How to Build your connections and grow your business

girls-friends

I have been tinkering around Facebook and twitter, trying to find new ways to grow my brand. And here is what I found out.

Facebook Likes are almost useless

Tweeter followers are almost baseless.

No am not lying or trying to make things up. If you have a website and want to use internet marketing to increase you client base, then stop spending money on ONLY facebook ads or twitter ads.

Why?

Because, unless you are a gossip site, you will be discouraged by the results. To better illustrate what I am saying let me give you an example:

You are at a great party, sipping your favorite drink at the bar section. Suddenly a complete stranger walks up to you and says, “Hey hi. My name is Josh. And I have something I am so sure you will like.” And just like that, this complete stranger brings out something from his pocket, sticks it in your face and starts telling you all the benefits of that “something from his pocket”.

How will you feel?

Like you are suffocating? Like you want a breath of fresh air? Like you want to be someplace else but within a mile of “Josh”?

Why? Because you don’t know him, you don’t care about him and you certainly don’t care about whatever he is thrusting in your face.

That’s exactly how people feel when they see your ads on Facebook. When they are browsing through their newsfeed and suddenly see an ad with an unknown business name, that is you intruding into their party time. When that ad goes on about some product they have no clue about, that is you thrusting ‘something from your pocket’ in their face.

And to take a breath of fresh air, what do most of these people do? They ignore your ad and look someplace else – (Wow! Look at that cute little kitten. OMG, is Kim Kadashian naked again?)

But Facebook and Twitter are not completely useless, if you know how to use them. From my tinkering, I found out that Facebook and Twitter (and most social media platforms) are great places to build and solidify your connections and use these connections to grow your business.

Now let’s go back to the party scene. You are silently sipping your favorite drink when you hear someone call your name. You turn around and to your pleasant surprise you find best friend and colleague at the office, right behind you. You squeal with joy and the two of you embrace. Then the two of you do a little chatty talk. Then you notice there is someone beside her. You ask who he is.

“Oh, am so sorry,” she says. “This is my friend Josh. We met at that expo I told you about. Guess what? He has this amazing product I think you need. Josh, why don’t you show her.”

Then Josh brings out the product from his pocket and starts talking about it. For every two sentences Josh says, your friend adds a supporting statement. Then your friend ends it by saying, “I have tried it and I loved it. You should try it too.”

Tell me the truth, wouldn’t you be greatly tempted to buy the product even though you have never met Josh before?

And be honest, you probably never felt like bolting away from Josh’s presence. You probably enjoyed all that chitchat too.

See the difference?

When a stranger is introduced to you by someone you already know, that stranger turns into an acquaintance instantly and a firm foundation for a better promising relationship is built.

And that is how Social Media should be used if you want to get the best results. You should market your products by using an achiever’s influence

Who is an Achiever?

An Achiever is a person who has accomplished a lot in their industry, is well-respected and has a huge following. Want examples? Steve Jobs was an achiever with a massive following and he was greatly respected for being innovative and visionary. You can’t make three sentences about top-selling mobile products without mentioning his name or his company Apple. Oprah Winfrey is an achiever. Her show touched and changed millions of lives, her grass-to-grace story inspired and liberated many women. Mo Abudu is an achiever, with a huge following and she has inspired many to forget their limitations and pursue their dreams. Tony Elumelu is an achiever and has helped many entrepreneur fund their startups.

Imagine when these achievers with tens of thousands of followers mention you to their audience? Let me tell you what will happen because I have experienced a similar occurrence:

1. You will get massive visits to your blog/website.

2. You will see a spike in the subscription to your newsletter and autoresponder lists.

3. You will feel lesser resistance when you talk about your product to your new audience. Its almost as if they want to hear about your products.

4. You will experience a spike in sales of your products after the achiever recommends you.

5. You will observe that you spent less money and achieved better results than Ads would give you.

So you see the advantage of an achiever introducing you to their pack of followers. You spend less money and you get more sales. WIN WIN!

But there is a little problem.

How do you get achievers and influencers to introduce you to their friends and followers? There is one way to do it: you befriend them first.

How to befriend an Achiever.

I must give you fair warning though: Befriending an achiever is no walk in the park. This is because a lot of people are clamouring for their attention. What I advise my clients to do is to start with the small fishes. Achievers fall into three groups: There are the small fishes, then there are the medium-sized fishes and there are the big fishes.

fish

The Small Fishes:

Small Fishes are those achievers that have set themselves apart in their locality, community, industry. Within these small establishments, they have proven to be different and are respected. They also have more recognition and a large number of followers compared to their peers.

Examples of Small Fishes are

  • people who have fan pages with 10,000 to 99,999 followers.
  • people who are moderators of active groups with more than 1000 members.
  • Recently published authors who have shown their expertise in a field and whose books have been downloaded more than 1000 times and have at least 50 amazon reviews to prove this.

