A talented woman markets herself well, and as a result, her work is in several popular magazines. She adds some online classes. All this is good. Then she connects her blog to her Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Second Life until you cannot escape her. Endless repetition of links to her classes, her YouTube channel, her other classes, her Etsy site. Did I mention her classes?
She does. A lot.
Finally, although I admire her style and like her work, I hid her updates on Facebook, de-feathered her on Twitter, and unLinked her. I still get the RSS feed to her blog. Every day the drumbeat is similar: a few spaces left in class X, new video on YouTube, another invitation from the Like Page, requests to vote for her ebook, book review and weekly photo entry. Oh, yeah, 4Square has declared her the mayor of her town’s Monster energy drink shop.
Her work is excellent, but like the over-eager salesperson who stands too close, says too much, and pushes hard, all the repetition isn’t working. In fact, it’s having the opposite effect—it’s driving clients away.
What’s missing? A few things. She (and maybe you) might want to:
1. Tell a good story. Story-telling is an art. I’d be a lot more interested in someone’s classes if I knew what her inspiration was, what she was thinking when she created it, what delighted her and how she goofed in making it wonderful. Your clients want to relate to you, not feel engulfed by your talent, ability, and product. Good marketing makes your audience want to know you and your work, not be overwhelmed by it.
2. A different approach for different social networking sites. Twitter has a different audience than FaceBook, and most people who use social networking a lot have a dashboard like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, and don’t want to see the same information worded the same way across all social media outlets. Use a teaser with Twitter, a friendly touch on Facebook, and a tell people where those links will take them.
3. Be a little less available. I remember when everyone posted what they were having for lunch on Twitter—it became the scoffing point for doubters. Now I’m seeing hundreds of people telling me where they are every minute of the day. I’m not your mom. If you are an adult, you don’t have to announce where you are every minute. Otherwise, I’ll start replying to you to play nice, keep your elbows off the table and say “thank you, I had a nice time” before you leave.
4. Post links other than to your site. The “walled garden” approach to websites is dead. Don’t move it onto Twitter or Facebook. Adding useful links to sites other than yours gives you credibility and proves your discernment.
5. It’s a conversation, not a lecture. The best marketing involves a relationship between people. When you broadcast a steady stream of high-intensity information and don’t listen, you come across like the adult voices in the old Charlie Brown videos. Wah-wah-wah-wa-wa-wah. Breathe and let your clients talk back. Listen to what they say. They are asking you for something you can give them. Your attention.
--Quinn McDonald is a marketing writer and creativity coach. What ad or commercial makes you want to buy a product?