Now Brené is one of my favourite speakers and my favourite speech of hers is the one from 99U – The Man in the Arena. Now Brené did not write that famous speech, but she uses it to demonstrate how we hold ourselves back due to fear (these gremlins).

There is one sentence in this Brené Brown speech which jumped out at me in my discussion with my coach. In the speech she says:

If you're not in the arena, also getting your arse kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback.

Too often we, me included, give our energy to people who don’t deserve it, not because they are ungrateful or treat us poorly, but because they’re not on the same playing field. Remember, we show people what we want them to see, and that can include family.

So my coach told me of a Brené Brown exercise, where you take a small square of paper, no more than 5 cm², and you write the names of four or five people whose opinions really matter to you. Now some will say that they don’t care what others think of you, that’s not what this is, this is whose opinion you really value. Now I want you to stop and consider the next thing, are they also in the arena? If they’re not also in the arena, are they someone whose opinion should really matter?

Now I was told to keep the list in my purse for when my gremlins came knocking, I actually keep it under my laptop as my gremlins attack when I am online. So I suggest you write your list and keep it where you are often visited by your gremlins. When the gremlins come knocking, look at that piece of paper, is the person delivering the gremlin on the list? There’s a good chance they’re not and so you can discard the gremlin (and maybe even the person).

In the end, I want you to be mindful of where you expend your energy as every misspent piece is a piece you can not use yourself to do what you want to achieve.

Is your point of difference actually much of a selling point?

The other day I was following a tradesman’s van in traffic and across the back was “Call now for a free quote”. Now, just the day before I had a tradesman out for a quote and it was free and I wondered how often we use these words as points of difference or selling points and really there’s no point to them at all. Why? Because the customers just expect it as your cost of gaining business.

So it made me think and I asked my friends on Facebook, is offering a free quote an enticement anymore and if not, what is? Here’s what they said…

Most people expected a quote to be free, one said they had been charged for a quote, and another said that they are asked if the quotes are free. So there is still some need for businesses to say that the quotes are free, but it’s not enough to get someone in.

So what entices people to ask for a quote?

By and large, the response was that they wanted something more. They either wanted to receive a special price, an extra service, to learn something new. Essentially, they wanted an inducement to get you out to quote for their money.

Let’s face it, in the end it comes down to how badly do you want their money & what are you going to do differently to get it.

But then I wondered, is this just limited to the ‘free quote’ scenario? Are there other points of difference or selling points that aren’t really different?

I had a mini-coaching session the other day and the person said that they offered a ‘quality service’. That was their selling point, quality. I had to stop them there and tell them that as a customer, I expect them to offer a quality service. If I’m paying for a job, I expect it to be done correctly and to be of appropriate quality.

So ‘quality service’ is off the list! What other selling points are used that really aren’t points of difference?

  • Polite
  • Friendly
  • Honest
  • Reliable
  • Superior
  • Trustworthy

These are all basic (and commonly used) levels of service we expect as clients. So what are the options businesses have to stand out from the crowd and to be chosen from the pack?

It has to be said, but it depends. It depends on your industry and what is normal and what is expected.

Businesses wanting to beat their competitors need to know three things:

  • What is standard service in their industry
  • What their ideal client expects from their industry
  • What their ideal client expects but doesn’t receive from their industry

You may think that I am asking you to gaze into a crystal ball or pluck things out of the air. You can find out the answer to the first point either in explicit industry standards or just check out the websites/social media/advertising of your competitors, you’ll soon see the same words cropping up. You should already have the answer to the last two in your clients’ feedback/reviews/testimonials. If you don’t have any, then check out what is written about your competitors, you’ll see what customers did/n’t like there. Still stuck, ask your customers; put up a post on social media, send them an email, ask the next 10 you speak to or see, ask your friends (just as I did).

If you need a little extra to get you started, I’ve developed this cheatsheet to help you organise your answers .

So now what to do with these new points of difference or selling points?

Quite simply, you use them. You add the one the clients desire most to the ‘free quote’ line. You use it in your social media and other marketing. You add it to your email signature block. You start saying it when you speak to clients. It may feel odd at first, but everything does. I promise that after 21 days (how long it takes to change a habit), it will be normal. Put it on post-it notes so you remember. Make it a screensaver on your phone. Have it as a calendar notification to remind you. Prompt yourself to remember to use it.

