UPDATE: See the subscription and ebook offer form. Right over THERE > >

I've been plugging away at uber.la for several years and I'm doing a few things right. But I have missed the biggest opportunity of all.

I have failed to ask for your business effectively. Something known as underselling.

Screen Shot 2011 11 29 at 3.25.59 PM THE Biggest Mistake In Social Media Marketing: Not Asking for the Business

I talk about CTA (calls to action) all the time in my strategy documents and presentations. I harp on opt-ins, and giving a gift of perceived value for free in return for that contact information. And where is mine?

I can tell you it's about making the right form for the website. (I've got the consulting form up now!)

I can tell you I've got the great new 90-second video on SEO that I need to finish first.

I can tell you it's because my book, The Twitter Way has been delayed.

I can tell you I just haven't gotten to "the offer," and I'm not a big fan of e-books. The offer is done.

And I would be making excuses. So when are you going to do it? For your online presence, when are you going to ASK FOR THE BUSINESS?

All the excuses in the world don't add up to a single lead. I may be generating goodwill here, and traffic, and education, but the entire thing is a FAIL without the business behind it.

Of course, it's easier to plan and execute that strategy for other businesses. I'm just doing my job. That's what I can do for your business, big-medium-small. And I love doing it.

But do it for myself, I must. I know what the challenge is for most small businesses thinking about social media. And I've been a part of some successful social media efforts, so I have some ideas for your business as well. Now I need to give that solution, or the framework for that solution, to you for free. Well, in exchange for your email address. You can opt-out if you like, but without contact, I'll never know you were here other than that blip on Google Analytics.

I'll be back shortly with the offer and the form. You can hold me to that!

Then I can ask you with a clear conscience, "Where's your value proposition and your call to action?" And we'll get on with the business of social media marketing.

And of course if you need help generating ideas, strategic plans, or content, let me know. I'm here to help. (my weak call to action)

UPDATE: I have the form. Now I need the gift to offer you in exchange for your email address.

The 3 Step Evolution of my business plan for 2012:

(1) THE Biggest Mistake In Social Media Marketing: Not Asking for the Business
the next two steps are IN:

(2) The Social Economy: I'm Trying to Give It Away, What's the Problem? (So Is Everyone Else)
And perhaps the problem is this: Everybody is giving it away. The Hubspots and Chris Brogans of the world are fishing in the same waters as I am with much larger nets and more powerful offers. So how can I take it personal? What can I do to localize my offer that the big boys can't do? (Offering a solution)

(3) Monday Morning Consulting Offer: Cost = Nearly Free; Value = Priceless
I'd like to meet you and talk about your business and the whole spectrum of online marketing opportunities that could contribute to your success. (Taking the Offer Direct)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2011/11/social-media-mistake/

Check out the Social Media for Business page and these other posts about learning social media:

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13 Responses to THE Biggest Mistake In Social Media Marketing: Not Asking for the Business

  1. jmacofearth says:

    Thanks Alison, I think ebooks are okay, when they provide value. Even FREE ones need to be more than a repacked powerpoint presentation. I'm working to give information away so I can get working.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think we're all a bit like this, not always practising what we preach (the cobbler's children not having shoes etc). Good advice here though.

    Can I ask why your'e not a fan of e-books? I'm just coming back to B2B marcomms after doing other roles and looking at pros and cons of thought leadership collateral. BTW I still can't quite get to used to the fact these are called e-books (I think of e-books as real books you can download on Kindle). Sorry if I've gone a bit of topic here.

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