Social Media Marketing: You Have to Give to Get

These days, content seems to be king. But in order to get the eyes you desire, it seems that you have to provide lots of free content first.

I like to explain to my clients who wish to market themselves that they have to prove their value to their market-base. Look at it this way: it’s the same as applying for a job. If you are looking for work, you have to present a resume that proves that you have the education, the experience and the skills to do the work.

Social media and the Webscape works the same way. Unless you have an established brand behind you, you will have to prove that you can provide value first, before you can even think of making a sale.

All great entrepreneurs have had to start the same way: they had to prove that their product was worth buying. In the past, they had advertising firms to help them promote their products or services, today, the field is leveled. Anyone can promote their services on the internet, so several new hurdles have developed.

One hurdle remains from the past: an image of professionalism. Branding and professional design cannot be underestimated. One of the new hurdles that brands have to face is the idea of providing value. One can do that through providing useful content.

This is why blogs and micro blogs are so important today. The ideal blog is updated often; so it is valued by both robots (search engines) and by loyal followers. The trick is to give away valuable information without overburdening (the Twitterer who posts too often) the viewer or giving away the farm.

My recommendation is to update a blog at least once a week, and to update a Twitter account 2-5 times a day. I have noticed a huge range of Twitter habits; from once a week to once every half-hour. Someone like Guy Kawasaki seems to update constantly, something that I don’t mind only because his updates are interesting to me.

As to the subject matter of the content itself; make sure that you hold to your declared subject, the narrower, the better. Unless you are a movie star with a huge following of loyal followers, avid for the latest tidbits about the intimate habits of your poodle, it is preferable to have a smaller following of targeted members than a huge following of people who can’t remember why they started following you. These people are the same ones who drop you like a bad date.

What is the final purpose of providing all this free information? That is for you to determine. You may want to get them on your newsletter, which you should also provide for free, in most cases. Or you may want to make an immediate sale. You will have to determine how to best ask for that sale. Perhaps you don’t want to even do that, perhaps you allow ads on your blog or website, and that gives you revenue.

Some people don’t want to sell anything at all, and these people are simply helping establish their name and their brand. Many users on the internet expect only free information, so this may be a marriage made in heaven.

Many people are concerned about giving away information, especially if their main product is information. This is a valid concern, but it takes a bit of finessing to be able to give away valuable information without giving away your product. I prefer to err on the side of generosity: I give away valuable information because I believe that it is necessary to be generous in this life, but also because my generosity and sincerity are two of my most commendable qualities.

I know that the right client will be attracted to me for the right reasons. I give away a great deal of information, because I know that the right client will be attracted to me by the quality of my work, and by the truth that resonates in their hearts. A potential client who does not resonate with my words will drop my newsletter, and will never become a client. That is OK with me. I want only clients that appreciate what I can do for them, and listen to my advice.

Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr

“Envision a New Future.”
Life Path Consultant / Creative Projects Advisor.

I coach artists, designers, authors, and entrepreneurs. With a solid background in marketing, design, coaching and writing, I help individuals throughout the entire creative process all the way from developing their personal vision to establishing their personal brand and marketing their product/service.

If you have a creative project that you want to develop, market, or promote, contact me via email. References are available upon request.