Why should you change your point of difference or selling point?

Other than the fact that it should be different, this comes down to aligning your business aims and values to those of your ideal client. When your client feels heard or understood, they start to feel welcome and develop trust in your business (then like & know). You will be talking to their critical needs and its them you need to impress first so that you can show them that you are better than your competitors in meeting their needs.

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Australian Consumer Social Media Use

In this analysis of the Sensis report into how Australians use the Internet & Social Media, I will be focusing on social media and how customers use social media for purchasing decisions. While it’s important to know when we are online to work out when we need to post on social media, it’s the behaviours which drive purchasing decisions which interest businesses. This post is to be read with the previous article and can be compared with the previous year.

When and where do Australians use Social Media?

92 % of Australians access social media at home. When we are at home, Australians are most likely to check their social media in the lounge room and then the bedroom. This is no great surprise when you look at when we are most likely to check social media.

Australians are most likely to check social media in the evening (71%), first thing in the morning (57%), and at lunch or in breaks (equally 47%). So it’s no great surprise that our lounge and bed rooms are our most popular location. This also matches the likelihood that we are using smartphones to access social media. (Note: the 65+ age group are most likely to use a laptop)

Below is the chart of when we check our social media by age and by decreasing popularity

18-29 30-39 40-49 50-64 65+
Evening Evening Evening Evening Evening
Breaks First thing First thing First thing First thing
First thing/Lunch Lunch Breaks Lunch Lunch

 

What you can see in this table is a good indication of when you should be posting on social media depending on your target age group. Unfortunately, may businesses are still posting outside of these hours because they do not schedule their posts.

Why Australians use Social Media for purchase decisions

Firstly, only 18% of Australians use social media to follow brands and of them it’s most likely to be the 30-39 & 50-64 year olds who do. Now that does not mean you don’t need social media; that means that you shouldn’t worry about low follower numbers. You see, 16% use social media to access brand promotions (again the favoured by 30-39 year olds) and 16% to research purchases (most likely for those 65+). There’s a good chance that they are seeing what you post without even liking or following your social media profile. Here’s proof…

52% of people who researched a product on social media went on to purchasing one of the products they saw

61% of those purchases were made online

What can you do to influence the purchases made using Social Media?

Use reviews

61 % of Australians will read between 1 and 5 reviews before making a purchase. Remember that this is across all social media and there are many ways to post reviews. While you can use the review function on social media profiles, I actively encourage business owners to regularly post reviews on their social media to push the good news out to followers. By doing this you control the design of the review and you can organise them how you choose.

There has been an increase in people likely to change their opinion (to be positive) if you respond to a negative review. This means that you should keep negative reviews on your social media and respond to them.

I have previously written about the psychology of reviews, it contains information on why people give reviews and the aspects needed to have a convincing review.

What to post

This year, Australians said that it was more important (than previously reported) that businesses interact positively on social media, update their content regularly (post regularly), and post engaging and relevant information. Here’s the key to all of this, it’s what your customer thinks is engaging & relevant – not you. So it’s crucial that business owners understand their ideal customers.

Here’s the thing about engaging and relevant content – not having engaging and relevant content is the biggest reason why people unfollow social media accounts. It’s not ads. In fact, Australians, while not necessarily happy to see them they are not turned off by them nor will they ignore them. So, consider ads as part of your social media, they’re not going to push clients away.

If you are considering ads, you might want to consider the following things people want from brands on social media:
- 54% want discounts
- 48% want giveaways
- 30% want information, and
- 29% want nothing at all.

So before you think that your ad has to offer a great discount, consider that nearly 1/3 of your fans actually don’t want anything from you at all.

I have one more thing for you to consider when using social media for your business and what Australians like when online. All Australians are excited when our posts receive more likes than usual. While this statistic is higher for those <39, there was some degree of agreeance across the ages. So, give some positive feedback to posts and comments on your social media account, even if it’s a like. If you want to know why this works, read my post on what happens to our brain when we use social media.

So all in all, it seems that Australians are increasing their use of social media and while some want special offers a good proportion don’t want anything at all other than: good content, they like to be liked and if they research online they are more likely to buy online. It still points to the need for brands to have some sort of regular social media presence where the client is put first.

