Sunday Short: Social Selling Requires Careful Balance

Social Selling: Can The Social & The Sell Meet In The Middle?

Social Selling: How Can We Find The Balance?It’s a delicate balance. If you sell too much you might sour the relationship, but at some point we all must remember that we are engaging in social marketing because it can help attract attention to the products and services which, when sold, help pay the bills.

Somehow it’s become taboo, and somehow crass, to promote your business on social media. It’s “supposed” to be all about what you can give to the relationship. But, let’s be honest. Bills still have to be paid. Groceries still have to be purchased. Sometimes this girl wants to splurge on fancy coffee!

Sharing your expertise isn’t hard selling. There’s a big difference between shameless self promotion and showcasing your products and services. Give away and share, enough to show your knowledge and expertise, then softly sell the next step. Yes, it’s social media, but it’s still business.

At some point your services and expertise can no longer be “given away”, unless you have a hefty trust fund and don’t require the fruits of your labors to include dollars and cents.

What/where is the middle ground? What tips smart social selling into shameless self promotion?

Mallie Hart

Mallie Hart

Creative Director at Go Creative Go!
When Mallie isn’t contemplating the creativity of her graphics design work at Go Creative Go!, she’s crafting creative social designs for her social media clients as the Media Barista. This coffee chugging, pretentious hipster music listening, book devouring, mountain biking social media enthusiast thinks there’s something creative to be found in each and every business and entrepreneur. Color connotation, word choice, alliteration and a canny ability to think themes are but a few of the weapons she holsters as part of her social design arsenal. The coffee pot is always on, the music is always blaring and there’s generally a snoring cat underfoot. Ahhhhhhhh…the recipe for chaos to some, but to Mallie? A recipe for creativity!Social design is more than your color scheme, font, avatar, logo and other parts of your identity. It’s the embodiment of who you are and who you want your potential followers and connections to see, know and trust. It’s about layers of tone, connotation, understanding and the ability to create the you that is genuine and more than worthy of the follow, the like, the circle, etc.
Mallie Hart
Mallie Hart

6 comments

  1. The tipping point for me is repetitive posts that are all about the person writing and how great they are (or think they are) I hate that. I believe in warming up my audience; giving great tips, info, advice, showcasing my expertise and then asking for the sale. In the past three years since I began my social media business, I have learned that getting in front of the right crowd makes a huge difference. Those that engage with me, are curious, and respect the fact that only so many free tips and eBooks can be given away and then it’s time to pay the piper become my best customers because there is trust. I so agree – we do this for a living – in my case to put one daughter through college and pay for the needs of my other emotionally disturbed child. It’s not cheap. At some point, it’s time to refocus and engage with other peeps who value me and my knowledge if I find that the same folks just want to pump me for info without compensating me. Time to move on! Nice post!
    Laurie Hurley recently posted..What Five Guys Burgers and Fries Teaches About Social Media ManagementMy Profile

    • Mallie Hart
      Author

      Thanks for chiming in with your take, Laurie. I really appreciate the thought you put into your answer. At some point a sale must be made, but it’s all about the way you lead your audience to the sale.

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  3. What I don’t understand are those long, repetitive squeeze pages which marketers use to either obtain your email address, sign you up for a course or give away a freebie. The same information is repeated over and over again with tacky graphics and a cheesy call to action. To me, it is insulting to the reader’s intelligence and I can’t understand how this type of marketing is successful.

  4. Mallie,

    It’s a great question and one that very few are willing to tackle. Still not sure what the right answer is. I think what most people like to ignore is the fact that whether you’re giving away a “freebie” or not, your ultimate goal is obviously to make a sale. I’ve always found it mildly insulting for someone to suggest this is not the ultimate point of the business. Yes, we also firmly believe in content, curation, and helping. But at the end of the day — as you suggest — if there’s not a viable business model behind what you are doing, you’re not going to be around very long. Personally, I’d MUCH rather buy from a company with a product or service that helps me solve my problem than collect a never-ending supply of “freebies” that don’t.

    Kudos for addressing the issue.

    Andy