On this week’s show, my buddy Sarah Hadley stops by for a fun, NSFW chat (we also did a Facebook Live video). We talk about why some popular Facebook chat marketing schemes (bots) can be predatory and backfire on small businesses – like destroying community and connection.
If you’ve ever been spammed about acne cream or yoga pants via Facebook chat by a complete stranger you know who we’re talking about. Yeah, Brenda, I’m looking at you.
If you want to hear how well traditional digital marketing works listen to Jennifer Allain’s story.
Things We Mention
Dear Brenda We Need to Talk (Sarah Hadley’s article about why Facebook chat can be so intrusive)
Related episode: How to Plan and Engage Effectively on Social MediaIf you've been spammed on social media you'll love this episode. If you've thought about using Facebook chat for marketing listen to this first. #socialmedia #marketing #podcast Click To Tweet
We’d Love To Hear Your Questions
About Sarah Hadley
I write for others the words they struggle to write for themselves. I am a professional storyteller and freelance writer. This year, I also became the owner of a craft soda company — but that’s a story for another day. Every person has a story to tell, whether it’s the story of their business or the story of their life. I help tell those stories.
I live in the Portland Metro area with my husband (he’s the one with the beard) and two teen boys. Our daughter is traveling the country with her husband and our adorable grandson.
About Jen McFarland
Jen McFarland, the host of The podcast, has spent over 10 years as a business analyst and growth strategist. She lived and worked in Kazakhstan for two years where her experiences made here a champion for equity, human rights, and cultural competency.
Jen’s goal is to help women and people of color build sustainable businesses positioned for expansive growth. Her strategies and tactics guide clients to navigate change and uncertainty gracefully while staying in alignment with their 3-5 year business goals.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out my favorite business growth tools.
Jen also loves appearing on podcasts. Here’s her Podcast Guests profile.
Ready for Connection? Follow the Third Paddle
Previous Sarah Hadley Podcast Appearances
Share on Pinterest
Why Community and Connection Crush Facebook Chat Every Time Transcript
Hello and welcome to the podcast. I’m your host, Jen McFarland. On this week’s show, my buddy, Sarah Hadley stops by. We talk about how some popular social media marketing schemes are predatory (Facebook chat) and can have negative unintended consequences. If you’ve ever been sold acne cream and yoga pants via Facebook chat, you know who we’re talking about. Yeah, Brenda. I’m looking at you.
[music] Welcome to the podcast recorded at the Vandal Lounge in beautiful southeast Portland, Oregon. Why the Third Paddle? Because even the most badass entrepreneurs get stuck up in business shit creek. Management consultant Jennifer McFarland is your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.
Digital Distractions eBook
I created a journal so I could reflect on whether things like Facebook, Twitter, email, CNN, and even Amazon were distracting me from treasured family relationships and business goals. I decided that it was distracting a little bit too much. So I armed myself with tools like Boomerang to pause my inbox and Freedom to eliminate social media, news, and other distractions. On days when I create the most space, my productivity is up and I feel deeply connected to things much more significant than anything I could find on a smartphone. So the question is, are you ready to emerge from the digital fog? Go to jenmcfarland.com/ebooks and get Digital Trade-offs, which is the journal I created for myself to see if my time was aligned with my biggest goals. I think you’re going to want to check it out.
Brenda, We Need to Talk
Are you ready to talk about Brenda?
I am ready to talk. I’m always ready to talk about Brenda. I’ll whip Brenda out at the grocery store. I’ll whip Brenda out in the drive-through line. I’ll whip Brenda out at a work conference. We got to be talking about Brenda everywhere because Brenda’s [off the fucking hook?].
Brenda is an epidemic.
I work with people on setting up the basics of digital marketing. It’s amazing how many people are going straight to bots. And I’m like, “Oh my God. There’s so many millions of things before you ever get to bots and Messenger and all of the like.
Yes. Because when you do that, when you approach somebody with a bot, or you just drop in uninvited into their Messenger, what you’re saying is, “I don’t give a shit about you and I don’t give a shit about what you care about. I’m not even going to take the time to get to know you. I am just going to spam you until you buy something from me.” That’s what that says.