These people are easier to meet and befriend.

How do you befriend them?

  • Follow them on twitter, like their page on Facebook
  • Find out their website and visit it.
  • Subscribe to their newsletter.
  • Each and everytime they release a post, read the post/article and drop a relevant comment (very important)
  • Be active on their social media platforms, contributing, liking and retweeting moderately.
  • Do this for at least 5 months before you ask to guestpost for them.
  • After guestposting, humbly ask for a mention of one of your products to their audience.

Now you will notice I said that its very important to drop a relevant comment on their website. Bloggers love comments on their posts/articles.

But not just any comment like, “Hey hi. Nice article. Can’t wait for the next one.”

That is not a relevant comment, its a spam comment. It shows that you didn’t even bother to read the article at all.

If you really want to get in a blogger’s good books then, read his/her article and drop a comment that shows you read and learnt something from the article. Do this regularly. That is why I said, you should subscribe to their newsletter. This way you know immediately they release an article and you can rush over to their site, read the article and drop a comment.

Notice that I also said you should be active on their social media platforms. But don’t do this in a spooky way. Do not comment or like all updates on their social media. That will look desperate. Instead comment or like or share most of the updates so that they notice you but at the same time you don’t appear to be spammy or desperate.

The Medium-Sized Fishes

Medium-sized fishes are upcoming stars and celebrities. They are the people that are just beginning to catch the attention of top news channels like CNN or even the attention of established big fishes like Oprah Winfrey (and yes I am ‘unapologetically’ a huge fan of Oprah 🙂 )

Medium-sized fishes have accomplished the following:

  • Built a huge following of a 100,000 or more followers on facebook, twitter, or any other social media site.
  • Are proud authors of many books/albums/movies that are just beginning to sell like hot cakes.
  • Are well-established in their industries and widely known as experts.
  • Can charge crazy fees for the simplest services and yet people rush to book them.
  • Have spoken in one or more events or seminars.

These upcoming stars are not easily approachable. Your best bet? To be recommended to them by a small fish that they respect. My advise? Start building a relationship with a well-known and respected small fish.

How to befriend a Medium-Fish

  • Follow them on all their social media platforms and subscribe to their newsletter.
  • Comment appropriately on all their content (whether on social media or on their blog)
  • Attend a networking event you know the medium-fish will be attending. Make sure you know a small fish that is a mutual acquaintance and hence can introduce you to this upcoming superstar.
  • When introduced, try to find a pain point they might have and offer to help free of charge. Do not forget to mention that you have been actively following and participating on their social media and website.
  • After you have offered help and your help received high praise, seize that opportunity to ask for an introduction of your product to their huge following.

The Big Fishes:

These guys are celebrities. Everywhere they go people are scrambling to have a selfie with them or have their autograph. Contacting such people is near impossible because all communication is routed through their PAs. Your best bet? Get recommended to them.

If you impressed a medium fish well enough, you will definitely be recommended to these celebrities once the chance presents itself.

So there is my advice. If you want your business to succeed do not rely on Ads alone. Use connections with Achievers to improve your sales. To be able to do this, befriend an achiever. To ensure you don’t get frustrated while trying to catch Oprah Winfrey’s attention, start with the small fishes.

Maximize the exposure from the small fishes and the medium ones will take note. keep excelling while pitching the medium fishes with a carefully thought-out strategy and soon, those medium fishes will not only be your friends, but will be recommending you to established celebrities.

To drive my point home, do you know any popular musician whose first interview was with CNN? Nope. They all started out begging local stations to cover them. But with time, as they rose to fame, CNN now has to call their publicist to book a time that will be favourable to the popular musician.

That’s how it is with business. When you are starting out, you might find yourself begging people to listen to you and care about your products. But with the right strategy you could rise to the popular musician’s status and be like Microsoft who has newspapers rushing to cover any news about them.

Did you love this article? Then share so that it could help another person find out how they too can improve their business sales.

 

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Chioma Anozie
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Chioma Anozie

Chioma Anozie is a positive thinker and a serial entrepreneur. She loves to inspire and lift up entrepreneurs by helping them succeed online. She works one on one with her clients to give them the tools to achieve their goals.
Chioma Anozie
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3 thoughts on “How to Build your connections and grow your business”

  1. I like how you use fishes to illustrate your point. makes it easy to understand. I have never considered that my marketing tactics could be suffocating to my customers but I guess you have a point there. But I do agree that knowing the right people makes selling your products more easier.

    1. Hi Floxy,

      Glad you picked a few pointers from my article; teaching and inspiring entrepreneurs gives me joy 🙂

      And yes, knowing the right people can make a huge difference in your business. Thanks for stopping by dear. Look forward to seeing you again.

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