It gives me one more reason as a nice Jewish girl to feel guilty about something. I know better than to give you excuses. We make time to do the things we find important. Each excuse would only indicate how many items rank above in priority the very thing I’m trying to be excused from; in this case being a good digital friend.
I haven’t been reading the blogs I should; I haven’t been social online; and I haven’t been working on community.
I received this from a friend:
I was reading your blog today. I am so impressed with your content. If you have a chance, I would be appreciative of your feedback on my content. Here is my latest post. I love sharing your blog posts, and I intend to do more in the future.
If you think my content is worth sharing, I would be SO appreciative of you sharing within your social network (Linkedin, Twitter, or G+).
I was reminded recently that it is important to step outside your comfort zone and simply ask. So, I thought I would do that with you 🙂
There was a time a message like this would have made me defensive. Instead I was appreciative. This friend isn’t saying they won’t share my content if I don’t share theirs. This friend is pointing out (in my own words) that I am not being a good digital friend. Rather than write me off and think of me as a jerk, this person made it easy for me to make it right by telling me exactly what I could do. .
Boom. Sometimes our people: Friends, family and customers don’t have time to figure out the next step. Are we doing our part to help them understand? Stop being so shy about making that ask.
In this age of the “soft sell,” are you underselling yourself? It’s near criminal to promote or sell anything. I did a webinar the other day and was asked not to come across as selling any product – even a product for which I had no affiliation. Their audience gets upset if they feel like we are selling them something. So, we tiptoe around the topic and sheepishly, often apologetically offer products and services, if at all. Sometimes, we don’t even do that.
Maybe it’s my communications background. I love a straightforward message. Because we tend to play games with our spouses, our best friends, our employers, our staff. “If they don’t know by now…. (what I need, what makes me happy, etc), then it’s their fault not mine.
I don’t want to play a guessing game anymore. Tell me what you want, and I’ll tell you what I want. It takes the guesswork out, the weird dynamics, and ideally, we all end up with what we want.
If you don’t ask what for what you want, how will you get it?
Whether it’s for our business, or our personal brands, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we aren’t doing something motivated by achieving the next step. Every action we take desires a next action – and if we don’t help people understand that next action, we’re playing games.
In marketing, we call this the call to action. I like thinking of it in terms of saving people time, and helping them determine what’s next. In other words, stop being so shy asking:
- “I’m looking for a job.” This is what I’m looking for. If you know of anything, I’d appreciate an introduction.
- “I want to do more speaking.” This is what I can offer. If you know of anything…
- “Here is an interesting piece of content.” If you like what you are reading and you found this helpful, please consider buying my book, signing up for a webinar, subscribing, booking a room at our hotel, BUYING FROM US.
- Thank you for subscribing, registering, or buying, you might be interested in reading this, looking at this, going back to see this.
- “Honey, I’m having a freak out, here is how best to deal with me.”
Your audience can then decide if that’s what they want to do. Of course, your first moves and the way in which you showed their next move is a huge factor in their decision to move forward.
If they think you’re asking too much, they’ll move on. Someone will pitch a fit and spend a lot of time lambasting you. Most of us will just move on and not return. Other’s will give you another chance.
If you’re doing it all right, you’ll get what you ask for.
Hey, speaking of calls to action, have you subscribed to this blog via email? That’s what I’d love for you to do. Right in the box below.
Image credit: YayAdrian, Flickr, creative commons.