Do you use social media to get advice or recommendations from friends, colleagues, acquaintances or groups of like minded business owners?
I see it every day… People will post a question asking for recommendations for service providers and for software or tools.
There are two topics of discussion here, let’s break down the software or tools question first.
Let’s say it says : “What software should I use for courses?”
Such a simple question… And there will be a myriad of answers. Some top picks that will be in the list are Thinkific, Kajabi, MemberVault, Teachable and the list will then go on to include WordPress plugins like Lifter LMS and Wishlist Member and it will go further and someone will suggest using email marketing to deliver the content. All valid answers… But…
Here’s the biggest concern I have with this approach: the people who are responding may not know anything about you, your business, your zone of genius or your style of work.
People who respond with their recommendations are doing the best that they can and have the best of intentions. It’s simply that without looking at you tech stack, goals, team and creation style, there is no way of knowing which one will be best for you, your team and your audience.
Crowd-sourcing can only take us so far. The rest of the way to making a decision takes effort from you.
What if, instead of the crowd sourcing approach, you had a reliable adviser who could do all the leg work for you.
The results of this approach are measurable. It all saves time… And time is something we cannot create more of. There will be no need to sift through the responses and determine which tools to evaluate further. No need to do cost-value analysis. And no need to look at how each new tool may or may not fit into your existing tech stack.
But Jaime, I don’t have a trusted tech adviser…
I beg to differ… You’re listening to the tech of business podcast and are a member of the tech of business community, so I’m you’re unofficial adviser!
To work with me in an official way, let’s get a tech breakthrough session on the calendar… Go to https://techofbusiness.com/work-with-me/ and click on the Tech Breakthrough button.
Let’s put this in perspective… would you ever
- ask a florist to design your kitchen?
- ask your bookkeeper to design your website?
- rely on my best friend’s opinion on the layout of your office matter at all?
So why then does their opinion matter when it comes to the tech that you use in your business?
Those are quite abstract, so let’s flip that on its side to make it a bit more relevant and we’ll ask the question again…
- What if your florist just worked with a store front designer, would you then feel confident asking them to help you design your kitchen?
- What if your bookkeeper used to build websites?
- What about if my best friend was your exact avatar?
Would that change how their opinions are taken? Perhaps they would — but wouldn’t it be far better to ask them privately. You’ll be sure to get their opinion and have an actual conversation with them.
And that is what makes it different than the crowd-sourcing I’ve seen so much lately.
I’m not bashing the crowd-sourcers nor the crowd giving the feedback, I’m showing that there is a better way. It’s faster, has a great success rate and higher ROI.
Let’s look at the second version of this question… “Who do you recommend as a business coach?”
Whoa! That’s quite a tough question to answer on a social media post. I could probably list 10 different coaches in answer to that question, because I love connecting with business coaches. But which one or two to tag or mention on your post… Well, I’d have to dig into what I think you need in your business and cross reference that with my favorite coaches. What if my assumptions are wrong? What if you need a life coach or branding expert instead of a business coach?
See how quickly a crowd-sourcing question can lead us all astray?
I said it earlier, don’t get me wrong… Asking for recommendations and suggestions is FABULOUS. It’s more a matter of asking trusted advisers rather than opening up a door to everyone else’s experiences and opinions.
So, when is crowd-sourcing a good option? In this versus that scenarios like, “I’ve narrowed my course platform down to two options (A) and (B). What is your least favorite thing about each of them? And please do not provide any alternatives, I’m too far down the evaluation to add any new options.”
In this case, asking for the shortcomings of both options will help you figure out if there is a big issue you might have overlooked.
My friends Amber Hawley and Maelisa Hall host the My Biz Bestie podcast. On episode 33 (season 3, episode 1) they share the 6 areas of your life that create your business support system. Here’s the link to that episode: The 6 Areas of Your Life That Create Your Business Support System #33
What I love so much about what Amber an Maelisa have done is that they break down in order of importance who we are best asking advice from. These six are yourself, your biz bestie, your inner circle, your team, your loved ones and your community.
So instead of going to the outer ring of our support system first and ask for recommendations from social media, start from the core and work your way out. I suspect that most beneficial suggestions and feedback will come from your biz bestie or your inner circle.
Amber and Maelisa describe the inner circle as
The inner circle could be people in a mastermind, mentors, collaborators, or simply people you are close to. Your inner circle is a group of people that you share your wins with and they have seen the progress that you have made in your business.
And when you want to make it official, book a tech strategy session! From time to time I also host office hours and open online chats on my schedule. I always send announcements for those to my email subscribers (click here to subscribe: https://techofbusiness.com/quickcheck/)
Thank you for hanging out with me on the tech of business podcast. Please share this episode with a friend who is looking at tech and would appreciate a fresh perspective!
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