Srsly, when did we?? I'm going to risk sounding like an 80 year old while I type this blog post out ... because it has to be said:
WHEN DID PEOPLE STOP FEELING LIKE EFFORT WAS NECESSARY??
I am soooooooo sick of seeing Facebook posts about getting on somebody's 'sales team' ... really?? That's the *most* effort you are willing to put in? 50 posts a day (that aren't even witty enough to make me read the entire thing) on your Facebook feed to entice people to get involved in your pyramid scheme of sales?? And it's not just the sales team people! I see Facebook posts all the time from business owners that say something along the lines of ... if you're looking for a photographer in Pittsburg, hit me up! << srsly??? That's the best you can (or are willing) to do??
When I started out as a wedding planner in Seattle in 2006 << this is where I start to sound like an old lady << I had to make COLD CALLS to set up REAL LIFE MEETINGS with other professionals in the area. Crazy, right?? Back then it was called:
INTRODUCING YOURSELF AND MAKING A CONNECTION WITH ANOTHER BUSINESS OWNER
So weird. Now, here's the issue ... people today think that's creepy and gross ... yeah. If I 'cold called' someone today that I really wanted to make a connection with or learn more about, they'd be weirded out by me ... so as the next best thing, I write REAL emails to people first to ask to hop on a call.
HEATHER, WHAT'S A REAL EMAIL??
IMO a real email is one that is about THEM. It's not about YOU. It's something like:
I've seen your work all over and am super impressed by you! I feel like my clients could benefit from the services you provide and would love to learn more about what you offer so that I can spread the word! Would you have a minute to hop on a call?
I hate getting emails that are all about the other person first ... that are asking ME to get to know THEM ... It's so sales pitch-y and a major turnoff.
Look, with all the ways we can get ahold of each other these days:
- Instagram messaging
- Facebook messaging
- actually calling on the phone
It's crazy that making a REAL connection using REAL effort is leaving this world ...
HERE IS MY ADVICE:
If you want to make real connections with people to advance your business to the next level(s) then stop making it all about you. This pitch doesn't work:
DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS LAYING IN BED WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED WHILE PEOPLE FEED YOU ICE-CREAM LIKE I AM!!?? ADD YOUR EMAIL IN COMMENTS AND I WILL SEND YOU INFORMATION!
^^ this is the problem with today. Can you become an overnight success these days with all the tools out there at your fingertips? Sure ... but the chances are less than 1% unless you have amazing relationships with real people.
So how about we all start making them? Putting in the effort? Be around and talking to HUMANS rather than asking them to send you their info so you can send them info all about you.
Here are 4 actionable ways to do that:
- Find a local venue or restaurant in the area that is less than a few months old. Introduce yourself either via email or on the phone - tell them how you would love to spread word to your clients about their venue and would the owner or owners be up for meeting up so you can take a tour and ask them some questions. While you are there you might take it one step further and plan a shoot at the location that will benefit an entire team of awesome people.
- Has a new bakery opened up near you that also offers wedding cakes and treats? Go by and buy something << yeah, buy something << Instagram story your experience or take a photo and plug them on your Instagram about how good it is (only if it really IS good << that's key) and then follow up a few days later with an email saying you loved the experience of being at their bakery and you'd love to set up a call to discuss more so you can refer them business.
- Start a cocktail night once a month in your local area for people in your industry. Make it on the same day each month so people can plan ... for instance the first Thursday of every month ... don't make it be about WORK! It should be about having fun, hanging out, and getting to know each other as people.
- Stop by a local floral shop and buy a bouquet. Bonus points of you are a photographer and style it up all cute for a photo ... plug the company on Instagram and then email them the photos for their portfolio saying how much you loved being in their shop and would love to stop by again sometime and introduce yourself.
Looky there, I just got the ball rolling for you with 4 very easy to do ideas. Are those ideas for everyone? No. Is everyone in a position where they need to do that? Heck no! If you have been doing your job and have REAL relationships then you should be golden! But these ideas are still great to grow your network of people ... just sayin' ... think about it.