Ever since I gained a certain level of visibility and credibility in the marketplace, I’ve been bombarded with private messages and e-mails from people who want me to promote their books, products, teleseminars, live events, telesummits…
I’m particular about who and what I promote. I only share people and products I have personal experience with. I only share things that have helped me and improved my business. If I connect with someone or read a book that just didn’t help me, I’ll be darned if I’m going to promote that to my subscribers and followers, just to get a fat commission. I’ve never believed in promotion for profit. It’s just not my style.
But what bothers me most is that I regularly receive requests for help from people who have befriended me on Facebook, never said “hello,” and then sent me a message a couple of weeks later asking me to promote their new book and help them get to “bestseller status” on Amazon.
Why would I do that??
Why would I ever promote someone I don’t know? Why would I promote content I haven’t reviewed? How could I possibly recommend someone I don’t know and maintain my own integrity and authenticity?
I imagine there are people who will promote anything, thinking that associating themselves with someone they perceive as more successful makes them look more successful. It doesn’t.
So here’s the scoop: if you want people to promote your products, here’s the way to do it:
- Create really solid content. Don’t hold back. Give everything you’ve got and make sure you have a good editor (for print or audio).
- Form strong relationships with other entrepreneurs and small business owners who have the same target market. Look for complimentary businesses to form alliances with.
- Talk to people. Get to know them. Comment on blogs, Facebook pages, articles, and show your support.
- Bring value to the table for other people before you ask them to do something for you. Believe it or not, things like what I mentioned in #3 are ways of bringing value and forming a relationship with someone. I remember the people who post comments on my Facebook status updates and blog posts.
- If you want someone to promote your product or book for the first time and they haven’t seen your content before, send them a copy of your work before asking them to promote it. You might end up with a great blurb for your book cover or web site and you might also gain a fan.
Ultimately, the most important point I can make here is that if you’re using social media as a business networking tool, make sure you use it the right way. Remember to focus on the “social” part of social media. It’s all about the connection and the conversation.