Last week while reading The Key to Social Media Success is Just 2 Letters, by Jay Baer, I was struck by his notion of helping vs. selling. His basic concept is that by giving, developing those initially trust-based relationships through sharing and being helpful, clients will come to you when they move beyond DIY mode. This makes a lot of sense to me because I am not a sales person. At all. It takes a very specific skill-set to walk into a room and walk out with a signed contract, and I don’t have it.
However, I am a helper (some might say enabler; tomato, tomahto). It’s easy to forget about these opportunities to help in the midst of maintaining clients, creating proposals and day to day business tasks.
Jay refers to several good examples of companies creating something helpful that leads not directly to sales, but indirectly. Nationwide Insurance’s iPhone app for on-site accident reporting, Geek Squad’s YouTube channel, I won’t go through all the details here since he’s already done such a beautiful job in the article (you can read it here). They position themselves to become your go-to in those instances where you need that next level of help.
He recommends doing a “helpfulness audit” of your company. So we did. We realized that in the process of creating our new Training Lab series (currently in development) there were several opportunities to create screencasts of some of the core elements involved in setting up various social media initiatives.
Currently I am deep into developing our Facebook Training Lab. Some of our clients already use Facebook on a personal level, but there are many out there who don’t, and even more who don’t use it for business. As I began outlining the structure of the Facebook Training Lab, I immediately identified four topics about which we could create free screencasts. These topics may seem simple to some, for others these will be akin to a foreign language. They represent the core building blocks for creating a Facebook “fan” page. Here is my list so far:
- How to create a Facebook Page for your business
- Intro to fbml for Facebook
- Creating a custom landing page for your Facebook Page
- Adding admins to your Facebook Page
By offering these out to the world, we can help people create their own Facebook Page (for the uninitiated, “pages” are for businesses, brands and interests, “profiles” are for individuals). If they stumble or want to go to the next level, we’ll be there. By opening the door we open the conversation.
Now it’s your turn. Consider doing a about a helpfulness audit. How do you rate? Where could you and your company be more helpful in your space?
We’d love to hear about your progress, and will keep you up to date on ours.