Marketing / Social media

Online promotion: Don’t shoot yourself in the foot

Observing discussions in our forums is very occasionally an abject lesson in how not to conduct online promotion. I bet we’ve all seen this scenario.


To succeed as a soloist there’s no doubt you need a fair degree of self-confidence and yes, there are times when trumpet blowing is simply too hard to resist.

But what guidelines should we follow when interacting with a new group of potential clients?

The temptation to get super-promotional is understandable. After all, there you are, needing more customers and there they are, seemingly waiting for your product or service. Online, these ‘opportunities’ pop up all the time.

But they’re not waiting for you are they? You may be ready to sell, but they’re not necessarily ready (or willing) to listen – any more than the woman being wolf-whistled is pounding the pavements looking for a boyfriend.

One of our very active and super-helpful forum members, Emroy, recently put it this way:

"One trap with marketing online is that it’s too easy to drop in, spout your message and then dart off somewhere else, wrongly assuming you’ve sown a seed that will bear fruit."

“Just picture yourself, sitting at a table at a restaurant, talking between your friends. All of a sudden, some random person you don’t know comes over and starts trumpeting how interesting and wonderful they are and insists the whole table should listen. Do you think the table would? Or just want that person to shut up?”

I think we know the answer. Before jumping in anywhere with our sales message we need to give close consideration to the context.

Want more articles like this? Check out the social media section.

No matter how hungry we may be for business or how excited we are by what we have to offer, it’s madness not to observe and listen before leaping in with both feet.

One trap with online promotion is that it’s too easy to drop in, spout your message and then dart off somewhere else, wrongly assuming you’ve sown a seed that will bear fruit.

In truth what you’ve done is broadcast your naivety and shot yourself in the foot.

Online is instant, building credibility is not.

What say you? Share your thoughts on online promotion and watch your feet.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.


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