Australian Social Media Use

Last year was my first reviewing the Sensis report of Australian Internet and Social Media use. If you have never heard of it, they interview 800 consumers and 1100 businesses. Consumers are equally split by age and gender and proportionate by State. In this report, I want to split the report in two. I first of all want to give you the tools to explain why being on social media is important for marketing and then I want to give you an insight into how Australians use social media and how you can leverage that knowledge in business. These will be written as two separate reports to keep them more manageable for you; feedback from last year was that my report was too long and I want to avoid that. So let’s get on with it!

What does Australian internet and social media use look like?

It’s no surprise to those in the industry that Australians are long time early and avid adopters of technology. In the Sensis report, respondents reported that 80% of them owned a smartphone and that 84% of Australians access the internet at least daily and <1% reported never accessing the internet. With 3km to each Aussie (Census 2016), it’s no surprise that there was no significant difference on internet access between Regional and Metropolitan Aussies (81% & 86% respectively).

But what does that mean? It means that regardless of age or location, most Australians access the internet at least once a day. This means that if you are not online with your business, you cut your access to these people. Not to mention that <1% said that they didn’t access the internet at all. You need some form of internet presence. But where?

Many businesses ask me website or social media (or both) and if social media then where. I have to tell them to go where their clients hang out and this is where this research comes into its own. 79% of Australians who access the internet use social media. Yes, that means that 21% access the internet without using social media. Let’s look at the numbers:

59% of all people who use social media look at it daily.

35% of people access social media 5+ times a day.

Age groups who are most likely to look at social media at least once a day: 18-64

Say what now? What about the 65+ age group? Well, 53% of them NEVER look at social media (yes that included YouTube) and 23% (the next largest proportion of this age group) looked at social media at least once a day.

So what does that mean?

If you’re going to be on social media, be prepared to be posting daily, because your followers are on there AT LEAST once a day.

So what social media do Australians use?

This one is going to shock you. Researchers asked which of the following social media sites participants used: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, & YouTube.

90-99% of all Australian age groups surveyed use Facebook. The lowest group being the 40-49 year olds and the highest the 30-39 year olds. Facebook was by far the most popular social media platform for the over 65s. Here are the top 3 by age group and in descending popularity.

18-29 30-39 40-49 50-64 65+
Social media Platform Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook
Instagram Instagram YouTube YouTube YouTube
Snapchat Snapchat Instagram LinkedIn Twitter (13%)

 

This table is interesting to consider when looking at where to put your efforts depending on the age of your target audience.

It is interesting to compare the data for the top 3 social media platforms by gender:

% Men % Women
Facebook 91 97
YouTube 60 43
Instagram 50 41

 

I find this interesting in so far that there really is little difference in women’s use of YouTube and Instagram and that men are actually more likely to use Instagram than women. Anecdotally business owners tend to believe that women dominate Instagram use, this is not the case.

Further to the high usage of Facebook, respondents were asked about their use of social media messaging services. With the exception of those aged 65+, 78-92% used Facebook Messenger.

So what do these Australian Social Media Use statistics mean for business?

In short, it means that not only can you not ignore having an online presence, if you’re looking to get on social media then you’re best starting with Facebook.

It means that you need to stop worrying that your clients are in regional Australia, because that is actually an advantage for you online. The internet helps them access the world and they love it.

It means that just because your target audience is over 65 doesn’t mean that they’re not online, not using Facebook and not using a smartphone. It’s just not the case – they are.

Businesses will benefit from engaging the Facebook followers through Facebook Messenger.

Next up I look into how Australians use social media and how that can benefit your business. In the meantime, if you want to know more please book a time to chat with me or come over and join the discussion in the free Facebook Group. Need something to take to the boss? Then send them a link to this report and put the following following Infographic on their desk.

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Business Growth

Last week I took off for a few days on a business retreat. You see, 2016 while earmarked as my growth year really wasn’t (and for good reason). So 2017 is my year for business growth and I had wanted to go on a business retreat for a while. I know it seems odd a business coach heading off for business coaching but this was more about giving myself clear space to work on my business.

So what do I mean by working on my business?

I suppose it will be easier to tell you what dedicating time to business growth is not:

  • Paying bills
  • Doing marketing, Facebook, answering emails
  • Coffee chats with friends (sorry, it’s just not)
  • Planning your coming week/month/year

These things are the nuts and bolts (well coffee dates are for me) of getting the daily grind done. Growing your business is at a ‘higher’ and more objective level.

What does working on your business look like?

