I am a subscriber to Seth Godin’s blog and have received some great information and insights.  A recent blog really got me thinking because it is the conundrum (love this word) I have been wrestling with ever since getting into social media.  I have posted his blog at the end for your reference.

When I first started my business 15 years ago and even before I was taught that networking is focused and needs to have a purpose; it was never about how many cards you had at the end of an event, rather how many potential referrals or customers.  Now social media comes along and on one of my groups in LinkedIn, people will go to Facebook and “like” my Training Solutions page if I “like” them. In terms of my business goals will this help me or them?  Is it better to have a lot of names of people you don’t know or fewer names of people who share something in common beyond Facebook or Twitter?

Most of my clients come from referrals through people who have been clients or know of me through professional organizations, or my speaking engagements or teaching at UCLA.

If social media is a numbers game and related to direct mail then if I bombard them with information at least 7 times, I may get a 2% conversion, but is that to buy product or my services?  If 6 people buy my full consulting services per month that’s not too bad but is that likely and how much time must I spend to attract them?  How active does the list need to be?  How active do I need to be with the list?

Am I better to spend the time cultivating a mailing list to disseminate newsletters and get a 30% open rate?  Again, how many will buy from that list?

Do you see why this is a conundrum and there needs to be much more information?  Am I sending the right messages?  Am I targeting the right market?  Does my list understand the benefit of my services?

Happy Monday and back to trying to gain the focus I need to create the business I want for the people who need my services.

Fans, participants and spectators

A good preacher ought to be able to get 70% of the people who showed up on Sunday to make a donation.

A teeny bop rock group might convert 20% of concert goers to buy a shirt or souvenir.

A great street magician can get 10% of the people who watch his show to throw a dollar in the hat.

Direct marketers used to shoot for 2% conversion from a good list, but now, that’s a long shot.

A blogger might convert 2% of readers to buy a book. (I’m aghast at this).

And a twitter user with a lot of fans will be lucky to get one out of a thousand to click a link and buy something. (.1%)

Likes, friends, and hits are all fast-growing numbers that require little commitment. And commitment is the essence of conversion. The problem with commitment is that it’s frightening (for both sides). And so it’s easy to avoid. We just click and move on.

I think there’s a transparent wall, an even bigger one, between digital spectators and direct interaction or transaction. The faster the train is moving, the harder it is to pay attention, open the window and do business. If all you’re doing is increasing the number of digital spectators to your work, you’re unlikely to earn the conversion you deserve.