By Stewart Dawes
Your nervous gut instinct might form the opinion that these con merchants don't intend to be around when you discover that all their smooth lines about "four-part sales processes" are just smoke and mirrors designed to bluff you in to sitting enthralled, taking notes rapidly and then discovering only weeks or months later just how difficult it is to even get a hundred targeted "likes" onto your Facebook business page.
Forget the bluffery of "just grab a stack of likes" - the process of liking a business Facebook page is ultimately voluntary - and what these Facebook forgerers don't want to tell you is that most of the 700 million people on Facebook are there to catch up with friends and family, look at baby photos, play WordTwist or Farmville, or just to hide from their own insignificant lives. They're NOT there to be marketed to and truly don't give a shit about your company.
But But But ... Facebook is ... Wonderful ...
Before we go any further, I'd like to change tack and get away from what some cretins do for a moment, and get back to the basics:
1. Social Media is awesome
From My Pain to Your Gain ...
So I'm able, for the first time in my life, to be able to sit back and think a lot about where my potential new arrivals are coming from, and I've identified a very clear trend - many are "refugees" from various online marketing courses, workshops and conferences which have hyped them up about selling things - or their services - online.
And pretty much universally, they've been led to believe that with just a few final steps, namely a small spend on SEO and ideally outsourcing a bit of social media (because most of them have no inclination to have to stoop to getting their hands dirty with it) they're only a few final processes away from millions of dollars of work-free revenue that they'll be earning while they sleep.
Having found myself, in my SEO role, in the firing line of such demanding expectations, where even outstanding SEO achievements are dismissed with a grunt as they always want the next top Google ranking - as they keep pointing at the financial scoreboard 2-3 weeks into an SEO campaign (for Chrissakes...), it's time I put an alternate vision in writing so I don't have to explain this perspective over and over again.
Especially I resented having to explain the cold light of day repeatedly from 50 angles over many months to sad, disillusioned and downright angry business owners who're realising that their millions-in-three-months is now going to to take their active participation in a further 12-24 months of grindingly focussed co-operation.
To ensure that our workshop attendees are people we want to spend a few hours with (deranged biz owners, we'd rather you went with someone else) I like to pre-empt people towards a calm and positive state of mind by asking potential attendees to consider:
1. If you're not interested in developing a Facebook plan that's at least 12 months in length, even if your budget is just 26 dollars a week, then probably you shouldn't be bothering with social media.
2. If you personally are not willing to commit a ridiculously bare minimum 10 minutes per weekday to interact as part of your business profile on Facebook, Twitter and/or Linked In, then probably once again you shouldn't be bothering with social media.
3. If you don't have an plans around meaningful articles and SEO, even just 2 hours per week, then again I'd advise > don't bother with social media > because your website needs to be the ongoing focus of at least 50% of your online marketing (if you're not sure about that, I'll explain 100+ reasons why at the workshops).
4.If you have big issues around "I'm not sure Twitter is worth it" then you need to air all them well in advance of any online campaign, because you're seriously missing the point - and you need to work through your negative issues and get to a place - however small it might be - of accepting that Twitter is here to stay and it genuinely is where millions of professionals are interacting both locally and globally right now.
5. If you're not prepared to use your personal Facebook profile - albeit demurely & subtly - as part of your armory during an entire 12-month Facebook business campaign, then you're off the mark.
6. If you really want to know how to make a significant success of your business via Facebook, then come to at least one of our workshops and we'll blow your mind with how it's going to happen.
What Else will we Discuss?
But there will be sensible discussions on such issues in non-jargon ...
Every attendee will leave the workshop with a set of plans which they can implement without torturing some poor SEO operator like I used to be (before I learnt to fire that type of client) with far-fetched non-practical non-thought-out demands. You'll also have immediate, workable and very affordable outsourcing solutions clearly mapped out for you so your Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In profiles will grow "while you sleep" and a plan for what to do with them when they've been given the air to grow - so you'll be able to step into your social media profiles when they've been well-grown for you to "put the icing on the cake".
Other subjects covered will include much of the inspiring information included in this page: 50 of the best articles on social media.