We’re living in a period when being a celebrity is what our youth inspire to be, and it’s destroying the infrastructure of our society and how we do business. Like it or not, today’s Social Media sensation is the person who is key to selling products to consumers.
Business owners of a particular generation struggle with social media. I know a handful of other gay men with successful companies, and when it comes to picking the right person to promote our businesses, we struggle.
In the past, I selected a guy with thousands of followers on Instagram to promote my brand, but that never increased sales. I never took into account whether the individuals were interested in promoting my brand or were they someone solely liked because they were being photographed with their shirt off most of the time or showing their body. They were unable to maximize sales because their audience was not interested in the products they might be wearing or promoting. In my case, the person’s audience was more interested in their impressive physique and modelesque looks rather than finding out what the person was promoting.
It’s off brand for us to post articles about business but after a question from a young gay man who is starting his business; I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts and give some takeaways.
Our reader’s question, “How do you know who and when to give someone free products?”
You have to be very selective when you’re offering your goods, services, or advice away for free.
In business, it is important to budget giveaways. I am always surprised how many people want something for free and especially from small businesses. From experience, individuals who ask for free products are not influencers and seldom promote the product, business, or service the way you need them to after they receive what they want.
As business owners, you have to be mindful that the person in question may not be your target audience or attract interest from your target audience. I’ve learned the hard way.
When deciding who to provide free product too, I suggest the following:
1. Monitor their social media pages (over the course of a week even two before agreeing to send them free stuff)
2. Watch the interaction your potential brand ambassador has with their followers
3. Don’t be fooled by higher numbers (large numbers are only useful if the individual is active, engages with their supporters and will promote your product or business more than just once)
4. Browse potential brand ambassador followers and click around. See what other business pages their followers like to help you detemrine the person in question is a good fit.
Keep in mind; it takes at least three mentions before somebody considers purchasing a product based on an individual’s post/suggestion (food for thought). Not everyone understands running a business, so it’s up to the business owner to be smart and strategize how to give away products.
Lastly, when sending free products, I recommend sending the person an informal agreement with the expectations. This way both parties are in agreement, and there is little to no confusion. Don’t make it too formal but ask them to send back an email with a yes.
If you initiate the conversation or ask someone if they would promote your product, asking them to acknowledge with a “yes” is all you need.
Starting a business is part of our culture and something we should talk about more.
Featured Image Model: Click here Raph Solo for more information