Noah in the Age of Social Networking

Noah-2014Biblical Story
The story of Noah is well known as story about a great zoologist and ship builder. Many a retelling of the story show Noah as concerned about the people of his city as he was about his own family. He offered others a place on the boat. Yet, when the door to the ark closed, only 8 humans were inside.

What’s more, a group gathered to jeer his foolishness even as rain began to fall. They mocked his vision. They saw his dream as an impossibility.

One Lesson
Many lessons can be drawn from such a rich allegory. From the cohesion of his family, to his heart for people, to his care and housing of animals the story has great bones. I find one lesson to be particularly applicable to your business development and motivation toward production in the age of social media.

Don’t worry about who is in the boat. Follow the plan ensuring that the boat is sea worthy.

The Application
Distribution through sales and marketing is important to the development and longevity of your business. Sales is how you seal commitments for purchases or partnership. Marketing is how you bring your product to a larger pool and eventually an ocean of prospects. But, the provision of a worthy product is just as important as these. Just as the story illustrates, your product has to be sound when the flood of customers comes.

Following are some tips for redirecting your attention (worry) from how many are responding while you build content. Notice how each subtly build brand, relationships, market, and prospects.

1. Create your sales funnel. Know what you will give away for free, what you expect in return (e.g. contact info), and how you will continue the relationship. Successful sales funnels connect with the interest and imagination of the customer. They engage the customer in a story leading to and connecting with a need. Then, the funnel provides a product that fits that need.

2. Be consistent with your freemium content distribution. Consistent engagement gives your current market a reason to pay attention. It also sets a history for those who find you later. Late adopters are usually concerned about the longevity of a company as a determination of credibility. If your company can be consistent in communication on a blog or other social media page, it may be more responsive to requests for support.

3. Engage social media as a consumer not a seller. Participate to communicate person hood. No one wants to be sold. Even when they are in the market for a product, they want to be “fit.” This means they want the product to fit with their needs. Product reviews and testimonials are a typical way for this to work, but social interaction can also result in a perception of fit.

You have observed this when a prospect connects with the values, corporate actions, or ethos of a brand. You read the messages the brand posts, responds with, and engages on social media, print, and television. You begin to feel a kinship with the company. They fit. So, their product may fit as well.

4. Survey your fans. Big data gathers metrics of all sorts on customer behavior and demographics. They have complex algorithms that predict choice behavior and patterns. You may not have access to big data, but you do have some old techniques that can be just as effective.

Create a set of 5-10 questions seeking to find out who your fans are and what they like about what you are doing and producing. Knowing this clarifies what’s working so that you can do more of it. You should not worry about reaching everyone. You should focus on reaching more of the people who are like those who are already fans.

5. Find contentment in content production. Do it for the love of the art. It’s not that you don’t want to make money, quit the day job, and do your passion full time. It’s that the process you want has work, time, and content involved. While you work, wait, and produce be content. Realize that you are paying your dues. You are earning your place in the elite club of those who have built their reality from the ground up even in the face of opposition. You resolve ready for the coming flood.