Facets of growing up I remember fondly are my addiction and skill at Taito Space Invaders, the Sunday ritual of watching “Bullseye” and believe it or not, the enjoyment of “Family Fortunes” and “Catchphrase” before the internet existed, as there was little to do, on a council estate near Doncaster.
Or anywhere else for that matter.
I think if “Catchphrase” was to be relaunched tomorrow, modern day words and phrases would emerge like “gammon”, an overweight Brexiteer, predominantly male, harking back to an imperial age of Enid Blyton and open racism of “Mind your Language” and “Til Death us do Part.”
The contestant could shout “Racist” and Roy’s replacement could say “It’s good, but not good enough.”
Other phrases like YOLO could make an appearance, as well as social media selling, which I admit is far-fetched, but it’s what I want to explore after this random opening.
I get asked to run my eye occasionally over websites and some give me access to their WP login and I’m often unsurprised to see little has been done with SEO, sitemap submission, keywords, alt tags etc and the clients think, fix that and I’ll be quids in.
SEO does need attention yes, obviously, but, in my experience, over the past 5 years, is that investing in PPC is about as lucrative as placing a card on a board in your nearest One Stop.
More measurable, yes, more expensive, yes – as fruitful yes.
Unless you’re selling something someone is specifically searching for to buy – a particular laptop for example – you’re not going to get someone to sell their house with you based on a page one Google ad.
This is where social media or social selling comes in.
One in four of your social posts should be selling, experts say. I reckon fewer. I advertise the fact I’m a copywriter and web designer on this optimised website and its six connected and active social media channels, but I don’t overly sell my services.
Yes I’m like that kestrel hovering over a verge eyeing mice, but I don’t connect with people on LinkedIn or Twitter and launch into a canned, scripted sales pitch.
I hate cold calls, but a scripted message is worse in my opinion, because you can’t simply hang up.
I’ve no formal training in sales, but I can spot bad sales techniques a mile away and I think, given that this business pays for a lifestyle, I can’t make schoolboy errors in selling or in the quality of service I provide.
The key to social media selling, in my view, is to join in, not hover like that kestrel and drop some inane sales pitch in and fly off, but join in and contribute. You don’t have to add value or be the equivalent of beige trousers or vanilla ice cream, as many experts state, but you do have to contribute, which shows what you’re like and your commitment to communication.
I had a Homer Simpson epiphany a few months ago and shared it on social and it went sort of viral with a reach of over 100,000.
It stated something like that I realised I was good at selling, because I’d had to sell English as a teacher to tough clients – teenage pupils in challenging schools. If I could make them listen to poetry, buy into “A View from the Bridge” and “Macbeth”, surely I could convince businesses and start-ups to buy into copywriting and web design, without being one of those awful teachers who moans about respect yet treated kids badly and provided lessons that were dull.
Social selling is selling without selling.
It’s selling, if you like, by stealth.
The people I connect with may not need a website now, but they may in the future – or someone they know may.
If you’re helpful, sociable and knowledgeable, then selling socially will be easy.
Pestering, haranguing and repeatedly selling your services makes that difficult.
My business is now successful, but it’s been a long haul, a marathon; but I’ve held true to my principles when selling literature to demanding school clients and I’m not going to change that formula now.
No call to action either you see at the end – you know what to do, if you need help, I don’t need a pesky internal link.