• When You Hear, "I'll Be Prayin' For Ya", Don't Ask For Anything Else

    My entire adult life, I've heard people say, "Two things you don't mix: your business and your personal relationships."  Well, in the days of social networking and online marketing, your family and friends may well be on the front lines of your marketing campaign.  

    When launching a new product or company in the past, it was easier to keep your relationships separate and avoid the awkward feelings at Thanksgiving if the business failed because 'Uncle Jimmy ain't do his part.'  Today, all that has changed. It's changed because now Thanksgiving dinner is a little tense because Uncle Jimmy didn't "like" your company's Facebook page; and the cousins didn't tweet about your new play, which would have surely given you a bump in ticket sales; and none of your friends donated to your Kickstarter for that new passion project you thought EVERY ONE would support! "I'll be prayin' for ya!" is the donation of choice and for that you still say thank you. You say "thank you" despite your heart dropping because there's no way to monetize "I'll be prayin' for ya." You say "thank you" because you don't want to run the risk of going to Special Hell for sarcastically saying "Thaaaanks" like you're the star of some bratty teenage Disney show. You say "thank you" because people have roles, they stay in their lanes, and because that IS their greatest support, you remain grateful in how they are able to show up. 

    Because the internet has a sure way to make you BELIEVE the entire world's population is at your disposal or that you, at least, have the ear of the 500 million Facebook users, it is important to identify that ultimately people fall into three categories: your friends, your fans, and your supporters. EACH is distinct. EACH are valuable.

    Your friends are your base...your true friends are...and do not lay expectations on them. They will show up for you the best way they can which may not always translate to sales or donations. They will be your most genuine, honest cheering section, but may not be the loudest like your fans or paying customers like your supporters. Your friends are your "emotional" loves.

    You fans are about hype and love. They will "like" everything. They are crucial in social networking and spreading the word about your work. Hype is the key word here...but it's not a bad word. It just IS. Use them. They love to be acknowledged and so you should. Don't "expect" from them either but do offer nudges now and again they can EASILY become supporters...ask them what they want in return for them to be your mouths on the "street". Your fans are your "ego" loves.

    And then your supporters...THESE are the people who will monetize their "love"...if you ask. They will support you because they love you and what you do and can help you build THE BUSINESS!! They get that you are the CEO of your own small business...even though it's art. They get it. Your supporters are your "business" loves. 

    Now...people can certainly exist in combination but keeping this mind has helped me not write off people who didn't donate, buy, or attend something. Everyone has a role to play in your success. It's up to you to say "thank you"...always.

    Got it? Good! Now....I'll be prayin' for ya!
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