Facebook friend requests are flooding my notifications these days. When I see that cute little notification appear on my phone, I SQUEE with delight that someone wants to connect with me – of all people – ME! I’m humbled. I’m honored. I feel elated to have the opportunity to connect with one of the many lovely humans I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years.
But then when I see the friend request is from a person I have never met and have never even heard of before my heart sinks. Oh, the letdown! This isn’t someone who is a person I know, like and trust. In fact, by sending a random friend request they have pretty much solidified the fact that I will never care to know, like or trust them.
Maybe I’m a little harsh or irrational about this all, but I have to believe I’m not the only one. Actually, I know I’m not because my friend Stephanie (owner of SOS Credit Solutions) posted a status update about this exact scenario earlier this morning and validated ALL of my thoughts on the topic. Steph is amazing and a much kinder person than myself because she will give someone the benefit of the doubt whereas I go straight to the place of utter annoyance, mentally blacklisting that individual in my head.
So now that you know how ruthless I can be (I’m not ALL sunshine and rainbows!) I’m going to lay it all out on the line and say this…
Using your personal profile to go on a Facebook friend requesting spree in hopes that it will grow your business is one of the absolutely worst, most oogey ways you can use the platform.Kaycee McCoy
Actually, I would even go as far as to say it’s just plain spammy. Oogey and spammy (legit technical terms) are personally two labels I never want hurled at me for any reason.
I don’t personally know Mark Zuckerberg and I cannot or will not try to speak for him by any means, but I’m 100% confident that he just might be on board with me saying that this type of attempt at connection is abusive and the polar opposite of what he and his brilliant team want to occur on this platform they have so craftily created over the years.
Using Facebook to grow your business, just like your business development in person, needs to come from a place of sincerity. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Business is all about building relationships” because it’s so simple, yet so true. That’s literally why it’s a well known phrase. A sincere approach to Facebook marketing is a long-term, long haul investment into your business, but it works.
Connecting genuinely with your audience, rather than disingenuously with a bunch of strangers, is going to get you light years ahead. My head starts spinning exorcist style when I see a slew of friend requests from people who I have never met, but appear to have mutual friends. Especially when there’s no thoughtful conversation or introduction message to bridge the gap. It gives me that same visceral reaction as when people hit the “connect” button on LinkedIn and don’t take the time to send a personal message.
I am absolutely, vehemently not trying to put myself on a pedestal here, or pretend that I’m doing everything right. I’m one big, steam-rolling mistake maker! However, I know (like, REALLY know) social media and the serious value it can add to your business when implemented in a sincere, purposeful, meaningful way to better connect with your audience. On the reverse side, I have seen the detrimental effects it can have on a business owner who uses it in a selfish, thoughtless, insincere manner.
It’s not rocket science, it’s people science! People like people who are kind, thoughtful and interesting. Friend requesting individuals you have never met sends giant red flags and maybe even some flares into the brains of anyone on the receiving end. “What are they after? What’s their motive? Why are they trying to connect with my personal profile and not following/liking my business page? How quickly will they spam me with a canned message about their secret formula for XYZ (insert literally anything here and I’ve heard the pitch for it)” if I accept their request?”
Okay. So now you get it. Genuine, real relationships are key. Want to know how to get started with making those real, genuine connections and have a flourishing business presence on Facebook?
I’d be absolutely full of it if I said it doesn’t require significant time and energy to use social media to connect with your audience on a genuine level. But the benefits of making that kind of thoughtful, deliberate effort far outweigh any downfall of time invested. It’s a process, but you can do it with the right knowledge, understanding and tools & resources at your disposal.
ALL the Facebook Hearts,
Need more guidance or some step-by-step instruction? I’ve got a workshop on this vary topic set for March 8 for anyone local to Hampton Roads Virginia or video consults available if you’re not located nearby.
I’m an anomaly. It’s not normal, but I had a client before I had a business. Every conference, round table, webinar, etc., I attend or watch I’m always shaking my head and thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me” when people are discussing the planning a business stage.
Truth is, I took a running leap into entrepreneurship out of desperation to escape an unexpected turn in my career path. If you’ve ever listened to Episode #10 on The Inspired Women Podcast, you have heard tidbits of my story/background, but never the whole shebang. I can’t help but think there is someone else out there who understands my odd perspective. All of my business owning friends took weeks, months and even years to carefully plot and plan their business launch. They moved cautiously through each and every step.
Not me. I belly flopped into business ownership.
