Every day I get dozens of messages and emails from people who are promoting their businesses. Many of the notifications come to me via my Facebook account through status updates and invitations to join special events and groups that promote the individuals services. I can tell you this" There are a TON of Internet based MLM companies and ALL of them promise to be "THE ONE" that will finally make you rich!
The one thing that makes all of these people with their "one of a kind" offers the same is, not one of them actually tries to establish any kind of relationship with the potential client's their attempting to sign. I mean, the closest thing I get is a boiler plate statement telling me in a super excited 2 sentence paragraph with a link that they have chosen ME to share this incredible business opportunity with.
Come on guys... do I look like I was born yesterday? Do ANY of the people you solicit that way look like they were born yesterday? Are you wondering WHY you aren't getting any sign ups or new clients? It's because you not doing anything different than the 32 people who messaged me yesterday or the day before.
The next thing, is the fact that VERY few people will reciprocate their business. They want you to "like" their fan page, join their groups, listen to their Blog Talk Radio show, subscribe to their blogs or newsletters, sign up for their life changing offer, but few, if any will consider you for your services. Again... there is no relationship building in any of this and there is certainly no "pay it forward" attitude. Is it any wonder why so many people are failing to accomplish their goals?
I recently tried an experiment on Facebook. I wanted to see how many friends I could find by "friending" friends of friends. I did pretty well with this. I added 4200 friends to my standard Facebook page and about 320 to my new "Fan" page. Additionally, I started a page for my upcoming book and my upcoming eTV series. My book fan page is doing really well. I have over 1200 new fans and that number goes up every week depending on whether or not I ask my followers to share it with their friends.
Of the 4300 people I added to my standard page I introduced myself to each of them with a personal greeting and a brief description of my services, etc. I then asked the person I was greeting to send me information about themselves including links to their fan page or groups. They joined mine, I joined theirs and we share with others. Instead of having a bunch of names on my Facebook page, I began interacting with the people I was "Friending". Within 3-weeks I had made several thousand dollars selling my services and I picked up a few really good clients. Two of those clients referred me to some of their local friends and I sold a couple thousand dollars more.
Every day I get on my Facebook page and I post interactive status messages in the form of a question. Some days the thread will go to 30 or more responses and it's been a great way to develop relationships with the people on my page. These same people remember me and who do you think they call when they need web or graphic design services or want to be on iTV? You got it! They call me!!
In the process of making connections on my social sites, I make an honest effort to pay it forward. When I make a good connection I may not be able to use the persons services but after getting to know my new friends I gladly forward their link to others and promote them in my own newsletters and such. They do the same for me. This has resulted in sales of services for me and my new friends. Isn't this what networking is all about? Anytime someone from my social networks refers me to another and I make a sale, I offer a finders fee. The bottom line is, EVERYONE can use extra cash these days and what better way to say "Thanks" than by sending a gift to the one who helped you?
Some people think they have the whole social media thing figured out, but based on the number of messages and emails I get offering me identical opportunities, I'm betting most of these people aren't making much at all.
Here's my advice:
1. Make sure the product or service you're offering is quality. If you signed up based on a promise but found it hard to produce, the people you're offering it to may experience the same difficulties. This will sure result in a damaged reputation. Once you've tarnished that, forget it!
2. Don't add a bunch of contacts to your social network pages with the intention of spamming these new contacts with ads about your service, product or offer. VERY FEW people take things at face value, especially on the Internet. Be prepared to prove yourself and your program if it is MLM.
3. If the MLM program you're part of has a template web page it's pretty certain that the people your solicitation have already seen in from others. I had over 50 people send me a link to a "DYNAMITE" offer and it all went back to the same page coded for the individual sending it to me. If you can, customize the page to stand out.
4. When it comes to web design my 16-years experience makes me an expert in my opinion. If you built your website yourself and you have no experience, people will KNOW! If you bought your website in a box, people will KNOW! If you're using a free website or a template site... PEOPLE WILL KNOW! If you don't have the capital to build a professional web presence, WAIT UNTIL YOU DO to start your online venture. Your website is the single most important part of your business, if it isn't perfect, people won't buy from you. That's a FACT.
You only get ONE CHANCE to make a good first impression. If you aren't doing it with your website, don't be surprised if your online business fails.
5. Don't send people messages telling them your program is THE BEST. They've heard it already, at least a gazillion times. IF your program is that great... prove it. Give legitimate references and use interactive testimonies so potential clients can speak to your successful client's.
6. Develop a relationship with people before you try to quick sell them a "Change your life" program, service or product. Selling yourself is the key to everything else you do.
People are becoming extremely savvy when it comes to how they spend their money online. The old ways of sending out 1000 contacts and reaping 10%+ in sales is no longer true. Think about it... do people have to work harder to earn your business? Expect to work hard to earn theirs.
If you meet another person offering a product or service that compliments what you do or even if it's just a good service... pay it forward... and ask them to do the same. If you buy from the people you're trying to sell to, they'll most likely buy from you when the time comes.
In my next article we'll talk about the explosion of people selling courses and coaching. Stay tuned!