A friend and I spent some time talking about her business. The next day I received a lovely thank you note from her.
“Thank you for your generosity yesterday Bruce – You really got my wheels spinning in creative ways. I can get some interesting URL options based on our conversation. I wasn't sure which one to use but I think I'm going to go with the one I've used on LinkedIn because those announcements bring in lots of notes of congratulations.
Here's one I thought you would really appreciate – “Love your brand story and consistency! All the best in your continued endeavors.”
That got me thinking, maybe that's the right storytelling to get people interested in my business.”
I wrote back:
“Hah!! I've fallen for that exact same “online Atta-Boy” for years.
It finally dawned on me that I don't care how many nice messages I get.
I don't care how many likes I get.
I don't even care how many shares I get (even though I know shares can lead to virality).
I care how many paying keynotes I get.
Let me explain:
I was describing my online brand building activities and once I talked about my frustration that all of that online activity didn't result in any demonstratable business. When I was done, someone much smarter than me weighed in: “It's a simple choice. You just have to decide if you want to be famous or if you want to be rich.”
Most of us say we want the later, but we spend our time pursuing the former. I think the big uptick in my business started when I accepted – and changed – that paradigm for myself.
Of course, that's just my experience. Your results may vary.”
Despite all the hype you hear about marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, most of it is just an endless cycle of computer clatter. And while the virality and awareness might turn out to be profitable, chances are it's just a whole lot of people making a whole lot of noise. Or, as Harry Nilsson sang, “Everybody's talkin' at me, I don't hear a word they're sayin'.”
Getting FB Likes or Twitter Retweets might be good for your ego, but they're not necessarily good for your business.
Facebook Likes are nice, but you can't send them to your mortgage company to cover your monthly bill and you can't use them to cover your kid's college tuition or rent a chateau in the South of France. What matters is being noticed, being contacted, and being hired.
As onerous as this might sound, the solution is quite easy. You get Likes and Retweets because you post pictures of you and your friends doing the fun things that you want people to see you doing. When you do this, your friends and followers respond in kind, letting you know that they appreciate what you've done. But if you want business leads and sales, you have to change that paradigm. If you want to monetize your posts, you have to start posting things that tell your potential clients what you can do for them.
It's as simple as that. Showing people how awesome YOU are, makes you feel good, but it doesn't bring you business. Showing people how awesome you can help THEM feel makes them feel good and it brings YOU business.
All you have to decide is what you prefer – do you want to be famous or do you want to be rich?