Suddenly, thousands of people (now almost ten thousand) were liking me on social media.
All it took was a touch of misguided energy and a few frivolous comments during my lunch break.
In the last post, I told you the whole story. I also showed you two ways you could become famous on a social media channel. If you missed it, you can read all about it here.
But there’s a drawback to fame, especially for the social media fame that’s so easy to acquire:
Most of your followers, the people who give you upvotes and likes on social media, will never be customers for the products and services you offer.
Lucky for you, there’s a better way. There’s a great asset that you can build, which will bring wealth and predictability to your business. If you are an artist, this is the secret to gaining 1000 true fans, and more.
Let’s make this simple. Suppose you run a coffee shop. There are at least three different kinds of customers who will walk through your doors:
- The regulars. These are the people who come in at the same time each day or each week, and order the same thing. If you know enough about your regulars, you can make a fairly accurate prediction of how much revenue you’ll earn, at minimum, every month.
- The fans. These people aren’t regular, but they know you’re in business and they like your coffee. When they happen to be in the neighborhood and they want to grab a bite to eat, your coffee shop will be one of their first choices. If they happen to hear that you’re offering a special, or hosting a poetry slam or some live music, there’s a good chance they will show up.
- The foot traffic. They are in the neighborhood. But they may not know you exist, or if they do, they don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. If they happen to walk by while they’re thinking of coffee, you might get their business.
Most businesses focus their marketing efforts on building more foot traffic. But I know my readers are more sophisticated than that.
Your marketing strategy should be obvious. Turn the foot traffic into fans. Turn the fans into regulars. There are a lot of ways you can do this. Start a Facebook page and encourage every customer to join. Ask them to follow you on Twitter, and then tweet photos of your delicious food and drink every day. Get ratings and reviews on Yelp and other sites.
Whatever business you’re in, you’ve probably started doing something like this. But there’s a limit to how effective you will be. Almost nobody will find you on Yelp unless they are actively searching. Facebook posts and tweets have a very short half-life.
And what happens when Google changes their algorithm, Facebook changes their policy, or your fans and followers shift their attention to a new social media platform you know nothing about?
Your influence can drop to zero overnight. And it might take weeks or months to recover.
Bulletproof marketing secrets from the Bold Words Cafe
Lucky for you, there’s another way. Let’s go back to my favorite coffee shop, Bold Words Cafe, and see what they do.
When you go into the Bold Words cafe, the smiling barista is going to offer you a few extra goodies. Now, don’t confuse this with some kind of loyalty or incentive program. You’ll be missing the whole point.
Bold Words Cafe (BWC) might offer you a special stamp card, where your 10th drink is free. They’ll give you a VIP invitation to all of their live music and comedy events, maybe even a free download of some of the highlights from their best shows. They’ll let you in on their “secret menu” and regularly give you special coupons and deals.
All they ask in return is your email, so they can send you all the information, news, and links. All the cashiers and baristas are trained to do this. They keep making offers, and try to get the email of every single person who comes through the door.
Even if you’re just foot traffic, there might be something in the bundle of goodies that appeals to you. If you’re a fan, you’ll almost certainly be interested in the offer. If you’re a regular, then this is a no-brainer.
Now look what happens. BWC has your email and your name, at minimum. And you gave it to them because they offered you something that you want.
In other words, everyone on that email list has an interest or desire for something provided by the business. It’s a solid gold list of prospects.
This is why you should build an email list for your business. But don’t just take my word for it.
Corey Dilley, the Marketing Manager at Unbounce.com, says “Email marketing consistently generates 80-90% of our landing page traffic when we launch a new campaign, piece of content or product feature.”
Noah Kagan, founder of the 7-figure business AppSumo.com, states that “90% of our revenue comes from emails”
In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing delivers an average 4300% Return On Investment in the U.S.
If Google crashed tomorrow, Facebook declared a moratorium all commercial activity, and Twitter was taken over by communists, you could still keep promoting your business, getting back $43 for every dollar you spent, just by using your list. It could be the end of the world as we know it, and you would feel fine.
Do these three simple things and watch your own list grow!
Let’s leave the Bold Words Cafe, and see how a list could work in your business.
If you’re using any kind of social media, you can simplify things by thinking of it as “foot traffic.” Your upvotes, followers, and “likes” represent one person getting exposed to you one time.
At a bare minimum, you should give these viewers a way to sign up for an email list. Here’s a fast way to do it:
- Put a prominent email sign-up on your website.
- Make sure all of your social media profiles include a link to your website.
- Add all your existing customers, past and present, to your list.
If you do just these three things, your list will start to grow. That should be enough to keep you busy this week.
In the next few weeks, I’ll give you some ideas on how to create incentives to get more prospects to join your list. You’ll get some ideas on what kind of emails to send out to your list. I’ll even hand you the blueprint for a sophisticated system that automatically attracts and signs up new prospects for your list.