It does. Although I will say there’s an exception to it. Last night I got a bot message but it was from a friend who I know very well and I know about the event she sent me the message for. And I was like, “Oh. Okay. Cool.” And it was giving me more information. That’s different than somebody that hits me up on Facebook. I added them because we happen to have a lot of people in common and they go straight for the sale in my messenger.
Right. Because what the difference was is what– you were giving the example of your friend that sent you the bot about the conference, was it was your friend.
The relationship was already there.
And so, you can use those sorts of technologies. You can use the bots and you can use Messenger to disseminate information or to remind your people of something, once a relationship is established.
So let’s back up a minute. I also want to acknowledge, there are just a lot of people out there pushing bad information on people. I think most of the people that I receive just straight up, hardcore sales from people I don’t know. They typically belong to some sort of program or system that is giving them templates and advice on what to do.
Yes, and they give them terrible advice. They’re giving them predatory advice. Because they’re saying, “Go be a dickbag to all of your friends and all of your family until you get a sale because your sales make me money.
“You really think it says, “Go be a dickbag?”
It should. If we were going to get truth in marketing standards, right, it should say that. And they back that up. And these companies back that up with this promise of, “Oh, you’re going to be able to pay your bills.” And they prey on younger women are often stay-at-home or mostly stay-at-home moms, and so there’s– I totally know that. There’s a bit of loneliness, there’s a bit of isolation, there are some feelings like lack of empowerment. Because no matter what skills you have and no matter how awesome you have, you’re on the floor, seeing the seventh rendition of PAW Patrol, changing shitty diapers and making macaroni and cheese only to throw it in the garbage. There’s nothing really empowering about that. And so oftentimes, it’s those types of people that are preyed upon and they’re given this promises of riches and status and wealth and excitement and all that type of stuff if you only just go out and sell this thing for 99.95.
I like what you’re saying because it speaks to a broader concern, right? I mean, I think that– and that’s part of it too. I want to acknowledge that it is hard, and people who want to start a business, they want to do the right thing. I’ve talked about it before, how many times it’s easy to get lured into things because you get tired and you want a better life. And then you go on social media, and it makes all these promises. And maybe your other friends are selling something and they’re saying how successful they are.
Oh, yeah. Everybody’s posting pictures of their grocery bills and their cars that they’re paying for and their lives that they’re paying for. And funny enough, Brenda posted that same picture, and Jenny posted that same picture, and Sarah posted that same picture. Weird, they all have the same grocery bills [laughter] that they’re paying with their riches that they’re making after [mass-carrying?] yoga pants.
I just think that a lot of people aren’t making the money off of the sales. I mean, it’s all hand. And it’s about kind of– so before you get involved in something, it’s about having that discernment around what’s actually happening and what is a realistic outcome for what you’re trying to do.
Yes. And being clear about what you want and what’s really going on. Because these people often, they’ll talk about themselves as entrepreneurs and business people. And I’ve often had the argument that, “No, you’re not. You might be a phenomenal salesperson, but you’re selling somebody else’s product. They have their own marketing strategy. They have their own accounting. They have their own brand recognition. And you are selling the hell out of their product. Awesome, go for it. That’s not being an entrepreneur.”
That’s true. And that’s why when I work with entrepreneurs and they want to go straight to the easy way out or the quick way to get money, which is through this automation, I’m like– I’m in favor of automation. I tell people that all the time. But it’s better to do things based on what you own. For example, having an email list is still more valuable than leveraging what Facebook has to try to make sales. So it’s about like nurturing a relationship, and you often times can do that through email when it’s a consensual situation. What I mean by that is, you offer something and people join your list because they want to. And then what that means, when somebody joins your list, is that means that they want to hear from you. And then you deliver by giving them something valuable about what you’re doing that engages them. That’s much different than invading somebody’s social media. I was on Facebook and somebody said, “Email marketing is dead.” And there was all this conversation and I was saying, “Yes, you’re hearing these things from the stage, from millionaires and billionaires, but they have entire marketing teams that are telling them what works for their particular business.” Because statements like that are dangerous when they’re made in women entrepreneurial circles, which is where this was. And then, of course, what happens the next day? Facebook and Instagram were down for the entire day [laughter].
Yes, I noticed that.
And I was like, “How is that going to work out for you?” Weird though.
How about I ask all my email clients how that’s working out for them because we’re still talking.
