A few months before Black Enterprise magazine featured my digital sales strategy in its TechWatch feature “Make Money The E-Marketing Way,” there was the talk of Sales 2.0.
This upgraded selling tactic would morph into the term: Social Selling. I hadn’t named my online selling tactics, but it didn’t stop me from using them.
As outlined in the article, I leveraged online relationships to build my personal brand as an occult novelist with a penchant for giving relationship advice.
By writing blog posts focused on relationships woes and how to overcome the hurt; I grew an audience on several social network websites and message boards. Intuitively, I knew:
- Building an audience is the first phase
- engaging and growing relationships with your audience are the second
- offering what you have to sell is third
- maintaining and strengthening those relationships is the fourth phase.
The fourth phase is the most important. Those initial relationships are who (not a typo – relationships are between PEOPLE) you’ll need to grow your audience and expand your territory.
By developing and cultivating relationships through social networks, selling my novel was a breeze. And it was for one simple reason:
“People buy from people they know and like.”
I never pitched my book as a tale of the occult because when it came down to it, the book, I wrote, is about intimate relationships. It’s a story of how the characters cleared or tripped over, love hurdles. My audience was interested in dating and romance. The occult angle was nothing more than seasoning.
Today, people are busy selling everything from A to Z through social networks. Unfortunately for many, the “social” part is absent. Many are forgetting, in Social Selling, relationship-building comes before sales.
If one doesn’t know to whom they’re selling, then how can they understand what they need?
How is it possible to give them a proper Customer Service?
It’s nearly impossible.
Therefore, let me help you build a community for your readers. There you can develop a solid relationship with them first, and you’ll never have to “sell” another book. ~ Mel Hopkins, The Leadstory