Buy me a drink before asking for sex – a lesson for Twitter

sales-guyI’ve noticed that the majority of people on Twitter are only focused on building up sheer numbers of followers, regardless of quality. However there are a small minority who actually care about building relationships.

Those who genuinely want to start a relationship generally send me a personal, direct, non-automated message once I start following them. For example:

Hey Rodger, reply to me @richardr if you could recommend another fun and smart person to follow.

A nice touch. But there are also those who are sending me direct messages under the guise of relationship building, generally to build a business of some sort:

Thanks for the follow! Would you like to know How to Get 16,000 Followers in 90 days & Make Money?

You’re the ones I want to talk to.

If I’m following you on Twitter, I probably either find you:

A. Interesting (worth following/generating relationship with); or
B. Likely to follow me

Whichever one it is, it doesn’t matter how you communicate with me, whether it be through Twitter, the phone, or in person, one thing I’ve learned as a marketer is that no one likes the high pressure sales guy – no matter what you’re selling.

So even if you’re trying to build a business through Twitter, try working on our relationship first. Make me feel like I’m worth connecting to, then I might be more likely to check out your wares. When your first direct message to me is already selling me something, it’s akin to walking up to me and asking me for sex after merely catching my eye in a crowded room. It may work with a few people, but your conversion rate might be a bit better if you buy me a drink and get to know me first.

How to start your own business in 4 hours

business-schoolI work for a fairly entrepreneurial agency, where we are consistently coming up with new ways for our clients to do things with respect to their operations, sales, marketing or business processes. However, we rarely redefine ourselves, or if we do, it seems the redefinition moves at a pace that would make government agencies blush. Now I know this isn’t actually the case with us (I’m just impatient by nature), but while I am feeling like we’re moving at glacial speed I daydream about what it would be like to have my own business. I envision how the employees would be compensated, or what the culture would be like. Trouble is that often, like many people, I don’t have the foggiest what I’d actually sell or produce, or how to get this product or service properly funded.

Worry no more. I just came across a few great blog posts that are here to help.

The 6 month MBA blog has a new list of 999 business ideas. Some are a bit far fetched, but some are downright brilliant. And as they say, success is in the execution.

Once you’ve browsed through this site (I was inspired by many, but #31, the Santa Delivery Service, #51, Google for video and audio and #129, a themed restaurant where you sing Karaoke in front of a live band, were particularly inspiring), start writing your business plan. Doesn’t have to be lengthy – for tips visit Guy Kawasaki’s site. Then submit it to Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who has recently put out an offer for open source funding for business plans. If he likes your plan, he’ll fund it for a piece of equity.

Happy brainstorming.