You’re looking to increase the size of your audience and you see someone who’s already got a decent size audience. It only makes sense that if they would promote your product or service to their existing audience, it will help you grow your own audience and make sales. This happens in business every single day and it’s an extremely effective strategy.
However, most people never reap the benefits of having someone of influence promote them because their approach is all wrong. Most screw it up big time. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me to retweet them, link to their blog, email my list with their sales offer, and I could go on all day.
Here’s 10 of the top reasons you’re not getting people to support your business, for the love of all that is good, stop doing these.
1. We don’t know you.
This should be common sense but don’t ask someone to promote your business when you don’t even know them. Relationships take time because they work. Stop being so sales focused and instead, get to know someone and figure out how to add value to their lives. There must be a prior relationship for most people to even consider promoting you.
2. You don’t support us.
The law of reciprocity is a powerful force. When you support someone and their business, they feel an obligation to return the favor. This isn’t always the case, but it’s a start. If you promote someone heavily, you will end up on their radar. That’s the foot in the door you’ve been looking for.
3. You ask us in a generic, mass email.
This gets on my nerves and it tells me I’m just a number to you. It takes hard work to succeed in business so stop being lazy. This approach is a huge red flag that you’re only after money and not interested in adding value to my audience. When you approach people like this it becomes clear you didn’t read reason #1.
4. Your product doesn’t fit our audience.
I teach businesses how to brand and market themselves. Yet, I was once asked if I’d send an email to my list to promote hammocks. That’s right, hammocks. Don’t ask someone to promote you unless you know that their audience will benefit from what you have to offer. We have large audiences because we provide things of relevance to them. If your product doesn’t benefit our audience, don’t ask.
5. Your business does what we do.
This cracks me up. If someone teaches time management strategies and you do as well, then why would they promote you when they could just continue to teach their audience themselves? Sometimes there is enough differentiation that it makes sense. Most of the time it does not. Bring something to our audience that we don’t.
6. Your only communication is the ask.
We see this all to often. A friend of mine in the industry only reaches out to me every 6 months or so. And the only reason is because he wants me to promote his latest product. He’s a good guy and normally a very smart guy. But the relationships you build has to be real. Don’t just contact your affiliates or supporters when you want them to promote something.
7. You ask on the 1st meeting.
Ugh. There is nothing more annoying than meeting someone for the first time and they can hardly catch your name before they start telling you about how great their product is. I was recently speaking at an event and after my presentation a gentleman ran up to me. He didn’t say a word about my talk, good looks, or book. The first words out of his mouth were “I want you to check out our (product name) and talk to you about doing a joint venture together.” What? This kind of approach is unacceptable. It’s like there’s a business school somewhere teaching jackassery.
8. You haven’t tested your offer.
Before you ask someone to promote your product, test your offer and sales process to make sure it converts. Don’t ask us to be the guinea pig. I once asked someone how their offer converted to which they responded “we’re not sure yet, but we’ll have concrete numbers to give people after you mail to your list.” Nice. If you do this please do the world a favor and get out of business today.
9. You don’t allow us to test your product.
When you’re friends with someone and know their business well, you can often promote their product without having fully tested it. You can make a safe decision based on their history. That being said, I recommend always testing before you endorse. We shouldn’t have to ask for your product, you should send it to us. I was asked to write an endorsement for someone’s new book, yet they weren’t willing to send me a copy. Needless to say, I did not write an endorsement, nor will I be promoting the book when it’s released.
10. Your reputation is questionable.
If someone promotes your product it’s an implied endorsement of you as well. Because of this, we strive to only align our brands with other brands that also strive for excellence. If your brand and reputation isn’t consistent, then it doesn’t matter how wicked your product is or how well it converts. We will not support it. Keep your brand in the front of your mind with all you do.
These mistakes occur daily. You have to set yourself up for success and learn how to properly approach people about promoting your business. It cannot be forced. The danger of the wrong approach is more than just getting a “no” for a response. It also shuts the door on any future endorsement or promotion.
Build relationships and establish trust with people first. It’s not a guarantee they’ll promote you, but it gives you the best chance possible.
What’s the worst way someone has approached you? I’d love to hear about in the comments!