You are in one of two camps… A business owner, or you work for one (yes stockholders count). The goal of business is really quite simple, but the execution is a much more difficult equation. The goal is to take in more money than you spend (I will let you in on a little secret… that's called profit). OK back off… that was a joke. What is more difficult, is to quantify is the process of how you get people to spend money with you, and how you manage the spending of that, to make the aforementioned profit!
So what happens is that we tend to focus on the money in business, because that is what we often define business success to be. Being in business without focusing on the bottom line is just crazy, but just focusing on money could do more harm than good! Now, would you bare with me a moment while I challenge that conventional thinking?
I believe the most important asset you have in business is people! Businesses don't do business with businesses… people do business with people. It may be less obvious in the on-line-ecommerce world, but ultimately there is still a person on the other end of that on-line transaction. The more you KNOW, LIKE and TRUST the person at the other end of that transaction, the more likely you are willing to become a serial buyer! Think about who you currently do business with… Have you met them face to face? Do you know them outside of just the transactions? Do they reciprocate the good will?
I was recently at a networking event where I was presenting about my book “It's Not About You, It's About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World“. Afterwards while signing books, a lady came up to me and said, “I hope you know that some people may be offended by the title of your book?”. I retorted, “Everyday, millions of plants are killed by vegetarians. Help stop the violence.” (implied) Eat Bacon. She looked at me as if I just landed her from Mars?
So, some people focus on the wrong part of the message… First off “It's Not About You”. Second “It's About Bacon” (not really). It's really all about RELATIONSHIPS! How do you start, grow, and nurture those relationships?
It all starts by being you and NOT your business! Being authentic is the best place to start. If all you do on social media is post about your business and your brand, people will call that out (and start to ignore you) faster than you can say “You want fries with that?”. People do business with PEOPLE! Being yourself, authentic, and accessible is the biggest key to making Social Media work for you.
What follows is three tips to getting people to to do business with you…
- Get Out There – Getting people to know you is not going to happen unless you network and meet people face-to-face. Networking, even if you are a corporate CEO, is the best thing you can do to promote your business… but more importantly, your personal brand!
- Be Involved – Being on social media is the best way to be accessible. Especially if that is where the people you could influence are! If all you do is talk about yourself, you are no different than someone who only talks about themselves in person. Comment on posts and give people a reason to comment on yours!
- Earn Trust – There are only two ways to earn trust… through delivering excellent work, or getting real and heartfelt testimonials. Excellent work means under promising and over delivering. Getting referrals means getting people who know like and trust you, to share you, your business, and services with their friends and family!
The bottom line is… Your Most Important Asset is… YOU!
What do you think your biggest assets are? I would love to hear your comments and feedback?