One of our clients sent an overwhelmingly passionate plea the other day. We’re helping her develop and sharpen her blogging and social networking strategy and she wrote, “Can’t I do just a little selling on my blog? Maybe some product images in the margin? A little. Plleeaaasee?”
I thought this was a bit humorous, but I knew exactly how she was feeling. The minute someone tells you NOT to do something, it’s flipmode style. You then become hell-bent on doing the very thing you think you’re not supposed to do. It’s like a tick or something. Adam and Eve had the same deal.
My response to our client was, I believe, appropriate:
“Of course you can have ads for your products on your blog! Put two or three. The whole idea is not to be a sales eunuch, but rather shift to understanding and appreciating a more conversational sale.” (Well, that’s not the WHOLE idea, but baby steps with the clients, eh?)
I’m of the mindset that it’s OK to put links to products in your blog posts every now and again, obviously as long as it makes sense contextually. I suggest that our clients ask themselves: “If I mention this product, is it supremely helpful, or am I just advertising?”
And then, shazam, I made the connection…THIS is why so many people are scared to death of social media. THIS. THIS. THIS.
Pixel by pixel, social media is separating true thought leaders – people with something truly genuine and insightful to say – from the phony vacuous parrots because part of the social media “success formula” is being comfortable enough to let your thought leadership (read: your ideas) sell FOR you. (Thankfully, our client can run circles around everyone in her industry with her ideas – she just needs the right encouragement, like anyone else.)
This is why most brands would rather buy ads on Facebook. They’re scared to death of the eerie glow of an empty creativity container and they’re slowly realizing that, all this time…all this time of the 50’s, 60’s, 70′ 80’s and 90’s…they’ve been relying HEAVILY on ads. And, now that ads are no longer good enough, the two questions that’s got them keepin’ the lights on like Motel 6 is:
Can we stand on our ideas? Do we even HAVE ideas worth sharing?
Help. Does anyone see us?