Recently I sat at a coffee shop and realized we live in a world that is becoming overrun by ‘brochures & flyers’.
We see them everywhere in many different forms. What can we do to manage these on LinkedIn?
Billboards along the roads filled with images demanding our attention as they promote a product, service or person. Today these huge brochures are even digital and dynamically pushing glowing brochures at us in 6-7 second bursts.
Stuffed into our Swag bags at events. Often dozens of these brochures, each vying for our attention above all the others, distressed because often the stress balls, cups, frisbees and water bottles win out over them.
PDF brochures jumping into our inboxes with such reckless abandon that our SPAM filters are overworked and our junk mail boxes are seen as obese and lethargic because of the tremendous strain of the relentless messaging.
Glossy brochures, post cards and flyers hidden in sexy envelopes doing all they can to sneak into our line of sight. So many of these brochures and flyers seeking our attention, to no avail, ending up overflowing the dozens of trash cans in the lobbies of post offices around the world.
Door hanger brochures, forced over millions of door knobs around the world, hanging there, often for days, waiting for us to rescue them and to spend time peering at them salaciously, only to be tossed in the trash can with the glossy brochures recently retrieved from the mailbox as we come home.
Brochures distributed with shotgun accuracy at conferences, trade shows, networking events and even shoved at us while standing in line at sporting events, concerts and other pubic gatherings. I’ve even experienced a brochure slipped into my hand from behind as I stood speaking to a friend at a chamber of commerce event. All of these brochures pleading for our attention.
Here’s one more; Brochures slipped under windshield wipers of our cars and trucks. These brochures screaming with terror as drivers around the world rip them off or while doing 60 miles per hour, turn the wipers on hoping they fly out of sight.
Brochures and flyers are similar to kudzu growing along side the highways in the deep south. The difference is brochures and flyers don’t go dormant in the winter.
If I sound as if I want a permanent ban on brochures and flyers, I don’t. I do however want your help to minimize the proliferation of this marketing content in our social media streams.
Digital brochures are popping up in our LinkedIn newsfeed in the form of self promoting newsletters, promotional posts, testimonials, corporate pdfs, videos, infographics and links to ‘you have to read this’ product and service pages.
Serious business networkers using LinkedIn as a networking tool need your help to stop the rampant infestation of these forms of blatant self promoting brochures and flyers.
Again, it may sound as if I want to ban the use of this content on LinkedIn entirely. I really don’t. Rather, I would like to see an increase of content that is useful and helpful over self-promoting content. I dream of a future when our newsfeed, groups and LinkedIn inboxes provide greater value through rich ideas, philosophies, knowledge, experiences and education.
I strive to hold my self accountable to a philosophical practice of what I call the “90/10 rule”. 90% of the content I share on LinkedIn should be TRUHE1 and not about Teddy or Burriss Consulting, Inc., in any way. At most, 10% of my content can be about my products, services, webinars, seminars, programs and the like.
I believe, and have proven for myself, that when I use this rule I get far more business value from my investment in LinkedIn than if I were to use LinkedIn as a dumping ground for my promotional ‘brochures & flyers’. I get more engagement, deeper discussions, more relevant messages, calls and more referrals from my LinkedIn network, in a large part because my growing LinkedIn Network benefits from seeing and reading the relevant content I give them that can be helpful for them and their business.
Here is my challenge for you, your sales team and your marketing departments.
Adopt the 90/10 rule. Test this yourself for 90 days and see what it can do for your business. If after 90 days of deliberate testing you don’t see an increase in engagement, a growing more relevant network and more referrals then you did before, shoot me an email or LinkedIn message and tell me I am wrong.
If I hear from enough people who purposefully executed this test that I am wrong, I’ll publicly apologize for my misdirected practice.
1TRUHE – Transparent, Relevant, Useful, Honest and Engaging (including exciting, education & entertaining)