Circa 2009 I was uprooted from my happy little life and transplanted to Southeast Virginia, or “Hampton Roads” as the locals call it. With only three weeks notice before a move, time was of the essence and this lady had some BILLS to pay! So, without hesitation (because it worked for me gloriously in the past) I went to a staffing company and asked for help in finding gainful employment. Once again, it worked gloriously.
However, instead of finding myself planted somewhere invigorating for my creative brain like my prior gigs I was in an entirely new (and seemingly warped) little corner of the universe. Janitorial supplies. I was suddenly thrust into the role of a person who assisted a janitorial supplies salesman. I’ve worked in some fascinating industries in my adult life; accounting, recruiting, e-commerce, real estate and even a place that made the chenille letters for letter jackets. Honestly, I was an up-for-anything type of person, so the industry didn’t matter. Whatever life threw me, I was in it to win it!
This new gig was a rude awakening. There was no formal training and a massive learning curve. I had nightmares about item numbers and products where I was trying catch the numbers as they flew through the air and match them to their respective products. That lasted for months as I struggled to understand this foreign world and all the things that mattered to the people in it.
SN: Fast paced work environments are where I thrive. I LOVE the pressure. I’m one of those weirdos who actually does their best work under massive amounts of pressure!
This toilet paper sales stuff was insanely fast paced and high pressure. But, after a few quick months I conquered the learning curve and began to feel restless. My craving for creative work increased every day, but there was never enough creative work to keep me satiated.
So, when my favorite sales rep, George Rakowski, said, “You have a lot of talent you’re not getting to really use. I have some friends that own businesses that could probably use your help. Do you want me to introduce you?” I didn’t hesitate for one second! “YESSSSSSSSSSSSS.” I held onto the full time hustle for a few more months before launching into business full time (and way, way too early). I’ll share more on that topic here another day.
Two weeks later I had secured my very first client, a real estate agent in a cute little beach community. The day after our very first meeting, I headed to the Virginia Beach Municipal Center to acquire a business license and Create/Captivate was born (as Happy Kaycee Productions – a “how to know when to rebrand” blog is coming soon!). I worked for that client over the span of five years until I was ready to explore expanding from a freelance business to building an agency and he was ready to hire a full time employee.
George is my hero and always will be because of this plot twist he created. He’s a truly remarkable human and one day, when C/C is a really, really big deal I’m going to do something extra kind for him because without his connections, support and encouragement I might still be having nightmares about toilet paper and hand soap.
Are you tracking your referral links? Have you ever noticed one that seems fishy or suspicious at all?
Be on the lookout for fake referral links! Some companies will try to be crafty with their tactics to get new customers and send fake referral traffic. Seriously. It’s a thing. They will use these links to catch your interest and when you head to their website via that link they will capture your information and then bombard you with persuasiveness until you become their customer.
We have seen it happen with our clients and caught it today on our own blog. So, just because we care we are sharing the following simple steps of how to block spam referral links for your WordPress website:
1. visit https://wordpress.com/stats
2. if you’re not already logged into your account login now
3. navigate to the “referrers” section (mid-page)
4. hover over the referral link in question
5. click “Spam”
Your site is now blocking that spammy referrer!
Have a referral link that looks suspicious or lost about what exactly this whole post is about in general? Contact us and we will be happy to help.
Once upon a time, there lived a wild, creative 20-something in the middle of the country. She absolutely yearned for meaning, depth and purpose in her life but was looking in all the wrong places. With a messy, chaotic lifestyle and nothing holding her back but herself, she was free to live where she wanted, do as she pleased. This wild one had recently acquired a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Business/Technology from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, but did not have a clue of what she wanted to do with her life now that she was a full-fledged adult.
So, she moved. And she took risks. Anything was possible and there was a little bit of magic in her soul that she had yet to unleash on the world. After an intense bout of restlessness, she picked up her little Tulsa, Oklahoma life and moved herself to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro. What was this small town girl from an area where there were literally more cattle than people doing in the 9th largest city in the United States? How would she earn her keep to put a roof over her head? There were endless question marks and dilemmas in her mind and of those who cared most for her, but she was living day-to-day, minute-by-minute and knew that her path was not a simple, streamlined one gilded with ALL the right answers.