Growing your business is that blue ocean, pie in the sky, if only thing where you look to where you want to be and you nut out what you need and how you’re going to get there. When I was driving a corporate desk we called it Strategic Planning and it used to elicit groans of dread and snores of boredom from around the room.

Why do people shy from business growth?

As growing businesses is what I do, it’s not something I shy from. In fact, I was the one who enjoyed the strategic planning, lining up goals through the levels of the Agency right the way down to what my staff were required to do. I loved writing papers on how to make the business unit more efficient, in fact I once wrote a paper on how they didn’t need my position and five years on the position is still vacant.

I admit, it takes a certain mindshift and mindset to move from the everyday nuts and bolts of getting the job done to the level of ‘where do I want this thing to head’.  The other issue is that it can be draining to constantly think at that level over extended periods of time.

Our brains are hardwired to find solutions, so when you spend extended periods of time looking at the broader aims, direction, & objectives; our mind is tempted to keep coming back to trying to work out the ‘how’.

What gets in our way of business growth?

We do. That’s the reason why I had to go away for a few days. I will always put my clients’ needs first and so I had to make it clear that I was out of action for a few days so I could dedicate time to my business.

Did it work? Yes & no.  I still took calls and checked emails, but in the main I achieved what I set out to.

Outside of our innate ability to think strategically, sorry some people just have it and others have to get support or work at it, the main issue I find its time. We just don’t make business growth a priority. How ironic! We want to grow our businesses but we just don’t make the act of sitting down to nut it out a priority.

How to grow your business

I give you permission to carve out time from your week to dedicate to business growth.

You read it right, sometimes we just need someone else to tell us it’s ok to do it. But here is a tip on it.

Get out of your usual working space to do it and leave social media and other distractions behind.

You can’t do something different by doing what you always do. Let’s face it, it might even be sitting in a different chair, going to a café, you don’t have to up and go halfway across the country like I did. Disrupt your normal working pattern and JFDI.

I admit that it was difficult, but I also left my phone in a different spot. My phone was not within arm’s reach of me while I was away. Why? I am easily distracted and if I am disengaged I will pick up my phone.

Get a buddy to strategise with. While I am available to mentor you through the process, I understand that that is not always feasible. However, see if you can pair up with a business buddy to work on your businesses together. It’s amazing how different someone else’s perspective can be. Sometimes you need someone else to show you the forest for the trees.

Remember that this is not a once off. Nor is it a set and forget. Like any good food, there is a recipe and procedure to get from the raw ingredients to the decadent meal. You will have to work at it. I for one have decided that I will set aside a day per week for working on my business and getting it t where I want it to be. You may or may not like that, all I can say is make an appointment in your diary & stick to it, but try to make it once a month.

So if you have no idea of where to start then I have a few tools on how to get you there:

Dreaming your ideal business

Tips on making time to grow your business

Putting ideas into action

A safe place to ask questions

Make a time to have me help you out

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Gary Vaynerchuk’s guide to attention

The other week I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2016 Sales Machine Keynote. In this presentation he spoke of his lemonade stand days. He had a collection of them and he had his friends staff them. He would then ride between them and as he did he would observe the traffic. He would watch where they were coming from and where they were headed. He would watch the cars and look around the intersections. What was he looking for? The perfect spot to place his advertising to grab their attention. He knew that too soon or too late and he had lost them, but pitching at the right time, place, and style had them.

In this age of digital bombardment it’s hard to get attention. Well that’s what it feels like. All this chatter we need to compete with. All those tweets, posts, and grams flying through the feed. Messenger messages and chat bots chirping away. Ads, sponsored posts, offers, optins, pixels, adwords, tracking codes. All of these are ways we try to gain our client’s attention. Do they work?

Well there’s an art to getting their attention.

Gary mentioned that part of the issue in gaining their attention came down to location and another to copy, he didn’t mention motivators or influencers.

Location and attention

I’m a firm believer in that you can not convert unless you are in the right place at the right time with the right thing. So how do you know you’re in the right place?

There are two ways you can do it. You can go to where your fans hang out or you can pull them towards you. Going where your fans hang out may narrow the field but it can stack the deck in your favour. Pulling them to you, cold, from across the internet is a tough gig.

I’m a fan of gathering, and keeping your fans, where they like to hang out. Why? They’re comfortable and you’re less likely to lose them there.  Though you do have competing distractions, they’re comfortable & generally happy. Done well, you won’t even seem like an interference.

