Alexana and I attended the opening cocktail for the French Weeks 2017 here in Miami a week ago. It was held at the home of the Consulat Général de France à Miami (ooh, fancy). They served eclairs with foie gras, Rosé, macarons, tea from the garden of Marie Antoinette, and gold speckled raspberry chocolate tarts. It was my kind of party.
Around 75 degrees, late October, and very low humidity. We had several tropical storms this year between August and November, so the pleasant weather came as a surprise.
One of our clients is a board member of the French Chamber of Commerce here in Miami and invites us to multiple events throughout the year. Although I don’t speak French, I try to attend as many events as possible. Best case scenario, most of the guests are willing to speak English with me – worst case, I get to dress up and eat desserts all night. Not a bad consolation prize lol. To be honest, this is a major part of Darling’s secret recipe…
When it comes to subtly selling our packages there are two things that are very important. (By subtly, I do not mean doing an obnoxious sales pitch trying to attract the attention of every business owner in town – I mean, gently letting people know what we do and how it might help their business IF they seem like a good candidate).
So back how we subtly sell our services, becoming active on social media is my first piece of advice. I used to really be really active on Instagram. Got around 13,000 followers and was averaging 600-1,000 likes per post. That’s pretty good for a “nobody” from Missouri, with no business or product to sell, an average wardrobe, and mediocre confidence. Social media boils down to one thing, consistency.
You can post almost anything and eventually it will catch on. If you post often, with a consistent theme, and lifestyle – even better. That’s it. There’s no magic to it, even though people will tell you otherwise. I don’t sell very expensive social media services for that reason. It’s a very easy, yet time consuming thing to do. If you go where your audience is, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, or Linked In – you’ll eventually sell a lot of items and gain traction. Time and consistency are all you really need.
I was blogging regularly about femininity, and I started a Youtube channel that I never really did anything with. I got my Facebook group up to about 1,600 subscribers and sold some e-commerce items like jewelry and clothing for a while.
But when I opened Darling, my audience shifted. I converted to posting on Linked In rather than Instagram and had to change my post strategy. Linked In is a much more “mature” network compared to Instagram. There is greater buying power, an older crowd that values reading longer posts, and people are much more interested in B2B services rather than products. They’re passionate about reputation, social prestige, and world news. Instagram has a lot of teenagers, who are into makeup and dating drama (still a good network for industries like e-commerce & motivational speaking).
My second piece of advice is to attend as many events as possible. At these events, I rarely pitch our services. I guess I could, but it’s always awkward.
My strategy has been to appear at as many events as I can, in a position of authority when I can (sponsor, guest speaker, etc), and wearing something memorable. After attending 4 or 5 events, especially in a small city, you’ll become very recognizable.
There’s power in being present and being consistent. Today, there are so many distractions. So many businesses and business owners who only care about themselves, and their bottom line. as a customer, you can feel the lack of attention to detail. In the same respect, you can feel attention to detail and genuine interest in the customer’s well-being. We have to be careful not to let our desire for success interfere with integrity to our customers.
So when Alexana and I attend events, the purpose is not to attract clients or to even tell people what we do, and why we can help them. The purpose is simply to make an appearance. The greater objective is to “appear” frequently, dressed to impress, with lots of content on the back end so that people can do their research, and call our office. Prospects will find interest in our branding, our work, our publicity, and the service will sell itself. The purpose of attending events is to spark interest, or what I like to call subtle selling.
When you think about it, we’re all selling our personal brand or product all the time. In dating, in politics, in family affairs… We’re either selling people on becoming more like us, or discouraging them with our actions and results.
Celebrities are especially good at this. Can you imagine Rihanna having having cramps during that time of the month? Or Nicki Minaj falling out of bed in the morning? But you know she does. These celebrities have a first, middle, and last name. They’re real human beings with real problems, and preferences despite how they’re portrayed in the media. We’re all characters in the media of our own lives.
When we envision these extraordinary people, we associate themes, feelings, colors, etc. They’re not normal people to us. A friend even mentioned how he doesn’t hold celebrity crushes to the same standard as normal people.
I found this so strange. But then I thought…
Everything boils down to branding & positioning. We do not sell our services. I’ve found intentional selling to be ineffective because most markets are either saturated or new, and both present challenges that will affect growth. There is one main reason selling is less effective than branding.
Being sold to is unattractive. People like the chase, they like to work for things, to hope, and to be led. Even in an industry as transparent as medicine (or supposedly transparent), there’s a certain amount of info that’s just not going to be available through a quick Google search. This gives the doctor an undeniable appeal, much like a celebrity. The more prestige, the better.
So attend events, be merry, live peacefully and harmoniously. Subtly educate people about what you do and what you value. They’ll catch on.