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Not Everyone Is A Lead

You can’t treat the world as one giant lead. There is more to counting followers and paying to be seen.

You are not here for everyone. So, what’s the point if you think that you are here to get others to buy what you do when you live the life within the sales funnel?

Not everyone is a prospect. Look at things another way, you can build a network. People want to be treated differently and with respect. They don’t always need to be sold to in order to react.

This article is about the fact that not everyone should be seen as a prospect. There are allies to be found who you will probably never ever work with but can add a whole new dimension to your business.


Let’s Set The Scene

Just because you connect with someone on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean that it’s open season to shove something under their nose that is all about your product.

The thumbs up to having a new connection, to many, means that you have effectively ticked the box for them to ramp up promoting something, by any means necessary. In someone else’s head, you have granted permission for them to fire away.

Our worlds have worked like this for generations.

A company dangles a carrot in front of someone, they notice, they find it interesting, someone steps forward with the offer, purchase made. When you adopt this approach, you live in a cycle of trying to get people hooked. You create campaigns, you come up with new ideas, you spend more money on Facebook ads, you post more on LinkedIn. You struggle to close, you send more information, in the hope for someone to commit.

There are people out there who think that as many people as possible seeing their message is a good thing. This is what spam is all about, recognising that just because there are people in front of you means that you can blast whatever message you have, so people spend money on you.

The thing is, we just don’t react that way anymore. We have all become desensitised to the platforms that lure us and look for attention. What we do is walk away.

As Andrew Hanelly, from Revmade, said (and credit to Lauren McMenemy for highlighting this in this article on Skyword). “If you’re ever feeling down, just remember: Someone, somewhere out there, considers you to be a qualified lead.”

An Answer?

Not everyone is relevant to you or will want to work with you.

So, what’s the answer?

You let other people see the value they will receive and whether they become a client or not, you build a network so people always feel included.

These are the people who will have your back, share your message, connect you beyond your immediate bubble and effectively become your own marketing team. By marketing team, I mean other people can help you with reach and distribution of your content.

In a recent article on Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog, he talked about the fact that you can’t just promote your way into someone else’s space, you have to be invited. By invited, this means someone opening up and accepting you as a trusted source. As Mark says, “Once you’re invited, something magical happens. Your company’s traditional marketing efforts can stop because your customers become your marketers. They carry your story forward.”

An Example

I can’t just tell you what to do, I have to share with you the proof.

Building a network with others lets you stop thinking that everyone is a prospect. The You Are The Media Social was an idea from community members, Kerrie Reeves, and Steen Stones. It was for people to get together for a drink at the end of a week and get to know others a bit better from the You Are The Media community. People got together last week.

This wasn’t about creating a networking event and the expectancy to ‘work the room,’ but seeing others chat and have this sense of familiarity made everyone feel part of something.

From a personal perspective, when telling you that you can find allies that don’t have to be clients, some of the people in the room last week: helped be the connection to the press (an article in newsprint is still so much better than looking on a screen); recommended me to someone else to host two awards evenings (never done this before but loved it); helped facilitate learning workshops; convinced their management board that adopting a more content-driven approach to their business is what they needed as their next step; help take the You Are The Media project forward by having an active involvement in the project.

Hands up, I once thought that as many people in a room meant direct selling.

We have all been there, you go to a networking event, fresh-faced and the networking protocol tells you to get straight to the point and how you can sell to a complete stranger with a block foiled business card. You go in wanting to be everyone’s friend, you leave empty-handed.

It is a fact of life, not everyone wants to be in the same room as you. However, those who do there is a shared sense of empathy, respect, and everyone understanding that value of being a part of something.

This is what building something that is yours comes down to. There is an overall belief that connects you to others, it is up to you to show up and more importantly, others to be interested in your work. This is why what you create, cannot sound exactly like the same as everyone else. It is easy to put on a networking event, the hard part is to get people to show up and remain involved.

What Can You Do?

It is time to accept that not everyone is a prospect.

The Twitter DM’s you receive after you have connected to someone else now sits in a box that says 2014. To have an automated request to download something from a stranger, to help close the loop, now seems so outdated.

People want to be treated differently. You create something, people want to feel empowered, not always sold to.

You can move people away from everyone as prospects to creating a network where you orchestrate, help and then momentum builds.



You can do this via:

– Starting something that has your stamp to it
– Give people a good reason to be a part of it (that is better than an automated email after someone has subscribed)
– Recognise the value that others can take
– Stop thinking that you have to always push information until you close
– Show up and be a part of the gang
– You have to say something that is different from anyone else out there
– Always ask yourself ‘Why should people care?’
– Recognise the subjects that can strike a chord with others (start with Google Trends)



Your job is to not just to create more content, but to use content to bring people closer to you.

When I say that not everyone is a prospect, these are people who may not become clients but can become a close ally in everything that you do.



These people can:

– Put you in different marketplaces with new contacts
– Make your message stronger by sharing within their network
– Have an active role in what you do
– Participate in the activity you curate
– Promote what you do on their social channels
– Recommend you as a knowledgeable person in (name of discipline)
– Have longevity of a relationship
– Build friendships



It is time to start looking beyond the sale as the network is a very real thing for you to grow within.

Let’s Round Up

Things change when there is a shared sense of empathy, respect and everyone understanding the value of being a part of something.

Whilst not everyone is a prospect, you can still sell with other methods of currency to get people to action. Whether this is the exchange of stronger connections, applying a different way to behave or to change from one approach to another, we are all selling. All we are doing is removing the one-dimensional approach to coerce others into a one-off transaction.

Trying to please everyone means you will never going to win. This is why you see so much content that is formulaic.

An opportunity is when you create a network where there is an ongoing exchange. If you look beyond purely monetary exchange by the shortest route possible, there is abundance in bringing people in and everyone having a role to play.

There is a strength is in making people included and then they can commit in all manner for ways.

Those who stop looking at the world as leads are those who share, contribute, collaborate and add value to the lives of others.


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