One of the things that continually delights me about 'doing business online' is the rather more 'abundant' mindset which tends to go with it - compared with the 'scarcity' attitude so typical of 'old school', 'bricks and mortar' business where typically your competitors are 'The Enemy'. I used to watch what they were up to with derision or 'professional envy'. The thought behind that was something to do with there not being enough business to go round - hence 'scarcity'. Doing business online however, is a totally different ball game. Your competitors can be very useful to you in all sorts of ways, the most basic being 'watching and learning'.
Last week, I came across a guy on Twitter called TimboReid, who describes himself as "Dad. Marketing Ideas Guy. Podcaster. Blogger. Closet Rock Star." I can't remember now why I started to follow him, but follow him I did and it was what happened next that I want to share with you, because to my mind, it was a thing of business beauty...
Like me, Tim has set up an automated Direct Message which goes out immediately to anyone who follows him. But unlike me, Tim has absolutely maximised the impact of that message. Here's what his message looks like (using Power Twitter)
Now I have to admit, that my very first reaction to his first line was a bit "icky" - not sure why exactly, but given that we don't yet know each other, and this message is automated, his respect for my decision to follow him comes across as a little insincere perhaps? Not sure - and it's probably 'my stuff'... anyway, the next sentence blew whatever that emotion was clean away... "Here's what you can expect in return." Wow - he's immediately managing my expectations, setting a foundation for our relationship and to an extent, taking the lead. THAT is impressive. And then there's the link... to his TwitWall.... now, I'm rather ashamed to say, that until I followed Tim, I had no idea TwitWall existed.
What's a TwitWall? Here's their explanation: http://twitwall.com/about/, but that really doesn't get me excited... unlike how Tim's using it, which to me is so simple and so effective that it's genius... basically, he's using it like an about page, an overview, a taster, an intro. As he says,
He goes on to explain what kind of tweets you'll get from him - and what you won't - and finishes off by throwing a question out there to start a conversation. He leaves the promotion of his new book Cha-Ching as a 'last thing' PS. which is totally congruent with his outlining statements. Check out Tim's TwitWall
I know it's not rocket science - it's either plain old 'common sense' or social media marketing excellence depending on your enthusiasm for these things. One thing's for sure, he has a new fan in me and I will be following his example - and now I've written this post, I shall have no shame in doing so!