Okay, I’m a little miffed here, and I’m calling people on the carpet today…
I have it set up to feed my blog posts to my page on facebook.
So in a recent post, I posed a question – and the answer, with a redirect to additional resources.
And wouldn’t you know it? The VA of a very prominent direct sales coach posted on my facebook page with a pitch for HER products and services.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sharing relevant content and cooperation in the industry.
But this was using social media the WRONG way.
I deleted the post.
Not because I think poorly of the coach. On the contrary, I’ve used her products and services myself and recommend some of them to others.
I deleted the post because it was off topic. Completely. I was talking about using online marketing to grow your business, and this person posted back with a recommendation for something that she ADMITTED wasn’t related.
That’s the equivalent of SPAM in social media circles, folks.
So, to help her save face, I deleted the post, rather than call her and her VA on the carpet in front of God and everyone on my facebook page.
Here’s another GEM:
A different, well known direct sales trainer was promoting her upcoming teleclass on twitter. Nothing wrong with that. I think it’s important to let people know what you’re doing and how they can connect with you. Sending occasional tweets like that is great.
Then I posted something that she saw and she tweeted to me PERSONALLY with the same teleclass message – and asked me to retweet it for her.
So, because I was feeling snarky, I tweeted HER personally and asked her to retweet MY message as well.
Needless to say, neither of us retweeted the other.
Sadly, this so-called industry expert is also copy-catting other coaches, refuses to “play nicely with others” and hasn’t learned her lesson on twitter yet.
I could go on about this kind of unprofessional behavior from several BIG NAME trainers that have decades of experience in the industry – and frankly, they should know better.
But they refuse to seek out professional help to navigate social media properly and provide VALUE to their followers, instead of just advertising their services.
I predicted this trouble MONTHS ago.
“Watch, as ‘old school’ direct sales trainers, and so-called coaches start jumping on the social media ‘me too!’ bandwagon”, I said.
Consultants are watching these women to see how THEY use social media, and will imitate what they see. Sadly, I’ve already seen some great facebook groups get spammed by this kind of shameful self promotion. Anyone who tries this in my facebook group or online community gets their post deleted (the first time) or gets booted (repeat offenders).
There’s a right way and a wrong way to connect with people on twitter, facebook, linked in and other social media spheres.
It doesn’t begin by creating a page and plastering your links on every friend’s wall or Auto DM’ing everyone that follows you to try your products and services.
When I was a teenager, I got a piece of junkmail from AARP.
Yes, the retirement mag – for “old folks”.
Hey, I was 13 and had no idea why I was on their mailing list!
So I took their Subscription card, tore it into teeny weeny itty bitty pieces, placed it in an envelope with a note explaining that I was 13 and used their postage paid reply envelope to send it back to them.
I never heard from them again.
That’s what I’d like to do with these insensitive ‘coaches’ (and I’m using that term LOOSELY) who ask me to retweet all their promotions, but don’t have the common sense to have a conversation with me to connect with me as a person before asking me to help promote their regurgitated, “same old, same old” stuff.
And I know if they’re doing it with me, they MUST be doing it to their followers – whom they see as nothing more than “sheep with wallets.” To quote another direct sales trainer I spoke with.
It turns my stomach, and makes me wonder why I feel called to serve in this profession. I don’t want to be lumped in their category. It makes me want to create an entirely new category of direct sales educational professionals – ones that believe in providing value and truly serving consultants.
There are honest, genuine, authentic, REAL coaches out there that serve direct sales reps with value. I’ve had the pleasue to work with some of them. I’ve also had the disdain of working with some of the other “industry leaders” that are so catty, and selfish that frankly, it makes me want to vomit.
And I just might piss a few of them off in this post.
If you’re mad, then you know who you are, and what category you belong in.
The reason these trainers are still seeing success is because they’ve ingratiated themselves with top income earners that see their teachings as comfortable. It’s safe to recommend these trainers to their teams because the message is the same every single time you hear them speak.
And yet, it’s the number one complaint I hear from direct sellers: “these trainers keep saying the same stuff over and over again. They don’t understand that the industry has changed, and doing business today is different than it was 10 or 20 years ago when they were consultants.”
Now, in defense of sesoned trainers (I won’t even use the word “coach” because I don’t want to offend the real ones), they are doing what they know works – because it worked for them.
In that respect, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But just because it worked like gangbusters in 1974 doesn’t mean it will be as effective in 2009 and beyond. Yes, it may still work, but there are dozens more effective ways of writing than quill and ink. Quill and ink still works, but I like blogging – it’s faster, more efficient and economical in terms of scale and reach.
And now you see these arcane ‘leaders’ trudging (Some are even begrudging it!) into the online marketing/social media world. And they’re clumsily leading their ‘tribes’ like the blind leading the blind.
I feel bad for all the consultants saying “I want to learn how to use facebook, twitter, and online marketing to grow my business just like [insert direct sales trainer’s name here]”
There are answers out there that the so-called leaders aren’t embracing.
What’s my next prediction?
Watch for direct sales trainers to align themselves with social media people in new teaching programs that they can offer to their lists – even before they know what they’re doing themselves. Then they’ll start trying to jockey for being “the first” to offer a program like this in the industry to establish themselves as “the expert” in direct sales and online marketing/social media.
There arent very many of us in the industry right now – so be looking for a surge of so-called direct sales marketing “experts” to appear over the next 6-18 months. We’ve been quietly coaching and training for the past 2 years now, and after the DSA event in DC, more companies are looking for people to help them understand this perplexing ‘new medium’ for spreading the word about their business.
I also predict that you’re going to see the companies that serve the direct selling industry looking for ways to capitalize on this trend and market to direct sales companies with a social media angle.
And in the meantime, there’s going to be a flood of spam traffic to facebook groups and other social media sites that were once considered valueable networking arenas, just because people don’t know better. The great groups will consider becoming private groups, and some may just dry up altogether.
All because of ignorant, shameful self promotion.