About two years ago Gary Vaynerchuk exploded a truth bomb in my brain and I haven't been the same since. (Now mind you - he said what he said FOUR years ago, but I'm slow.) I owe Gary quite a bit, and while he doesn't know I'm alive, nevertheless his little bit of video pushed me to write my first article on LinkedIn.
If you can't spend 2 minutes and 55 seconds on the video above, here's the jist:
The thought that [a small number of social media followers] can somehow be irrelevant is ludicrous. The absolute number just doesn’t matter...And I’m not talking about going viral...You just need to get in front of the right person. Hell, you could have two followers… Oprah and Obama. Now all of a sudden that follower-count feels a lot less important, right? This absolute number thing is stupid. It’s very stupid.
Up to about two years ago, I was a successful "traditional" salesperson - I cold called, I warm called, I emailed, I followed up leads from marketing - the whole shebang.
But I saw things changing - the customers I met were different now, they were more savvy, more informed and pretty over exposed to to the tried and true ways in which I had learned to sell them.
I thought and thought about it. But not just that - I spoke to friends, colleagues and even customers! (GASP!) After all of that, I ended up having a couple of acorns rattling around in my brain about how to sell in the New Normal.
I shared some ideas with people who knew me personally. A lot of these people thought I had some decent ideas, they thought that I had something to say - they thought my "tune" had a good beat and they could dance to it. They said, "Derek you should write something and post it online."
You see by that point I had read a lot of sales content online - written by people that wrote 34 books or had 100K followers or asked for $1000 a pop for tickets to their seminars.
Who the hell was going to listen to me? I had about 250 connections on LinkedIn!
I was a nobody. I never through social media could help me sell my "stuff and things."
I was wrong. As I listened to the video from Gary, I decided to quit making excuses and just send content out into the world.
And two years later, are things very different.
Now, let's be clear....I'm not someone who has 100,000 followers - and I'm not even someone with a verified twitter account! If you are interested in hearing from someone who has a million twitter followers, I ain't the guy.
But for me, for what I do, I don't need either of those things to create interest and demand for ZynBit - because whatever I write online, whatever I do in social media, all of it is an attempt to give, as Gary says, "51% of the value" of the relationship to my Obama and Oprah followers.
Over these past couple of years, I've learned a lot and if you're interested in the nuts and bolts of what I did, and continue to do, to build social media profile that concentrates on 1) good content and 2) value for the audience, then please join me for the following Webinar this Friday.
I found, and continue to find, my Obamas and Oprahs - let's find yours!