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"friends & fam" =/= your market

Updated: May 19, 2022

Multiple times during a week, I'll see posts in Facebook business groups that say something like this:

"I've been sharing my content like crazy and I've messaged all my friends & family, but I'm just not making any sales. Why aren't they buying anything?!?!"

Here's what's up.

We all have to start somewhere. I get it. I'm constantly hassling my friends and family to share my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and wherever else they hang out online, too –– but that's because I want them to help me reach my eventual audience, not because I think they are my audience.

My friends and family are not my primary clientele ... and your friends and family are probably not the people who are going to buy your stuff, either.

There are, maybe, some exceptions –– a lot of MLMs have drawn fire for pursuing exactly the "selling to your friends and family" model, which was maybe more sustainable when there were three of you selling Tupperware and not thirty-three of you selling whatever that essential oil line is; I dunno. But in any case if you are marketing primarily to "friends and family," then you are in effect marketing to a group defined by the fact that they happen to already know you ... not a group defined by their interest in the thing you have to offer.

They may like you a lot and think your thing is cool. That doesn't necessarily mean they need or want that thing.

Also, realistically, most of them are not going to need it, like, forty-seven times ... which means that sooner or later you are going to need to find some people who don't already know you but do have a yen for the thing you are putting up for sale in the global marketplace.

It may as well be "sooner," and before everybody you know starts dodging your messages because they're expecting another sales call.

Let's make "sooner" today.

Think about whatever it is you are selling –– whether that's a product or a service.

Chances are good that your product or service is designed to meet a need or solve some kind of problem. Right??

How many people you already know have that need or that problem?

How many of them will still have it after they have purchased your thingamabob (product) or your lemmedoit (service)? (This isn't meant to be a trick question; some stuff, like social media management and really great homemade candy, does fall into the "recurring purchase" category.) Another way of asking this question is: How many of them will need the same thingamabob/lemmedoit again next week?

Maybe you came up with 5-6 names the first time, and 3-4 the second. Maybe you came up with 18-20 both times. Either way, I'm going to go ahead and guess that your list is limited, because you do not know the entire population of planet Earth.

This is good news, because, honestly, you'd better hope you don't already know everybody who is ever going to need your thingy.

What you want to do is find people you don't already know who will be really interested in the thing that you've got.

"Finding your people" is kinda one of the services I offer myself, so I'm loathe to give away all my secrets (ha) ... but, realistically, the basic premise here is not a secret. It's like most skill sets in that people who have had years of training and practice (in this case, moi) can usually do it better than novices, but everybody has to start somewhere and anybody can try.

So here's your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

1. Look back at that list of people you know who probably have the problem or need your thingamabob or lemmedoit is designed to fix.

2. Make another list, of any traits at least three of these people have in common (if your starting list is short, this may not take you very long; if your starting list is long, you may find you have several versions of this step because several items fit the "at least three" criterion).

3. Repeat this step, but for "interests," instead of "traits."

4. Cross-reference the lists from steps 2 & 3.

5. The results = your targeting parameters for your first social media ad.


(Or hire me. I really like that option better. Just sayin'.)

Good luck –– and let me know how it goes!

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