I was chatting with a gentleman (whom will remain nameless) who called me out of the blue last week and was asking me about social media. I love social media; naturally, I was willing to strike up a conversation with Bob (for purposes of this article). Bob was telling me a bit about his business and he is a consultant of sorts.
By nature consulting is a very personal, you want to like the person you are working with type of business. I always recommend to people who do consult, that you actually like the person whom you are working with otherwise it will never work.
Bob was telling me how he wanted to setup an ecommerce site where he sold his consulting services that were upwards of 2500 for a three month session. While I am big proponent of putting pricing on your website, I asked Bob if I had done this before not surprisingly his answer was yes! I continued to ask Bob about why he thought it didn’t work in the past and he proceeded to blame the website that he had and a whole slue of other excuses, NONE of which had anything to do with his ability to sell.
Bob had an expectation that he would be able to setup a new prettier website, jump on social media (for the first time in his company’s history) and immediately start selling. I was blown away by this. What has the Internet been teaching people about being successful? That it was just this magic wand you wave and you are an instant overnight internet success?!?!?! I was baffled.
I had to set the record straight with Bob. I explained to him that it was a lot of work and would probably take a minimum of 4 to 6 months before you started seeing REAL results. I explain that he had to develop an ecosystem to feed his brand and that all of this would take time unless he had millions of people whom had already been clients (he didn’t).
I could hear the disappointment in his voice. He said to me,
“I’ve called 10 different companies and you were the first one to say that to me. Everyone else told me that it wouldn’t be a problem and that people would have no problem spending $2500 bucks with me without even having a conversation.”
I felt bad for Bob and replied, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”
For those of you that have the same or similar beliefs to Bob, I’m by no means trying to be a dream killer, however, I can’t divorce myself from being honest with the reality of social media today.
Let’s be clear, I get the majority of my clients from the internet, many of which I have never ever met in person. I have been working on my social media since 2009. I add every person I meet in business to my Linkedin, I’m active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I blog. I send out email newsletter quarterly, (I know, I know, I need to do this monthly), I engage with people who comment and like my posts. I run contests and giveaways. I’m active. I’m investing in myself, my growth and my business. I block time on a weekly basis to work on business development and sales. I cold call. I warm call. I drop off my business cards to places I’d like to work with on a regular basis.
I’ve built a brand ecosystem that feeds me leads. I am acutely aware when it is time to take someone from my digital ecosystem and actually pick up the phone and connect with them. I understand that marketing feeds sales and they need to work harmoniously together. I have not once ever sold anything off my website in my 11 plus years without first having a conversation with the person. I am by no means perfect. I am a life-long learner with a crazy entrepreneurial brain and an desire to help fellow entrepreneurs succeed.
Owning a business no matter the industry takes work, hard work. It takes heart, hustle and devotion. This is a reality check for all the Bob’s out there…it is going to take a lot of hard work.