In this example, Gary watched where the drivers looked and placed his posters on the trees they looked at the most. Perhaps it was mechanics, perhaps it was something else distracting them, but it was where they were drawn.

If we use Facebook as an example, there is a lot competing for our attention. This is precisely where Gary said the copy on his poster came into play.

How copy grabs attention

Now I am not going to go into some long winded discussion on the perfect copy and copy formula. I can write copy, but I don’t teach it. It’s just not my passion. What I do know is this… too many small businesses and sole traders write copy with the wrong intention. They think that they have the answer. Wrong! Your client has the problem.  I understand that that might seem backwards so let me explain.

Want to get someone’s attention and diffuse an argument, repeat their issue back to them so that they realise that you heard them and you get them. I don’t just know this from some text book, this comes from speaking to injured Veterans, their spouses, and their lawyers for five years. They didn’t want my pity or placation, they wanted to be heard. Your client is no different. They have a problem they want fixed and they want you to hear that.

The easiest way to grab someone’s attention, and even buy in is to repeat their words back to them. So you don’t necessarily have that luxury, but with a little research you can.

To grab attention in copy you need to:
- tell them their problem (and actually do)
- use their language
- speak to their values.

Too often businesses are stuck in the old push, ‘buy my shit’, mentality and they forget that the audience is flooded with messages and signals to buy someone’s ‘shit’. What they don’t get is someone who genuinely gets where they’re coming from and where they want to be.

So the attention getter for them it’s their motivators/influencers

So Gary didn’t get into the copy but he spends a ridiculous amount of time talking and listening to people and working out what their motivators are. When he speaks to people, he pins their motivator and problem and spits it back at them and they buy it.

So how do you understand their motivators and influencers? They tell you. They tell you in their feedback, in their reviews, their friend s tell you. If you don’t have this then you ask and research, you go to other sources and competitors and see what is being said. In one way or another, you listen. You listen to the emotions they use, the feelings they have, the problems you solve. You pay attention and then you grab theirs.

Connection as the service edge

So I’ve recently returned to the gym and I’ve started back listening to podcasts. I have recently been listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on SoundCloud. He had an incredible example of showing that you truly care, understanding your client, going that extra mile, and the power of word of mouth. The thing these all have in common is connection. I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a lot of people feeling incredibly disconnected regardless of how digitally interconnected our world has become.

Listen to the story

Here’s the thing, I highly doubt that Wine Library does that for every $117 order. I’m also fairly confident that for a while there they were questioning the practice altogether.  And then it paid off!

So what can we learn from this example?

Connections take time

I have to admit, a 3-6 month turn around on such an action and connection is quite short. Most businesses I know have a 12-24 month turnaround time. That means that it will take 12-24 months before making a connection will pay off.

I have mentioned in the past that it takes 7-12 touches to convert someone to buy from you. As you can imagine, those touches can be quite some time apart.

Connections need trust to convert

I’ve previously spoken about how we need to like, know & trust a person before we commit to connecting and purchasing. In this example, Gary Vaynerchuk was able to bypass a lot of this by leveraging the connection between the two clients.

‘But I can’t predict that Kara!’

No you can’t predict who is going to talk to whom and lead to a big sale, in part that’s why you treat all connections as if they will, but there’s a short cut. Testimonials!

A testimonial is a way that you can short cut a connection. You can do that because of the network of friends the giver has and relying on them seeing their testimonial, the other is the psychology of testimonials.

There is a body of psychology which sits behind testimonials, driving us to imply a connection and trust in the giver and thereby the service they are giving the testimony of.

The connection has to be genuine and meaningful

As Gary Vaynerchuk mentions, while a fruit basket or note is nice, it does not replace a researched and concerted smaller effort directly relevant to the receiver. What these more concerted efforts do is show true interest and concern for the receiver, not merely ticking some box because it is expected.

One way you can quickly develop a genuine connection is by livestreaming. I know I go on about it and that it can be intimidating for some, however it is the fastest way to build a genuine connection. Not only do people see you live, hear you , and watch your reactions, they can interact with you. Now that is a powerful tool.

Here’s a hint, I understand that livestreaming is intimidating, which is why I encourage members of my group to go live in the group to practice.

