HomeBusiness5 MarketingDigital reputations, social media, and relationships

Startup entrepreneurs look for exposure for themselves, their product, and most of all their company. It’s a never ending part of marketing and you look for any and all chances to “meet and greet” with others that you can share a common connection with. A friend posted a link in the middle of June to an interview they did, a great interview, too, and I thought I’d make the same connection. I contacted the company with a one sentence comment (Hey, you interviewed my friend **** about her new book, would you do the same for me?) about the potential for an interview using their online contact form because in this internet age, a shorter introduction is better. It’s about respecting other people’s time.

BAM!

I got a quick reply just a few minutes later. Impressive to say the least, even in the instant internet age.

If they quickly replied, so should I. I started to reply to their email, “Thanks for such a quick reply. My book covers from a person’s ‘idea’ to ‘Grand Opening’ and how to use the Mac tools, including using it for social media ….” and then I was about to point out the connections I would make and how I might be a good fit for an interview, when ….

BAM!

This opportunity door was slammed shut.

No sooner had I started my reply to their email and I got a brusque email six minutes later saying that discussing my book was “not the right fit for my audience. We do social media and online reputation management, not mac for business.”

Well, let’s see here. Michael Geber of “E-Myth Revisited” fame talks about the three levels of thinking in any business, see if you can see how I was going to make the connections for her in my second contact via email:

  • Business Owner – Strategy (Social Media)
  • Project Management – Tactics (When, where, how, what, etc. to work social media)
  • Technician –  Tools (Mac tools: Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc. and other social media tools. Oneforty.com has a link to a list of Mac social media tools)

So, do you think she missed out on potential opportunities? At what level could there have been a connection between my content and her business? Could we have started a conversation? Could there possibly be a connection between my blog readers becoming potential customers for her or vice versa?

I was going to talk at all three levels of a business and using social media and tying in Mac tools for the interview for her blog site (including the list of Mac tools) and entrepreneurs using these tools to help them see the benefits of managing their online reputation. How else does one work online? With a computer, using Windows, Mac, or Linux. You can’t work an online reputation management without one. Online reputation plus Mac or Windows. Fits.

But Michael Gerber missed one piece of his puzzle: People. Friends. Close friends.

She missed the connection as well: All three levels of thinking applied toward online reputation management: strategy, tactics, and tools.

Some business is transactional, I buy from the company and then move on, not wanting to connect. Most are orientated toward relationships, our online and offline social networks. My friend got an interview, who I have a lot of respect for, maybe I could, too. Relationships are built one person at a time and I work on not doing name dropping, but having a “connection” can offer potential opportunities.

On this online reputation management’s web site they state they handle their reputation with “I control this link. I control this link. I control this link.” Managing your online reputation is one thing, but a significant part of any reputation is a relationship, both online and offline.

You handle a reputation by handling the relationship.

Otherwise, a person becomes a transaction.

Read my future post within the next week about my story about “Enchantment and disenchantment” and Guy Kawasaki and others and you’ll get my complete meaning of what others, both businesses and customers see as a transaction, versus a relationship.

So, while this company manages their reputation and can “bury” any negative internet publicity with their internet talent, and it is regularly done by experts, most of my close friends will now know about this internet company and how they handled me.

I thought about my one sentence “intro” and if I should have done something differently, but her “tone” on her web site indicated I was not out of line. So, while she can bury any negative “word of mouse” online reputation, she will not be able to stop my negative “word of mouth” comments. IF I choose to say anything. But, the damage is done.

So, what “crime” did she commit? She stopped cold taking our relationship to the next step: My 30 second email pitch.

She has every right to stop it, but if you believe in marketing, you may not want to shut down that part of reaching out to more potential business, you have to keep your sales funnel full, unless you have so much business that you can choose to be more picky.

I agree with Ken Blanchard, “Feedback, he says (a number of times, in what must be one of his favourite motivational catch phrases) is ‘the breakfast of champions.’ ”

Oh well, reasonable people build real relationships (we’re all human) which build real reputations, both online and offline, not contrived ones.

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