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You Have to Give to Get

by Tory Johnson

When using sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate with potential customers to build your business, it’s essential to give to get, which I do with pleasure and total transparency—another social media must. This means I don’t hide the fact that I want people to attend my events and support my products and services. I am up front and out in the open about it. But, to be successful, I must give in a wide variety of ways. I call this my 80/20 rule.

Eighty percent of my activity is all about serving other people: I answer jobseeker questions. I help small business owners with a variety of challenges. I share articles and links to stuff that both groups find interesting. I celebrate and promote the clients I work with. I solicit feedback for story ideas for my segments on Good Morning America. I share tidbits on what’s happening in my life as it relates to the people I serve. Then, just 20% of my posts directly sell and promote my stuff. And because of that, my audience is very receptive and grows daily.

Everyone knows I’m genuine and authentic. I give a lot of my time and talent to help others, and I reap the rewards in return. After all, who wants to be friends with someone online who peppers their inbox with incessant sales offers and uses their account to spam you? No one, of course. Determine three ways to serve your target market – without injecting any kind of thinly veiled sales pitches – and get to work offering that content and conversation online. Create the chatter; don’t just join it. By being authentic and consistent, you’ll realize the sales results.

Tory Johnson is CEO of Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle, contributor on “Good Morning America” and the New York Times best-selling author of “Fired To Hired” and “Will Work From Home: Earn Cash Without the Commute.” At the 2011 MA Conference for Women, she co-hosts our Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp!