Many of us entrepreneurs don’t really like social media and the need to put ourselves out there every day. But we know it is a tool that, if you can use it correctly, allows you to grow your clientele and even make some friends.
The funny thing is that I have always been told how much better LinkedIn is for business than FB pages. And I must say I am a bit disappointed the direction LinkedIn is taking. It used to truly be for the small business entrepreneur, but now it has become a pure selling machine. I flood your inbox; you flood mine. This is basically what we do without ever connecting with anyone. How many people know at least 100 people on each of your professional social media platforms? I believe the answer is almost none.
I recently started to use FB Messenger and LinkedIn to see if (a) I could grow my future clientele and (b) make real connections. Most of those I contacted, however, did not want to take 10 minutes of their day to talk to someone on their LinkedIn at all. And those that showed up, often ended up only wanting to sell. When they noticed you are not interested, they are done.
For the last 2 months, I've been trying to talk to the people who connect and ask them what they are passionate about and then tell them a bit about the Dare to Be Bind movement. And that is it. I have been able to connect some of these people to others in my network because I thought they’d be a good fit.
Recently, I had a very kind, beautiful Swedish lady on the phone through LinkedIn. Her husband had told her to not answer my message. "It's spam. You'll see," he said.
But she did answer, and she was so surprised when I told her that I would love to talk and set up a time to chat.
See, this is what is amazing, we don’t even expect there to be a real human connection. We are so inundated with sales pitches that we can miss out on a vital opportunity to get to know someone… That part is sad because I can tell you that in the last 2 months I have made at least 10 connections that are real and meaningful, which to me is worth it. Are they my clients? No. But they are fun and like-minded, and who knows what the future brings?
But there are those who have set up phone calls on Zoom with me, who did not show up or email to reschedule or explain why they were not there. And here is the problem, we don’t delete them because we all want to have a so-called "big" network, but is that useful? To have people on your LinkedIn or on FB that are never going to communicate with you and show no interest in your message or product?
What are we doing? Why have these people on our social media platforms that are not at all aligned or at all interested? Is it to have higher numbers on our social media accounts? That is very sad indeed.
Many small entrepreneurs are already a bit isolated, working from home or from different public coffee shops. The truth is, we need the trickery to stop so we can create real relationships. It is the only way we are going to get real connections.
I was gladly surprised that there are people comfortable enough to let me know during these last few months that they, too, like my new Swedish friend, are unhappy with the way LinkedIn is changing. However, the only way to create the change we seek is if we each make the effort to get to know the people in our network before sending sales messages that they are not at all interested in. And, I'm guilty, too! It is because I started sending messages that I realize this is not the way to do it.
We all crave true human connection! Let’s pick up the phone and reach out to a connection that we've not yet spoken to!