Despite the struggle and stress of it all, she knew she had to learn the hard way. So, she pushed and she failed forward. And she failed forward again. In fact, she’s still failing forward to this day. But, somewhere along the way she discovered a real talent/passion/knack for all things digital marketing and branding; that’s where the true magic in her was set free. Project by project, client by client…
There are a plethora of plot twists, turns and even a few moments of being flipped upside down to my story of how I discovered my love for marketing. But, the moral of it all is that I threw caution to the wind and allowed the opportunity to present itself. Unhappiness can drive you to happiness, if you let it. Living deep in my own emotions and shielded by my limited perspective, I endured through those years of not knowing where I would end up or what career I would call mine. That lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. With the resourcefulness of any quality librarian and a support system that allows you the freedom to fall flat on your face, you can blown your own mind with the leaps and bounds made over a decade though.
When I moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro and had no job, no prospects and not much real world experience, I was banking on one thing happening: unraveling another layer of resiliency and determination. Building off the last gut-wrenching life experience (whatever it may have been) and believing that because I had overcome that particular challenge then I was 100% capable of stretching myself over the next hurdle. Enlisting the use of a staffing agency, I was able to find gainful employment rather quickly at a large real estate company as the Receptionist. When one of my friends from high school, who had not at the time attended college, said to me, “Receptionist? Really? I don’t have a college degree and could get a job like that tomorrow.” Oh, my friend…. you had no idea at the time how that conversation would drive me, but it surely did give me a giant push to where I am today.
Sure, I started as the Receptionist. But after two months of that holding that job down like a pro, I was promoted to Graphic Design/Marketing with no formal training on either front. BOOM! Mic Drop. Clap back. However you want to frame it, my pure grit and hustle is what really matters at the end of the day. My intense, insatiable craving for constant challenge and personal growth is what drives me. When it comes to design and marketing, a little resourcefulness, resiliency, grit and determination can go a heck of a long way.
While in this role as the Graphic Designer/Online Marketer for the real estate company I was solely responsible for the print and digital marketing of 250+ residential real estate listings. The team’s photographer would go shoot a listing, hand me the photos and I spun them into eloquent home descriptions that were put on flyers, in magazines and all over the web. The rush I got out of the variety in that job and the constant stream of new listings to advertise was my “A-HA!” moment. However, the epiphany took a little longer to sink in than that… actually, it was a few years.
Some (including myself) may see my twisty, turn-y style of claiming marketing as my “thing” a bit non-traditional, reckless and naive. Others may not care enough to really have an opinion. To each is own, darlings. All I’m trying to put down on this blog today is that I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunities given. My manager at the real estate job, Debbie B., will always hold a very special place in my heart. She saw something in myself that I had never recognized in the past and she trusted me enough to take a big risk on the new girl in town.
Moral of this long-winded, complicated story? If you don’t know where in heck you’re headed in life, let your heart carry you forward.
Blogging for business has been a part of my repertoire since circa 2010, but it’s very rarely been for my own business. In the past I might find a little down time in my schedule, hack out a few posts and the next thing I know six months have blown by and there’s no new posts. It’s the #solopreneurstruggle, right?!
How can a digital marketing company preach and not participate? How hypocritical is it of me to be a digital marketing expert that throws down advice, tips and tricks about content marketing but have no content marketing plan for my own business?
Small business owners if you feel me on this, you’re probably thinking, “I get it. This stuff is time consuming.” And if you are, thank you for understanding. When you go into business before you even have a business idea or plan written down, these kinds of very important, but time consuming activities can be incredibly challenging.
Over the past several years my motto has been, “I’d rather help a client with their marketing than spin my wheels on my own.” That’s because 100% of my business came from referrals for the first 5+ years and now that I’m pushing the boundaries and ready to grow, that’s not the case anymore. Now it’s my priority to get my own marketing game in tip-top shape!
Honestly, I’m loving it! Delegating work to the C/C Creatives and allowing myself time to work on business development and my own marketing is an utterly thrilling experience and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I wish I would have taken this path a long, long time ago.
However, there’s no DeLorean in my vicinity to do some time traveling, so here I am.
Six-ish years of freelancing and 1-ish year of what I consider to be real, business ownership under my belt and I’m finally ready to the damn thing! I’ll share my best tips, tricks, advice and how to’s on this blog as well as my personal entrepreneurial stories of grit, determination, frustration and success. If you have any topics you’d like to see covered, any questions I can help answer or anything at all to contribute in a positive way (trolls and haters, be gone!) then hit me up at your convenience and let me know how I can help.
My most sincere hope is that each post I publish helps at least one other person, somewhere…somehow. Writing is my absolute most favorite past time and I hope that my wholehearted love for the written word shines through in each and every carefully crafted piece.