Exactly. And part of it too is, and I get, wanting to sell somebody else’s product. I mean, it’s much easier, right, because all those systems are in place. There’s a lot of advantage. There’s a lot of advantages to it. But what can happen, going back to what you first talked about, is you are in this case, the Brenda character that we’re talking about. Let’s say like a stay at home mom who is feeling isolated, when you coach and invade somebody’s social media space, it can actually backfire tremendously and then you end up feeling much more isolated and alone because people will start to turn away from you. And I think that’s the biggest thing about all of this is preventing that unintended consequence.
Yes. Because people go into this wanting status, wanting money, wanting recognition, wanting success. People come out of this with none of that.
Yeah. Because the system that they’re a part of is not– typically it’s not built to make people wealthy unless they’re in a certain position within that organization or structure. That’s just how the system is built. But it makes a lot of promises and that’s what is so difficult about it. And that’s not to say that everything is a scam, it just means go in with your eyes wide open about it. And my friend, who I’ve always been really impressed, she’s built a [inaudible] business, but she has never done any of these tactics that we’re talking about. So what I would say is it’s possible to be very successful and sell products for somebody else without the predatory marketing practices. And then if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s also something to really think about which is the ownership of all of these systems and all of that data. And that’s why you just don’t go straight for things like Facebook chat or Instagram marketing. And then, on top of all that is the discernment piece which is how would I feel if I got 14 messages in my messenger talking about–
Hey girl. Hey girl. And you’re like, “HI?” And they go straight for the sale.
Right. They’re like, “Hey, you’re looking old and fat. I’ve got a wrap and some wrinkle cream for you. And you’re like, “Yeah, thanks. Awesome [laughter].” Block. Delete. But my favorite was I got someone who said they’re in Spokane. They’re a friend of a friend. And I got this message, “Do you know a teenager with acne problems in Spokane?” And I’m like [laughter], “No.” Like, “Why am I getting this?” And so I replied with a link to your article, which is “Dear, Brenda. We need to talk” [laughter]. And we’ll put a link to “Dear, Brenda. We need to talk” in the show notes because it basically breaks all of this down in a much different way. So I sent her a link, and she wrote back, “That’s so hilarious [laughter].” And I was like, “[inaudible]? This feels like a disconnect.” But then we did start a conversation. But I still don’t think that she got that in the dialogue, by talking to somebody you don’t know and then hitting them with [inaudible] a) I don’t live in Spokane, Washington, b) I don’t know you, c) if I did know a teenager with acne problems, [laughter] they probably have a mom in Spokane who’s taking care of that.
Right. You’re probably not the target market.
I’m not your person for this [laughter]. And I’m not going to go to my friends and say, “Reach out to so and so and such and such about this because I don’t know you.”
Right. And you don’t know her and so you’re not likely to recommend her. And that’s where when we’re attempting to build these relationships in order to further some sort of cause, whether it be the growth of our business, or some sort of organization that we believe in that we’re raising money for, or whatever. Whatever cause we are building these relationships for, there has to be that trust factor. And that trust factor isn’t there unless there’s familiarity and recognition. And then once you have that familiarity and recognition, and you establish that through showing up in consistent ways. And so you show up in consistent ways and then your people will gravitate to you. I show up in a very consistent way. I’m sassy and profane. I piss people off. I get all sorts of shit in my inbox all the time. My husband’s like, “That probably caused you some problems.” And I was like, “I don’t know. It caused them some problems clearly because look at my inbox. They’re not happy about that.” But I show up in the same way consistently with my memes, and with what I say, and how I say it, and all that. And so people who that doesn’t jive with, there’s no question that I’m not their person. And it’s awesome. There’s a billion other people here. You’re going to find your people. Right?
And then it’s also very clear who my people are and that are attracted to that kind of sass and fire. Right? And then what that does is now I am familiar to my people. And in the same inbox that I’m getting all this hate mail of like, “God, I can’t believe you said that,” or “You’re such a bitch,” and whatever, I’m also getting tags of like, “Oh, I saw this and I thought about you.”
I get those.
Boom. Million dollars right there. Yeah, absolutely, because people know what I’m known for. And they say, “I’m thinking about you.” And people pop up that I don’t regularly conversate with. If you do it, it’s just I talk to you a couple times a week. But I also get that from people who I don’t talk with as frequently. But I’m still in front of their eyes. I’m still being known to them. And then they know what I’m for. And so then they see an article, or they see a meme, or they see something. And they’re like, “Hey, I thought about you when I saw this.” That is what you want. And you’re not going to get that through a bot. And you’re not going to get that through the friend request drop in your inbox with all the emojis.
