Social network marketing: Be who you are

NOTE — This is the seventh in a series on social network marketing. The whole series can be found here.

We know that if you want to be good at social network marketing, you can’t hype your business and try to sell people. But at the same time, you have to have a way for people to know about your product or service. After all it is social network “marketing.”

So, how do you find buyers for your product without selling it?

First, you have to find a non-intrusive, yet easily seen, way for people to find your product or service.

Second, you have to answer truthfully, but without hype, when people ask what you do for a living. And you have to be ready to clearly show them how you make money and how they can, too.

All this is part of what some have taken to calling your “sales funnel.” I don’t care too much for the characterization, but the concept is sound. So instead, I prefer to call it your “interaction funnel.”

Creative Commons License photo credit: Michael | Ruiz

Your blog, of course, is your funnel. What you want is a number of people actively commenting, participating and interacting on your blog. Some of those folks will ultimately find their way to join your opportunity, buy your product or use your service.

This will happen in one of the two ways mentioned above. They will either see the link to your opportunity or they will simply ask you about it.

The link to your product or service should be in the sidebar in your blog. Seldom, if ever, should you mention it in your blog posts.

When people are interested in your blog, they’ll take time to look around. They’ll notice the items in your sidebar and, if they think the items in the links will help them, they’ll click on them.

I prefer simple links to buttons or graphics that look like ads, but try a variety of methods to see what works best for you.

During the course of your conversations, there will occasionally be opportunities for you to discuss your opportunities. For example, someone might simply ask what you do for a living. When they do, you can give them a quick overview and simply refer them to one of the links in the sidebar or just give them the link yourself.

Some folks will also mention challenges they have. If you have a product or service that might help, you can point them to it. Make sure that you don’t include any hype or pressure. Also, be sure that what you’re offering will help them.

As people make their way down your “interaction funnel,” just be sure they don’t lose their way. A gentle nudge is OK, but don’t push it. Let people move at their own pace.

Eventually, the ones who get to the point of joining your business will know you and you’ll know them. That relationship will form a partnership that will make your businesses stronger and your lives better.

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