Aside from the fact that you’re staring at this post’s headline with a healthy dose of WTF right about now, it’s 100% true. How often do you think about what you’d give up in order to get more?
And in many cases, it’s not even about more. It’s about better. More loyal. More committed.
We’re going to talk about four ways that you can – starting today – lose traffic to your website or blog, yet still come out ahead in the long run.
Clean Your Room
You are a dirty (dirty, I said) little social media user, aren’t you? When’s the last time you cleaned out your Twitter account? Purged your Facebook friends? Took a really long, hard look at your LinkedIn connections.
Your audience should make you proud, plain and simple. If you haven’t taken the time to clean out your audience, how do you know who’s really there? Sure, you can automate some of these tasks with monitoring tools like TwitSweeper – a service that scans your Twitter followers for spam and blacklisted accounts each week and sheds the riff raff automatically – but the onus is on you. Think like a kid on this one: If you have so many toys in your toy box that the lid won’t even close, who are you going to get to the ones you really want to play with?
You can’t. Because they’ll have fallen to the bottom of the box.
Cultivating and curating your audience is a neverending obligation. And by ditching the wrongs, you make room for the rights. The people you truly want to develop relationships with.
Loss: People who aren’t really customers or never will be.
Gain: Space for real fans and time on your end to spend with them.
Quit Acting Like You’re Walmart
You do not have something for everyone. I promise. This is a short point, but great businesses are built because an audience knows how to use that business. Walmart is great if you want to go fill your cart with piles of crap, heave that crap into the back of your car, and then heave that crap into your house.
Don’t make your audience heave and haul crap from place to place. When you take the time to admit what it is that you love, what offers you the smartest profit margins, and makes you smile at the beginning and end of every day – that’s what you should be focusing on. The people who wanted to heave and haul crap? Sure, they’ll go away. But the good news is you’ll have a lot more time to spend on the audience who will gravitate toward who you are and what you do…and that’s because people who get what you do will refer you to people who need what you have to offer.
And then suddenly, being Walmart doesn’t matter anymore. You’re a specialty bistro.
Loss: Time wasted on trying to serve people things you don’t love serving. People who don’t really know what they want and don’t understand enough about you to bring you more loyal customers.
Gain: Focus. Fans who know who your brand is and what it’s all about so they can hand-deliver more people just like them to your doorstep.
Have an Opinion
If you’ve ever stopped by RedheadWriting, you know I’m not afraid to have an opinion. It’s time to stop thinking that having an opinion is bad.
When’s the last time you went to a dinner party and everyone around the table agreed on every single topic discussed? It’s the same way with brands and their audiences. We won’t always agree with our customers and customers won’t always agree with us. But great brands are willing to take a stand and abide by a certain set of beliefs. People will fall by the wayside – but that’s just it. They’re people. They have their own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Just like your very human brand.
Don’t believe me? Think of one (just ONE) wishy-washy person in your life you’d be willing to throw yourself in front of a train to save. (Aside from a relative…) You want to cultivate an audience for your brand that will throw themselves in front of trains for you. And wishy-washy just doesn’t get that type of fan in your corner.
Oh, and I might as well tell you now: You’re going to tick some people off along the way. It’s okay. Because by ticking them off and sending them away, you’re keeping the ones who truly matter and eventually, attracting more people just like them.
Loss: The fear you’re going to offend some folks (because you are). The people who are easily offended by who you and your brand truly are. The people who never really liked YOU in the first place.
Gain: People who share similar views and even when they don’t respect you and your brand for putting it out there.
Say No (duh)
With everyone crawling out of the woodwork saying that Pinterest is social’s destination-du-jour, maybe your brand should be the one saying no. Maybe you should say no to Twitter. Quora. Facebook. Honestly, maybe the only place you should be is LinkedIn or perhaps an industry-specific forum in addition to your blog (do you need a blog?).
The beauty of our business climate is that it’s ripe with choices. It’s also a time- and soul-sucking curse. It’s time you say no to outlets that don’t serve you or your audience. And if you’re afraid of the 38 users you might miss on Pinterest by focusing on your 3800 Facebook fans who chat, share, like, and promote your brand and result in conversions, I’ve got news for you. Those 38 people? They’ll still be on Pinterest if and when you decide it’s a good move to spend your time there. And if they’re not, well – no loss, really.
Saying no in the social realm is something that we must get better at in business. It’s okay to while away the hours on one site or another sharing funny images and whatnot, but our businesses deserve a definitive NO. By walking away from outlets that don’t serve you OR your desired audience, you can stop being a follower and become a leader.
Which is why I’m betting you went into business in the first place.
Loss: Tendonitis caused from a wicked case of Helium Hand (you know, saying yes all the time). Audiences who aren’t interested enough in you or what you have to offer to understand where YOU live and hang out with you there. Audiences who probably aren’t very committed to a platform to justify your investment in it – especially if it’s the Next Big Thing.
Gain: Smaller audiences that will – if they’re committed to you, find you in the places you do spend time. Time to focus on the outlets that mean the most to your brand and audience. A greater understanding of your brand and its audience, as you’ve listened to who they are, what they want, and where they live enough to know where you’d be best off spending your time.