And adding to a group. I hate those, too.
Oh, my God. If–
When you get automatically added to a group.
–right. That gets a straight fuck you from me when people do that [laughter]. I go straight to their timeline and I’m like, “Fuck you and your nonsense because don’t add me to shit.” That’s what I have to say about that [laughter]. Yeah. Seriously, that is–
I don’t go quite–
–I don’t go quite that far. But it is so rude. It is so rude.
It is way rude. Well, if you want to go that far but you don’t feel like you should go that far, call me. I’ll go that far [laughter] because it’s beyond rude.
It’s really rude. And so what I– there were a couple things that came up for me while you were talking. The first is–
Okay. I’m going to interrupt you really quick. Not only is it beyond rude, it’s sometimes damaging because I’m very vocal about the people that I care about. Right now in our community, there’s a lot of contention over LGBTQ youth. And I’m very vocal about that and my support with them. And so it can be very damaging to what I’m known for if I end up in some sort of rightwing, gay-hating group. And that’s obviously very extreme, but that same sort of thing. So if I end up in a group that is inconsistent with what I’m known for, which is inconsistent with my values, which of course this person wouldn’t know because they don’t know me– right? They just threw me into some sort of group– it could really be damaging. And that matters to me. And that’s why they get a big fuck you from me. So anyway, that was my interruption. Carry on.
Why thank you [laughter]. Wow. Welcome to Sarah Hadley’s [inaudible] everybody [laughter]. I’m glad I get to talk on my own show. Okay. So there are a couple things to really consider. One is that from the time you meet someone until the time that you make a sale, there’s typically nine touch points that happen. So that’s part of what makes it such a turnoff when somebody goes straight for the sale without any sort of introduction or anything. So it’s not just that– it’s that you’re not honoring that relationship that needs to be nurtured. And that’s what makes it so rude, first of all.
And we don’t know what to do with it because we work in patterns. Right? And we’re familiar with that nine touchpoint pattern. And so when that gets thrown off– so you come to me, and you start this dance. Right? And I know what to do with that. And I know how to respond. And I know where I’m at in it. Right? That’s the human condition. Where am I at in space and time, and how do I fit into this group? I know what I’m doing. As soon as you disrupt that, there’s a disconnect. I’m out. I don’t know what’s going on. And I don’t care enough to spend the brain calories to figure it out because I don’t even know you.
Okay. So say you send out 500 Messenger messages, and you make 20 sales. I mean, maybe that’s really good. Right? How much repeat business are you going to get? And how many people have you alienated in the process? So it’s really about– it is about being known for something and about nurturing that relationship. I get all kinds of memes and things in my inbox. And I try to share them and stuff. And I don’t get all the hate mail that you do.
Because I think that you’re a lot more diplomatic than I am [laughter].
You don’t say [laughter]. Jen McFarland, 10% less hood rat.
I can help you with that if you want [laughter]. I can help you bring forth your inner hood rat. Maybe that should be my next retreat. I think about that a little bit [laughter]. But I will say that what this does is it makes me less likely to want to add somebody I don’t know, to my social media account. And I’m all about meeting people and building relationships and everything. And I add someone and instantly like my page, boom, here’s this wonderful acne cream and yoga pants [inaudible] in essential oils. And I’m like, “I don’t do any of= what’s happening?” And honestly, a lot of it is I don’t have time for that. We’ve entered now into the realm of now I have to manage this. I don’t have time for that. And because I like to deal with humans and not pretend humans that don’t acknowledge what they’re seeing on my board, but I’m also different in that I am not– like earlier this week my car got hit, it was parked on the in front of my house, somebody was a distracted driver also happened to be uninsured, plowed into the back of our car. But I talk about that on Facebook because I feel like there’s so much fakeness going on in social media that it’s important to say, “Hey, something happened, it was kind of terrible.” And then go back to the dad jokes and the rest of what I say.
And the terrible puns.
And my awesome pan because pans are amazing. And if you disagree with me, you can send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. And [laughter] attention Jane [inaudible] puns are terrible.
