This week’s guest on SUCCESS Line came in with a simple but persistent question: “How do I get people to buy my stuff?”
I talk to Mason, an entrepreneur who spent close to 20 years working in the music business, guiding artists through tours, contracts and sales. Recently, he left that world to pursue a new passion as a boutique cattle rancher—yes, really. And although it is a radical transition on the surface, both pursuits rely on Mason’s scrappy, entrepreneurial spirit.
We often think we’re starting over, but we’re actually just reinventing ourselves, building on all the skills we’ve accumulated over the years. Mason’s pursuits have been rooted in his passion and drive, both of which have taken him far. Now, he came to us to go over the practicalities of leveraging his social media and turning his followers from his music business days into customers of his beef business.
We live in a world where our communities, and thus our potential customers, live perpetually at our fingertips. So how do we leverage that power and turn it into sales? If you’ve ever felt stymied by social media, read on for my top three secrets to selling with social media.
1. If you build your own audience, you control your own destiny.
I’ll be honest: I don’t particularly enjoy being on social media all day every day. I enjoy meeting and connecting with my community of course, but social media is by no means my favorite activity. Instead, I think of it like working out—I know it’s good for me, so I make the time for it in my schedule. Utilizing social media is a necessary part of my future, so I build it into my day just like I do a morning run and a healthy breakfast.
Whoever owns the audience owns the power. Understanding this is the first big key as an entrepreneur. You need to understand the importance and power of social media in order to convince yourself to do the hard, and sometimes unappealing, work.
2. Create content you would watch.
One of the biggest mistakes people make on social media is they think their content needs to be highly produced, stylized,or fit into some sort of ‘’type.” But it doesn’t need to be anything other than what you personally would watch or find interesting.
You are your audience. The people who love what you love are also the people who are most likely to buy from you. So the sooner you can be yourself online, the faster you can make a profit. The more you pretend to be someone you’re not, the bigger barrier you are putting between yourself and making a profit. Nobody wants to buy from a pretense. Ask yourself what you personally would find interesting, and create that content.
Furthermore, if your content is interesting to you then you are more likely to keep making it. You wont burnout from the work, or drive yourself crazy monitoring how many views you got on a certain piece. Build a platform based on who you genuinely are, not on what you think other people might want.
3. Selling is about a transference of trust.
You have to understand that selling is simply about a transference of trust. And social media, though incredibly useful in the long run, is a slow way to transfer trust. It’s a scalable way, but it’s slow. If you need money in your pocket quickly, or you are just starting out, I would not default to social media.
What’s going to put money in your pocket is whatever will transfer trust in the shortest timeline.
What is that you may be asking? Referrals from people you know in real life. You need to build on the relationships you already have when your business is new and doesn’t yet have reliable customers. But don’t burn out those relationships by expecting them to be your first circle of customers. They are your circle of referrals and introductions.
Reach out to the real life people who trust you and ask them to refer their friends or family to your business. The trust they have in those relationships will transfer to you, and that transference of trust is so much more valuable to you than a one-off purchase.
Once your business has legs, you will be able to get referrals from customers. But at first, the fastest and most reliable way to build trust is to reach out to and build on the relationships you already have.