The marketing tactic that’s doing your business a disservice

Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist, specializing in lead generation and content marketing.

OPINION: I will not recommend a particular marketing strategy or tactic to a small business owner for one main reason.

Once I hear about their goals and plans, I’ll know that it might not be the best fit for their business, even if they want to try.

Instead, I will offer them an alternative option that better suits their goals.

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Sometimes I suggest something that I personally would never do. I know I have a particular fondness for low-effort activities, big rewards, and really practical, easy-to-do tasks.

I’ve built quite a long list of actions and ways of working that fit into the rest of a busy working life.

For example, I will tend to offer and teach a simple lead generation technique rather than a complicated high-energy technique.

But sometimes I know that a more complex option is more suitable for the business owner, and he has both the ability and the capacity to do it, although personally I would not want to do it myself .

All marketers will naturally have a penchant for certain ways of working. I might tell you that you can email your list as often as you want, as long as it’s good and value-driven, while another marketer might tell you that more than one times a fortnight is too much.

I may not agree with this advice, but that doesn’t necessarily make it bad advice.

However, some marketing tactics need to stop. They’re almost universally hated by recipients, often break the rules, and can do your brand more harm than good.

Rachel Klaver:


Rachel Klaver: “Some marketing tactics have to stop.”

Most of the time, I prefer to focus on what we should all be doing rather than what we shouldn’t be doing.

But the idea of ​​this column, and this week’s MAP IT Marketing podcastcame from a very persistent stranger who kept messaging my personal facebook profile selling me a business system.

She was completely oblivious to why it was not acceptable to do so, and judging by the sheer volume of similar messages I receive every day on LinkedIn, Instagram and via email, I know that she is not the only one.

Cold messages (those that are unsolicited) are against the terms of use of Facebook and other Meta platforms. Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen, but it does mean you can report one if you get it.

It is also illegal to send them by e-mail and they are considered spam. LinkedIn is a bit trickier because you can pay to send promotional messages. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.

The woman on Messenger first said she got my details from a Facebook group, which is often against a group’s rules as well. This type of behavior can get you banned from many groups.

After checking the name of the group and seeing that no group existed, she admitted that she used software that helped her find leads on Facebook. And yes, again, this also violated Facebook’s Terms of Service.

It’s a reminder that just because we can doesn’t mean we have to.

Using other people’s Facebook groups to grow your following is something I teach and encourage. However, I’m not suggesting that you DM anyone without first getting their approval.

If someone wrote a message asking for help and your business can respond, reply to the message, add value and information, then ask for permission to send them more information via direct message. Allow them to choose to receive it.

The added value part is an important step. Often you are one of the many offering your services. If everyone is just linking to their business page or sending that unsolicited message, you’ll stand out as someone who’s already invested in their success. The relationship of trust that we need to build has begun.

I am quite laconic with anyone who sends me a first message. It’s even worse if the message starts off innocuous, then transitions into a full sales pitch in message two or three.

It reminds me of when I was trying to pitch a project and pitching it on a dance floor. My dance partner leaned over and told me to “just dance and enjoy the moment”. (He may have said it with a few swear words.) It was a real reminder that there is a time to build relationships and a time to sell.

If our marketing approach is to simply send cold messages and send cut-and-paste messages to anyone we can find, it's both intrusive and generic (file photo)

Stephen Phillips/Unsplash

If our marketing approach is to simply send cold messages and send cut-and-paste messages to anyone we can find, it’s both intrusive and generic (file photo)

My whole marketing philosophy is that we should always respect our audience and let them come to us in their time. I call it creating a sticky web of content, where we’re the friendly spider waiting for them to come to us.

If our marketing approach is just to send cold messages and cut-and-paste messages to anyone we can find, that’s both intrusive and generic, which isn’t the word we want when it comes to marketing.

The only way this scatter approach works is to see it as a numbers game. Years ago, I worked with a businessman who said, “A new customer is a customer we haven’t bored yet. »

New Zealand is far too small for this approach, and we want to reduce any potential level of irritation. You might get a few hits, but is it worth the collateral damage to your brand?

To change, the goal must change. Even if we are desperately looking for work, we have to build for the long term. Write, speak and market as if you are here to serve, rather than to sell.

If you’re writing a promotional message, make one that goes out to your audience on social media or to your mailing list. If you want to promote someone, make sure you already have a relationship with them.

The place to sell if you need to generate sales quickly should only ever be within your existing network, where you already have rapport, trust, and the relationship to be able to ask.

If Facebook groups are a place you go to find potential customers, instead of waiting ready to pounce on whoever seems to need you, focus on adding value to that group instead.

Once or twice a week, take a useful tip or tip and post it in the group. You don’t need to add “and therefore buy from me” at the bottom. People will see it and notice it

The place to sell if you need to generate sales quickly should only ever be within your existing network, where you already have connections (file photo).


The place to sell if you need to generate sales quickly should only ever be within your existing network, where you already have connections (file photo).

I still get quite a bit of work from members of a Facebook group that I haven’t been a member of for over five years. The regular guidance and value I added to this group so long ago still brings me warm leads and great clients. This method has lasting benefits.

One of the tips I give to anyone who introduces me in the first LinkedIn post is to take the time to engage with me on my posts first. Show me that you have read my profile or my messages in this message. And don’t be in a rush to sell me then.

If that sounds strange to you, maybe think of LinkedIn as an online version of a networking night. Nobody wants to be that person who jumps from person to person, hands out a business card, and gets their 60-second pitch before moving on.

One of the best things about social media is that you can show your values, what you do, and why you do it to an audience rather than one person at a time. So use the platforms as they were intended, with your posts creating an opportunity for people to connect with you and your message.

When you’ve interacted and connected with someone you’ve interacted with in the comments, those people will often take a look at your profile and may ask to contact you.

They’ll see what you’re up to, and they’ll give interested signals such as making comments like “great post, I needed this” or similar – and then you can message them and ask if they’d like more information from you.

The key is to take it slower, take time to build rapport, and always ask permission before jumping in with your offer. Then it’s time to relax and believe that if the person is open and ready, they will want what you have.

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