I might have the biggest email list ever. Thank you.
You’re welcome. And I think its important to have a little bit of reality on your Facebook page as well. I’m not saying be a Debbie Downer or anything, but– because I don’t think I was either I was kind of like, “Oh crap, somebody hit my car.” Because it was mostly that it kind of spoke to this the fragility of kind of what we’re dealing with sometimes as entrepreneurs, right. And I think that when that happens–
Because that threw off your whole week.
Oh, it put my whole week in a washing machine. And, but it also is kind of a metaphor for this whole thing that we’re talking about. You need to nurture relationships and make careful decisions. I could have moved my car in my driveway after the person left, who was visiting me, and I got busy and distracted and didn’t do it. And then somebody plowed into the back of it. Which is to say that the same thing is true with your relationships with clients, potential clients, people who are maybe following you on social media that you’re not aware of, but they’re paying a lot of attention. And you need to nurture all of that and be your best self and be authentic and care for that because if you don’t, somebody can plow into the back of you and wreck everything is the same as– I mean, and that’s how it works in entrepreneurship. And that’s why I always advocate for things like an active blog where people can hear your voice and videos where they can see you and building an email list based on people coming and signing up or all of those kinds of things as opposed to what is viewed as this really easy thing. I’ve got– I don’t know how many people I have, like over 1,000 maybe 1,500 people [inaudible] on Facebook. And then, because I’m still kind of careful about who I add. I mean, I think my total reach on social media is pretty close to 10,000. And I would not send automated stuff out to those people. I’m nurturing that. I’m sending them to my website. I’m sending them to any opportunity I can to say, “Hey. I want to get to know you more.” And it’s up to them to take that next step.
Right. And that’s the work that we have to do as entrepreneurs and small business owners, if we are wanting to develop that authentic relationship, is we have to put the work into that. We have to give them things, and we have to create things in ways that doesn’t make it difficult for our people to consume. Right? And so we’re doing the heavy lifting of this. And we’re saying, “Here you go. Here’s a blog with five things that you can do today to increase the speed of your website.” Boom. That’s it. If you read these five things, go do it. That’s just for you. There’s no strings attached. There’s just, “There you go.” And we do the heavy lifting of that. And that’s what elevates you and me and the other people like us that are doing that over time is now, all of a sudden, we have growing influence. When we raise our hand in our communities, and we’re like, “Hey. I have a need.” Boom. Everybody’s there because we’ve been consistently fostering that base. Or when we say, “Hey. Could you– I’ve got this thing. Would you mind telling your friends about it?” People are like, “Hell, yeah, I’ll tell my friends about it.” Because we have a relationship and we have trust. And I feel confident in sharing this with my people.
Yes. And I remember now, the second point, when you were talking before about, I don’t know. There was a lot of ranting and dickface and fuck you and stuff. I’m not sure. I got a little lost in it, to be honest. But the other thing– so in addition to nurturing that relationship with nine emails or getting to know people, is also the acknowledgment that we’re not for everyone. So just because I have a following of 10,000 people spread across several different social media accounts, that doesn’t mean I have 10,000 clients. It doesn’t even mean I have 10,000 potential clients. It means that I may have said something funny, like a dog joke. You know, they like my Boston terrier that I post pictures of sometimes. It could be anything because– and so I don’t take that to mean that all 10,000 of those people are my people. They maybe are just interested in one dimension and it may not be something that I sell. That’s why you have to use some of these indirect methods because, when you are consistent and clear and sending people to your content, which really allows you to be positioned and shine, and then, when you get them on your website, know that many people are only going to go there one time, which is the key to having some sort of opt-in, giving people at least some sort of opportunity. Make your website interesting enough that they’re going to go to another page. Give them a chance to sign up for a list, anything like that. Because, then, you’ve got somebody that you can have that conversation with, whether it’s through a newsletter or sales or whatever, however you have that structured. But it’s all about careful planning and implementing it. And it’s not to say that you don’t ever use bots or go to messenger. But in the sequence of priorities, paid social media channels, or using any sort of like automation to send things to people directly into their social media. That’s really something that should be handled by a professional, and it should be part of an overall marketing plan. And most of the people like you who are listening to this show, or the people that I work with a lot, they’re not there yet. They may have some people managing some stuff. But to really be effective with some of these tools, that we are finding so offensive– there are good ways of doing it. But that cost a lot of money.
