Marketing Isn't A Spectator Sport


… but you already knew that.

So did I (or so I thought).

There’s a reason we hear the same messages over and over and over again when it comes to building a successful business, particularly an online business. I would bet you’ve heard the following two statements MULTIPLE times from tons of different ‘authorities’:

[icon name=icon-check]It’s all about relationships

[icon name=icon-check]The money is in the list

I’m only going to talk about “relationships” because without them, list building doesn’t mean much. I will share some things down the road about list building with you because it is something I’m putting more energy into and am testing a few different things, but until I have something more tangible to share with you it just makes sense to talk about the foundation for building a list.


Let’s talk about the relationships that are closest to you in your business.

Business partners, JV relationships, friends you’ve made via social media or through your business and people you work with (assistants, programmers, etc.).

Do these relationships serve you?

Are they helping you get closer to your goal or further away from it?

I’ve had a handful of relationships with people that started out as an online connection, then a friendship and then some sort of ‘partnership’. Big mistake.

I cannot express ENOUGH to you that if you’re going to form some sort of partnership (and I don’t mean legally, this is more about a specific project or product) that you really take a step back and look at WHY you’re partnering with this person.

For me, it was ‘safe’ (I was the ULTIMATE Spectator).

It’s not going to do you any good to partner with someone who isn’t going to hold you accountable or hasn’t shown that they take action in their own business. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but I think I knew in my gut at the time that the relationship really wasn’t going to help me get to where I wanted to be. Getting caught up in the excitement of something new tends to create a blurry vision, if you know what I mean (kind of like the ol’ beer goggles analogy, huh?).

It’s not like you need to look at EVERY relationship from this perspective (is this person going to help me get closer to my goal), but if you’re going to invest time and energy into a business relationship then yes, absolutely you should look at it from this perspective.

Here’s a question for you:

Have you ever met someone at an event or connected online, you start talking (or emailing) and all of the sudden you feel like it’s a one way relationship? You find they’re always “picking your brain” or just have a “quick question” for you yet they never ask if there is anything they can do to help you?

Yea, I’ve had a few of those too. I learned the hard way to stop those early on and just don’t go there anymore. And it’s not that I don’t want to help people, I do.

But this is my business.

Telling me you understand my time is valuable is NOT the same thing as offering to pay me for my time and scheduling an appointment.

I create blog posts and tutorials to help people out. When people send me a WordPress question via my support form I do my best to help them, but I can’t always get to every question. It’s actually for this exact reason that I had to start keeping Skype closed while I work. Most “quick questions” aren’t. They would end up being a 30 min to an hour conversation. There’s nothing quick about that.

Let’s move on before I start ranting and completely lose focus.

I recently emailed my list and simply ASKED people how I could help them.

Guess how many people took me up on my offer?

Less than 10!!!!

And I was pretty open to what that looked like. Maybe it was just a question, what type of tutorial would be helpful, a JV opportunity or an email introduction to someone. It really didn’t matter.

Initially I was kinda bummed.

But then it made me step back and evaluate what type of relationship I had with my subscribers. Up until the last couple of months I will be the first person to tell you that I haven’t been consistent with communicating with my list (and there are a whole bunch of reasons “why” that I could go into, but the bottom line is I was playing small, ie, from the sidelines). Have I been paying attention to WHERE my subscribers are?

[icon name=icon-hand-right]Where are they hanging out? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Linkedin?

[icon name=icon-hand-right]Have I been paying attention to my analytics? Where am I getting the most bang for my buck (and in this case the ‘buck’ is my time).

[icon name=icon-hand-right]Am I creating the right kind of content?

I know, I know. All of this seems overwhelming… SO much to do

But you don’t have to do it all at once.

Which is how I’m stepping into building relationships ONE STEP AT A TIME.

And I’m tracking it all.
What’s working and what’s not working.
Where am I getting the most engagement? (in terms of Social Media).
Are my blog comments increasing?

And, most importantly, What am I doing that is the MOST fun and I get the BEST return on?

Ask yourself what makes YOU feel good: When people comment on a post? Share something of yours via social media? Send you a quick note?

Now go do those things for OTHER people! I promise you it will pay infinitely more than you thought possible!

Since making this decision in the last month I have received email and social media feedback that absolutely makes my day! (And yes, I’m creating a raving fans page to showcase these).

I’d love to hear what’s working for YOU!

And of course, be sure to let me know how I can help you. 😉

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  1. Did you want to get me started to? I won’t though, but I am with you on doing what you love. Ever since I participated in the Ultimate Blog Challenge in January, I get so giddy when I receive a comment on my blog or an opt in to my list.

    I hope people take to heart what you have said here. There is a fine line between, genuine appreciation for your kind acts of tutorials to straight up having trolls trying to rob the vault of knowledge in your mind….

    1. Hahaha… You slay me girl!
      Loved the “having trolls rob the vault of knowledge of your mind”… classic.
      It’s SO easy to be kind and supportive! I’m grateful for people like you who support me and get it. 😉

  2. Hi, my name is Nancy and I’m a ‘spectator” and a blog lurker (is there a 12 or 24 step program for that? LOL!).
    I don’t post on my blog as often as I should, either. Maybe it’s because I don’t get many comments so I feel that I’m only writing for me. My personal FB page sees a lot of interaction, but my business FB page [] also suffers from a lack of commenting…even when I promote it on my personal page.
    I just launched my graphic design shop this past Sunday with a terrific 1st week sale and announced it on both FB pages, twitter, and a designers Yahoo! Group. Guess what’s happened so far…nada. I added a free graphic for fans of my business page and advertised it the same way and have I gotten any new fans? Nope…not even for a freebie! I’m stumped. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Loved the “is there a 12 or 24 step program for that?”. Touche’!
      I have a couple of suggestions for you and they come back to relationships (but it’s tangible too, not just theory here!). I spend a lot of time in my upcoming podcast episode (out tomorrow- episode 2) talking about this, but what I’ve realized is that all success online comes down to two things: providing valuable content and building great relationships. In the last couple of weeks I’ve read from a few different sources that you should spend 20% of your time creating great content and 80% of your time promoting it!
      That being said, who have you asked to promote your graphic design shop? What about guest posting on relevant blogs? (ie- Top 5 things Your Grahpics should do for you…. or something like that).
      Just went to your site (looks great btw), where is your opt-in form? Are you building a list of subscribers? If there was anything I’d do differently (starting over) I would have really focused on building my list!
      I’m open to guest posts here or mailing for you? You just gotta ask! 😉 No more watching from the sidelines girl!

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