I hope our last conversation spurred you to take another look at your website: does your website speak the right lingo? You know how you want to feel when you land on someone’s website. Do you think your audience feels that way when they land on yours?
On to this week. It’s true that I continue to get most of my leads from social media (LinkedIn). I believe a good part of the reason is that I have learned its do’s and don’ts. But while you can knock on the door with social media, a newsletter (or blog) opens the door and gets you inside. Here’s why.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
The 2019/2020 BVR Firm Economics and Best Practices Guide is finished. And as an advisor for BVR on this project, I saw the amount of effort that went into the publication. If you participated in the survey you already received the free Executive Summary. The full Guide is now available in PDF, and the print version will ship in early March. You can get more details here.
The case for social media
Let me say this right up front. Social media can be incredibly efficient. And relative to 1:1 meetings, which can be incredibly effective, the case for social media is simple. It allows us to:
- Provide evidence of our credibility
- While sharing glimpses of our personality
- To hundreds or thousands of leads and prospects
- In less time
- At less cost
Further, scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite mean you don’t have to be sitting at your computer when you send out valuable posts to your audience … making social media usage even more frictionless.
But I have become warier as more stories come out about why social media itself is exploitive and how the companies that run the various platforms have a business model based on selling our privacy and data for profit. (We are not the customer; we are the product.) That is why you won’t find me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. And I am only on Twitter to get practice development ideas from sources that I can transfer to a BVFLS setting.
Why newsletters are better
I have put my stock in weekly newsletters. So while the social media updates I post are meant to be short and sweet and get me noticed, my long-form newsletters allow me to build credibility with the people who recently subscribed but are still getting to know me and to increase validation with the people who are long-time readers.
Here are some other advantages newsletters have over social media:
#1 – We pay a fair price for the email software. That allows the email service provider to make enough money in that business model so they don’t have to sell our data.
#2 – We own our email list data. Want to change email service providers? We can export our subscribers’ information and import it to another service. Try porting your Facebook fans or Twitter followers to another platform. Can’t do that because each platform owns and controls the data.
#3 – We control the reach of our email list. When we send out an email, it will reach every one of our subscribers. Social media platforms can (and do) throttle our reach and charge us to “boost” our posts to the audience we built.
#4 – Email service providers don’t track our every move on the internet or target us with ads about products and services we Googled a day ago.
#5 – Emails don’t go away if we don’t check our inboxes for a few hours. We can read them later – easily – because they are “there.” But how many of us scroll through our social media feeds to see who posted what while we were gone?
#6 – Email metrics are better. Open rates let us see what percentage of our audience read at least some of our message. Social media “Likes” don’t require us to read anything.
#7 – Social media is designed to be addictive. In fact, it counts on it. Email is designed with “mission accomplished” in mind.
#8 – Don’t want to receive any more emails from a sender? Hit the unsubscribe button … done. Want to stop someone from showing up in your social media feed … the companies make it purposely hard to do (it’s like trying to exit a casino).
At the end of the day, email has been around for 30 years, and I don’t see it going away. And attaching a newsletter to an email is the surest way I know to get your best content read and build your authority with an interested and invested audience.
Social media is valuable.
But my usage is transparent … it is the gateway drug to my newsletter.
In real life
Craig Mod wrote this in an article for WIRED magazine:
We simply cannot trust the social networks, or any centralized commercial platform. Email is definitely not ideal, but it is: decentralized, reliable, and not going anywhere—and more and more, those feel like quasi-magical properties.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.