Right. Well, it does cost a lot of money.
Well, and you’d just be more effective if you would nurture your local community a lot more and get out there. And then, you’ll make enough money that you can pay people to do it.
Yes. Yes. Yes. And that’s what I really like and appreciate about what you do, Jen, as far as– when you get into that level, when you uplevel there, that is a lot of money. But what you do is you help people to where they can, actually, get there in a manner that is going to serve them. And it’s going to serve their people through the different systems of– you were talking of kind of like the overall strategy. And you do a phenomenal job of creating that overall strategy and saying that, “Okay. So here’s where you want to get. And here’s where we can get you there. And here’s how we can get you there in a way that matches you and the time that you can spend and your tech knowledge and how fat your wallet is.” And so that people like us that are in the long game, right, we’re building, and we’re scaling, that we can, actually, get there. And so I like– that’s what I really like about– I mean, there’s a lot of things I like about what you do. But that, in particular, and how valuable that is. Because that gets us there. Because if we don’t have those– and people like me, I don’t know what I don’t know. I always super appreciate those messages that drop in from you that say, “Hey. You need this.” Or, “Go do this.” Right? Or, “Check this out. This is on sale, and this would be really good.” And you and I have built a relationship to where, when you send those things to me, and you say, “Hey. This is on sale. You want this.” Because you know what I do, right? So you know what’s going to integrate well. I don’t even question it. I don’t even google it. I don’t even go look at reviews. Jen told me to do it. I go buy it. Boom. Done.
Yeah. And that’s because you’ve taken the time to build the relationship, and you’ve taken the time to hone your craft and become an expert in what you do. And so when you tell your people, “Go do this.” They do it.
My hot tip for this week is how amazing and powerful the program Square is. I’ve always been like, “Oh. Payment processor, cool, whatever.” The free product for Square– so you do pay a service free if you use them as your payment processor. But it’s the best way a small entrepreneur, even somebody who has a small retail shop, to get going. Now, if you have a lot of inventory, it’s always Shopify. But Square is great if you have like a restaurant or people like us who do speaking engagements.
Or a soda company.
And soda companies or workshops or things like that. Because people just don’t take cash and checks anymore. It’s just not how it’s done. So I kind of thought that it was limited to that. But Square is a partner with Google. And they have something called Square Appointments. So a lot of people pay for their appointment scheduler, but you can use Square for free. And so every time somebody buys from you or sets up an appointment with you, then, you’re setting up, basically, a customer hub, where all of your people can go in there. But the important thing about Square being a partner with Google is if you– and everybody should have the Google My Business set up. And then, if you have a location for Google Maps, it shows ups as a really nice scheduling button. A lot of the popular schedulers like Calendly, Acuity, they don’t show up– they’re not partnered with Google because they’re just not big enough. Anybody can have Square Appointments, and it’ll work really well. The other part about Square that’s so awesome is, like I said, anybody who buys from you, anybody who makes an appointment with you, you can also set up automations using things like Zapier or PieSync, send people there who maybe buy from you or interact with you in other ways. It can be a free CRM, where you’re bringing in their name, and then, there’s fields there for call notes and all different kinds of things. And you can get a more robust CRM if you want to pay. And what that is is a Client Relationship Management, where you can have all of your customers in one place and keep notes on them. And then, they have a more robust product that costs, I think 20 or 30 dollars that will add a layer of the email marketing and even more engagement through there. But there are a lot of people who pay separately, right? They’ll pay for Acuity, and then, they’ll pay for some sort of customer tracking system. And then, they’ll use PayPal and Stripe and all of these different channels, right? And it adds all this complexity, so this is the hot tip, right? Is consider using Square and use it for all of the things. Send your customer information to Square– because the other thing too is, it’s just very powerful and amazing to have all of your customer data in one place. So many of the businesses that I talk to have spreadsheets, and have half of their customer stuff in about 16 different places. And one of the more powerful things that you can have is this synched customer list all in one place.
