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Boxing As A Social Media Metaphor — And How I Deal With Freeloaders

imgresI’ve read Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

If you’re wondering if you should read it too, then my recommendation is a straight up “YES”.

Buy it, read it — and get wiser about social media.

It’s packed with examples and useful hands-on advice and everything is beautifully aligned with Vaynerchuk’s special brand of social media philosophy.

However, this isn’t a review. From reading the book, I felt I inspired to put a post out there on one of the core concepts of the book, mainly because it relates to a question I often get:

“Can I sell in social media? Won’t people get upset?”

Throwing Jabs And Right Hooks

‘Throwing a right hook’ is a metaphor for selling your product or service. However, if throwing right hooks was the only thing you ever did in social media, you and your business would at the very best come off as somewhat obnoxious.

And that’s not god.

So you should throw in some jabs in there, too. ‘Jabs’ as in being generous with your community. Free content, valuable advice or knowledge, recommendations, acknowledgement — even making sure to throw in a ‘thank you’ here and there.

In fact, you should be throwing jabs, jabs, jabs. According to Vaynerchuk, basically guilting people to buy from you when you finally throw that right hook.

This reminds me of a model I like to use. If you’ve been to one of my seminars or workshops, chances are that you’ve heard me talk about the 15 Method, where you make sure to also share other’s content:

15 Method

However, I admit that Vaynerchuck’s metaphor with ‘jabs’ and ‘hooks’ are much more elegant and simple, but I think the core message is the same:

Remember to GIVE before you ask for anything in return.

And vice versa:

Don’t be afraid to also make the ASK every now and then.

But that last part can be quite scary, but I personally have very clear way of dealing with this:

Why I’m Not Afraid To Sell Every Now And Then

If you give away valuable content for free all the time, shouldn’t it be okay to throw in some selling every once in a while?

Well, you might think that’s the case.

But in fact, if you’re often giving giving away valuable for free, you’ll also attract people looking for … free. And they might be very upset with you for asking them to buy something from you.

They might even be complaining, loudly.

How to deal with this? Personally, I simply weed out the whiny freeloaders!

  • I remove them from my email list,
  • I kick them off my Facebook Page and
  • I remove their ability to post comments on my blog without moderation.

Or to stay true to the boxing metaphor; if a person thinks I’m not allowed to throw right hooks, then they got into the boxing ring by mistake. I tell them ‘Oh, sorry I landed that punch in your face!’ and I simply assist them in getting out of the ring.

Tough, yes — and of course not applicable to every type of business. But for me and my business, I’m more than okay with not being loved by everyone:

I want to attract and proudly serve my community, a community that respects my business the same way I respect theirs.

After all, PR isn’t about having good relations with everyone, it’s about having the right relations with the right people!

What do you think? Do you think it’s okay to remove someone from your online community based on the fact that you simply don’t want them there? In the comments, tell me what business you’re in and what the implications would for you!
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17 comments… add one

  • Great post Jerry. I think It’s exactly the same thing as for example Aftonbladet and Expressen. If I get to read all content for free then It’s 100% okey to 1. show me banners 2. offer me different type of deals!
    Daniel Juzovitskij recently posted Dessa digitala experter i olika branscher bör du följa

  • Great posts! I will definitely wright to santa about it now!

  • I so do agree to these statement!

    I do provide help and advice when needed and if someone do not reprociate after a while or complain if I choose not to help I kindly ask them to see “pay it forward” and then not bother me more… ;)

  • Great post Jerry! I totally agree. It’s interesting to see how people ask you to share but then are not keen on sharing for others. And they ask you to like their pages at Facebook etc. So yes, after I listen to you in the beginning of this summer I have this in mind, and it’s very helpful. Thanks! :-)

  • Thanks again for a bite sized and a filling post!

    I can´t much more than agree with you here! This reminds me very much with peoples reactions to keynote holders and the entire bullshit expression “sharing is caring”. In the end of the day you sell you knowledge and experience to market themselves. The small bits and pieces you share is to build your own brand. Would everyone give away it all away there wouldn´t be anything to sell.

    As well as seminar audience often complain of the content in keynotes. It would be impossible if the speaker would give it all away. Like you jabbing around you also throw big moma hooks too. If the can´t take it – show them the door like you so nicely did put it!

    • Thanks for support. Interesting that you brought up seminar presentations; sometimes I do them for less than I should. I know this is stupid because I know we all do this and by doing this, we basically destroy the market for ourselves. However, when I do it anyway, I make sure to post the presentation on a landing page I control and if the audience wants to download the presentation, they’ll have to giv up their email address.

      If that’s not okay, then I’m fine with not engaging in a “sharing is caring” relationship with those people.
      Jerry Silfwer recently posted When Pitching Blogs — Don’t Always Go For “The Prettiest Blonde” In The Room

  • Tuesday and Thursday this coming week there is going to be two interesting and well written blog posts on this topic by a guest blogger at http://www.wifl.se.

  • Fredrik Pallin

    iBooked – thanks for the tips!

  • Great post, Jerry! I agree with both you and Gary, who is a great man, that you have to both give AND take but the more you give give give the more you can take later

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