“I’m looking for more clients and/or job leads, if you know of anyone looking for someone like me please let me know and/or have them contact me…”
We’ve all gotten this in an email. Maybe some of us have written it ourselves. It is, of course, the call to action in a direct-marketing email to me - a member of your network. And I’m sorry to be the bearer of unwanted news, but someone has to tell you what many of us in your network have been too polite to say. The only inspiration your totally generic demand gen email is sparking is the desire to hit the <delete> button. There, I’ve said it.
I know that launching a demand gen marketing campaign within your network felt like taking control of your job hunt. But I’m here to report that there’s a problem with your plan. You see, demand gen only works when it inspires a reader – me for example – to respond. Or, to coin a phrase, it stimulates demand. Let's just state the obvious. We are not friends. We are colleagues - and that's assuming we know each other at all. May I be blunt? I have lots of other email I’d rather not read that’s way more important to my success than yours appears to be. Yep, you read that correctly.
I know you're capable of doing more than this, so do it. Share something that’s thought provoking or insightful or.... I honestly don’t know what it is you should share because figuring out what you should share is not my job (unless, of course, you hire my company and then it is my job…) But, whatever it is you want to share, make it worthy of sharing in the first place. Who knows, you may find that your referral conversion rate improves. At the very least, I might be inspired to help you out.
Uncover Your Own D*mn Leads
When you sent me your totally generic direct-marketing email, you outsourced responsibility for identifying potential opportunities for yourself… to me. That’s right. You just drafted me as your biz dev person because what does a biz dev person do but uncover potential leads?! Let me be clear about this - finding opportunities for you is not my job. It’s your job.
But, you need help. I get it. Everyone needs help. I help people all the time. You want to know what sets those people I help apart from you? They do the research. They find the company or group or person that would benefit from their strengths. They figure out what the angle is. They do all the heavy lifting and then ask me for help. Really, getting my help isn't that hard - but it’s up to you to help me help you. Which, of course, was your whole objective in the first place.
Make Me Care
The harsh reality of marketing – one that many marketers themselves seem to forget – is that no one cares. We’re not mean, we’re not selfish. We’re just trying to get through the day. Believe me when I say it's not just me that doesn't care. It’s your entire network. And, honestly, based upon the quality of this email, it seems like you don't care that much about your success either.
But here's the thing. Just because I don’t innately care doesn’t mean I can’t be made to care. That's the beauty of marketing. You can make people care. You can inspire loyalty to your brand. You can gain support. You can enlist help. Marketing, even direct marketing, can get you what you want. But it’s up to you to make that happen. Invest your energy creating something that you would be proud to be associated with, instead of just something you hope will help you land a job. Trust me when I say, if you do that, you're on the path to making people care. And, I could be wrong, but isn't that why you sent me your update / job / client search email in the first place?!