Yeah. I learned that through a lot of trial and error. I could do a whole class on everything you don’t want to do when you start a business because I’ve been doing– I started off on my own almost six years ago, and I didn’t get my first business coach until about three years in. I didn’t read my first business book until maybe like three and a half years in. And so when I transitioned from what I was doing before to doing freelance content writing and the soda company that we’re developing, is I was able to– because I was that person. I had Acuity, and then, I was paying for ActiveCampaign. And I had lists of emails from people that had signed up from events that I was doing in random folders placed– I mean, I was all over the place. And I was paying a lot of money to be all over the place. Yes. And so now, largely thanks to you, I have MailChimp, which is free. I have PayPal because PayPal is kind of a nice recognizable overall one. And then I also have Square, which is all free.
Do you have any closing thoughts? Any last wishes for Brenda?
So what I want you guys to do is I want you to go into the show notes, and I want you to read that. And I want you to save it. And every time somebody shows up in your inbox or on your timeline for your birthday– I got all these– so this is the new thing that I’ve found too. Had a birthday in February, and so now they’re starting to show up in my inbox on my birthday with like, “I’ve got a special for you because it’s your birthday.” And I’m like, “How lame can you be?” So when you get those, I want you to share this article with them. Because as you’ll see when you read the article, basically, it calls them out. It’s like, “Okay. So this is bullshit. And it’s intrusive, and it’s rude. And people are tired of it. Don’t do it.” And then, it also goes and says like, “I am willing to spend a lot of money. I have two businesses. I have three kids. I have an adorable grandbaby. I’ve got shit going, and I’ve got shit to do. And I have Amazon Prime.” Right? And so, what is going to make me buy from you and not Amazon Prime? The relationship.
The relationship. And I mean, and I would always prefer to buy local over Amazon Prime.
But I’m not going to buy local from somebody who spams my timeline on my birthday.
Right. Yeah. No, thanks. Because that’s just being jerky. It really was. I was really disappointed.
I wish I could have seen those responses.
You know what? It actually probably turned out nice because– see here a thing that Facebook’s doing now is they’re moderating. If you comment on things too fast and too much, they’ll kind of put you on a time-out. Well, they do that on your birthday too. And so when all of these things are coming in for you, and you’re commenting on them– because I try to go back, and I try to be like, “Wow. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.” Because I’m so grateful that people show up on my timeline on my birthday, right? Yeah. I get put on time-out because I’m commenting too much. So Facebook can own that shit because is your freaking birthday, and you’re saying “Thank you” for wishing me a happy birthday. You’re not spamming people. But yet, here’s Brenda in my freaking inbox spamming me. And she’s not moderated. So let’s get that shit figured out Facebook.
Okay. That was a dramatic pause on purpose, just in case, Facebook is listening [laughter]. Yeah. Facebook. Come on Zuck. Are you listening Zuck?
[crosstalk]. Right. You should be.
Thanks for coming back on the show, Sarah Hadley.
Thanks for having me. It’s always fun.
You can reach Sarah Hadley at courageousonthepage.com. You can also send messages directly to her Facebook inbox. No. I’m just kidding. But she is all over social media. And I think she will be back again because we really like talking.
I wanted to share with you the thing I am most excited about on the new jenmcfarland.com, and that’s a featured post called Jen’s Picks. This is a post that I’ll be updating all the time. And for right now, it’s all over the best programs that I tend to recommend for my clients. I thought, “What better way to help businesses get started than to start just publishing out a lot of the foundational pieces that I tend to recommend again and again?” So go to jenmcfarland.com/picks. Check out Jen’s Picks, and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if there are tools missing that you would like some recommendations on. And I’ll continue to add them over time. So again, jenmcfarland.com/picks. Also, go the tab for the podcast where you’ll find episode links for everything, all of the show notes. I also have a listener chat on there. So schedule some time. We can sit down and get to know each other a little bit better. And you can let me know what kinds of things you’d like me to feature. There’s also a button on there for guests. So if you’re interested in becoming a guest, go ahead and click that button, as well. And just check out the new www.jenmcfarland.com. Can’t wait to hear what you think. [music]
Thank you for listening to the podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes. To learn more, check out our website at www.jenmcfarland.com/podcast. The podcast is sponsored by Foster Growth LLC, online at www.jenmcfarland.com.
Jen McFarland is a business systems expert, podcaster, and blogger. She’s helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners make better business decisions. Jen’s passion is helping women-owned businesses get the growth tools they need to meet their 3-5 year business goals.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out Jen’s Picks, my favorite business growth tools.