Twitter is full of consultants and gurus aggressively pushing their products. Case in point: last Friday, I participated in a panel discussion on online marketing at Minnesota CLE. I mentioned it on Twitter, and got the above as a public reply. Since I had never even heard of Rjon Robbins before, his tweet was kind of like a stranger shoving a flyer in my face outside a store. I was put off.

But since the most basic goal of any marketing effort—on Twitter or anywhere else—must be to get people to know, like, and trust you, let’s examine Rjon’s response with those three basic goals in mind.

  1. I did not know Rjon before his tweet, so I had no idea why he was contacting me on Twitter.
  2. I did not have any particular feeling about Rjon either way, but I hate pushy salespeople, which his tweet proved him to be. I did not like it.
  3. Since I did not know anything about Rjon, I did not trust him, but I clicked the link from Twitter just to see more. It led straight to a sales page that looks like a lot of the e-mails that wind up in my spam folder. And given Rjon’s Twitter pitch, I seriously wonder whether he actually knows anything about marketing. So no trust, either.

If you want people to do you a favor, like plug your product at a panel discussion on the other side of the country, do not approach them like a snake oil salesman. Lay the groundwork without selling anything. Be genuine and interested, and build a relationship.

Then, you will not have to make a sales pitch; your contacts will mention your products and services on their own.