We all have at least one of those people in our lives.
The friend that is always so excited to tell you about how you HAVE to try this new beauty product that she’s selling.
The aunt that you have to tiptoe around because if you dare to mention you want to lose weight, she’ll try to sign you up for her supplement program because “it really works!”
Well maybe you’re realizing that friend or family member is you?
These are just two examples of a new trend of lazy marketing where new entrepreneurs are relying on their loyal friends or family members to support their business. Honestly, “support” isn’t even the right term for it but we’ll get into that later. This is not only a lazy marketing tactic but it’s also detrimental to your professional growth as an entrepreneur.
Relying on only those you’re comfortable with hinders your growth.
Let’s face it, new entrepreneurs are drawn to this marketing tactic because it’s easy. It requires more effort to come up with a business plan, determine your target audience, and figure out how you’re going to reach out to all of these strangers than it does to shoot your best friend a quick text.
Not only does marketing to your friends and family require less strategic planning but the possibility of making a sale is higher as well. When you are forced to market to a bunch of strangers who may not even know your name, you have to work harder to convince them that your product or service is worthy of their sale.
While doing all that extra marketing work may seem harder in the short term view, it’s providing you with the valuable educational experience of figuring out how to reach those people who actually need your product and who could become your loyal customers for years down the road. By limiting your marketing to only friends and family, you’re losing that crucial learning opportunity.
Asking for “support” should be reserved for those who truly need it.
A lot of new entrepreneurs take to using the tactic of requesting “support” for their new business, especially when reaching out to friends and family members which draws on the emotional appeal. While in your eyes you may see this as asking for business and affirmation that they care about your professional success, while instead this type of request actually triggers more to their sense of loyalty to you as a friend or family member.
In all reality, to “support” something means to bear the weight of it. This is why charities traditionally use the term “support” to ask for assistance from the public. The use of this word is meant to remind them that the charity needs their contributions and support to continue upholding their organization’s charitable mission.
When you ask for “support” in reference to your business, you are laying it out there that your product/ service isn’t adequate to sell itself and so instead it needs the backing from sales to justify it. You are not a charity, so don’t disparage your profitable business as one.
Receiving support is not a sustainable method of business.
While not only does the tactic of asking for support paint your business in a negative light, it’s not a sustainable business practice either. There is a reason that charities can use the term support when asking for contributions. This is because they can draw on the charitable connotations that the word possesses due to their cause and work that is benefiting the community. The method of asking for support entirely relies on a person’s mood and whether or not they are feeling charitable. Nonprofits and charities are able to use this tactic because they already have a greater draw to the giver’s charitable side and will usually be able to win them over by pulling at their heartstrings through their cause.
Meanwhile, your business is still not a charity. As a business owner, you cannot afford to only depend on people doing business with you when they are feeling charitable or have extra cash to spare. This will result in inconsistent cash flow and a business model that will definitely not sustain growth. As an entrepreneur, you must take the steps to ensure a consistent income by learning how to convince prospects that they need your product/service.
You know how great your product/service is or obviously, you wouldn’t have decided to go into business for it. So in that case, equipped with that powerful knowledge, there is no reason why you should ever resort to asking for “support.” Especially not from those within your inner circle.
A marketing method that stems from fear.
The root of this seemingly lazy marketing tactic essentially comes from fear. It can be a terrifying experience to put yourself out there and demand your worth. This is why many new entrepreneurs resort to marketing to only their close friends and family members who already care about them rather than working to convince strangers that they are worthy of their business.
Appealing for support is a way less intimidating message than directly asking people to spend their money with you.
Although it can be intimidating at first when you choose to take your marketing tactics outside of your inner circle and outside of your comfort zone, you are proving that your business is 100% worthy of success.
Strive to prove your worth instead.
Do yourself and your business a favor and stand behind the true worth of your product/service.
While it may feel easy to reach out to those close to you and ask for support in your new venture, ultimately you are not giving your business the credit and potential it deserves.
There are plenty of reasons that friends can help you succeed for the better and who knows, it may also surprise you how many friends slowly come back into your life once they realize they don’t have to dodge a sales speech every time you call.
So leave your professional affairs out of your inner circle and in the end, you’ll find that making this change will be not only better for you but also better for the growth of your business!