Value external connections

The more I stop and think, the more I feel that we have been lead to believe that word of mouth is a dirty way to grow a business and that leads are the best way. I have to be honest, I struggle to think of a business who would be better off turning their back on word of mouth in preference for new leads, unless of course, they are that bad that they lose their customers more often than they retain them!

A word of mouth client may have taken longer to come about, but it might not have, the thing is that you didn’t have to do any direct work with that client to win them over. Now consider a cold lead and the relationship building you have to do to move them into a place to buy. That can take a while.

A client gained through word of mouth can, in fact, strengthen two bonds and done well you will find you can have an exponential growth through networks rather than a linear growth through a list.

In the end

In this digital age, we have forgotten this. We have forgotten that there is a person on the other side of the screen. (That’s how we get keyboard warriors & trolls) We have forgotten that that person booking our service or buying our product online is actually a person. Hey, sometimes they even forget that we are real. We have lost that personal connection.

In the end we all have this need to feel connected to others, we all want to feel valued, we all like to feel special.

About Scarcity Marketing

Let’s get down to it. Scarcity marketing. Have you seen it? Have you succumbed to scarcity marketing? Have you used scarcity marketing in your business? Can I honestly say its never sat well with me, I’ve tried it, it’s failed and I thought it was me. I’m not so self-centred to believe that’s not the case, but I’ve been thinking about scarcity tactics a bit and a video interview between Marie Forleo & Seth Godin helped me see why it doesn’t work.

So what is scarcity marketing?

Scarcity marketing is saying things like: ‘must end 9pm tonight’, ‘must close 5pm Sunday’, ‘valid for the first x people’. It’s imposing limits around the availability of a ‘thing’. Availability is generally restricted by volume or by time available. The idea being that it elicits as sense of urgency, and don’t get me wrong a good scarcity campaign gets my heart pumping, and that is meant to drive you to take action NOW!

The last time I fell to scarcity marketing was trying to get Ed Sheeran tickets. I subscribed to the pre-sale, I tried to no avail, to get early tickets. Nada. I had FOMO, I wanted those tickets and I wanted them BAD! So when they went on sale the following week, I logged in early and I waited, and waited, and waited. Two and a half hours later I was still waiting, but you know what, I got those tickets. I was elated. But I promise, every time the ticker reset my heart skipped a beat.

The aim of scarcity marketing is to kick off that FOMO feeling. They want you to fear missing out and being left behind. Would it have actually been the end of days if I didn’t get the Ed Sheeran tickets? No, I could go and listen to him at the venue (standing outside of course) for free. I can listen to his songs I already own. But they wanted me to fear seeing him live. Um, the idea of ‘seeing’ him is actually really to hear him sing. Anyway, I digress. When you are in this FOMO fight or flight mode your body is pumping adrenaline, cortisol & norepinephrine. Now most people know that adrenaline is the one that gets your blood pumping, cortisol is the stress hormone, norepinephrine is there to keep you focused & on the ball. Wow! That’s some hormonal cocktail! You’re switched on, pumping, raring to go and you’re thinking that this thing just ‘has to happen’.

So what’s the reality?

So in the case of the tickets, I was right, there were only a certain amount of tickets, but me being inside or outside has no impact on my ability to listen to the songs. Ironically, in some locations the scarcity marketing was lost when they announced additional shows!

So what’s the point?

There rarely, if at all, is true scarcity. We are no longer trying to hunt that one lone woolly mammoth traipsing across the grassland. In fact, the internet removes scarcity. Like I said, I already have the songs. If you want tickets to an event, access to a product, see a person, the internet has untold number of options to you past the one presented to you right at that point in time. When we do come across a true woolly mammoth situation where scarcity is actually a matter of life and death, then our adrenaline, cortisol, & norepinephrine were warranted. But it’s not.

We’re being played. Manipulated. Our innate instincts are being used against us.

So what’s the answer?

Look, just because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing for you. I just want you to realise why it might not work. You are not Robinson Crusoe in your business journey, there’s a high probability your product or service is available elsewhere. Let’s face it, there’s more than one cola company around and they are able to survive and thrive. Your customers are learning, if they don’t already know, that you are not the only one and this is why they ‘shop around’. So I’m just making you aware that it might not work as you expected & this is why. I want you to consider how your audience is reacting on a cellular level to your marketing. As a consumer, I want you to understand why you react the way you do. Finally, I want to let you know that I will not use scarcity marketing unless there’s a mammoth around.

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