Polite Marketing – A Decent Person’s Guide to Social Media and Marketing Online

Did you know that you can buy friends on Facebook? It’s true. Friends are cheap! For 10¢ a head, you can have thousands of new friends. Does this sound like a good idea? It isn’t.

Friends, fans, and followers often get used as measures for marketing success and bragging rights on the Internet – the problem is that the raw numbers aren’t very useful. If you are trying to build a business online, the number you should care about is how many people are actually paying attention to what you have to say and how many of those are becoming occasional or, better yet, loyal customers.

Building a loyal following that reads your communications, shares them with others and buys from you is real success. You cannot do this overnight. Nobody has ever made a thousand friends in a day. Success online takes a clear sense of your goals and a well defined plan of how to reach those goals.

Social media is hard. It requires a real commitment of time and attention to do well. We don’t have 7 universal tips or 18 unexpected secrets because you don’t have a generic business. The truth is that if a miracle tactic would not work face to face, it probably won’t help you online. The best approach depends on the kind of business or project you are trying to build.

We are looking for 10 people committed to improving their social media presence who need some help getting started. In our workshop, we will help you get clear about social media and how it can help your business.

Who you are

  • You are a small business owner or an independent creative.
  • You are familiar with computers and comfortable with basic operations like browsing the web and using email.
  • You probably have a website. You might not be happy with it.
  • You might have tried doing some marketing online but aren’t having as much success as you’d like.
  • You may have tried using social media, or you may use it fun but haven’t worked out the best way to use it to grow your business or project.
  • You aren’t sure what to do next.
  • You are committed to doing better but would like some help getting clear about your plans and some support in making it happen.
  • You actually have some clients or sales; you are not just “thinking of starting a thing”.

Principled marketing

Our workshop is driven by two principles:

  1. Marketing online should not feel bad, sleazy, dishonest or inauthentic.
  2. Doing the work is everything  – Actually doing social media will help you get better at it, and help you refine your planning.

We will help you make a plan that will be Internet savvy without compromising the values and principles of your business (we promise that these aren’t in conflict) and we will help you execute on that plan.

What you will get from us

  • We will help you create solid, clear and actionable goals that will help you build a social media community that will be right for your business or creative project.
  • We will help you create a plan to achieve those goals.
  • We will give you feedback and support on your work throughout the planning stages and the implementation.
  • Best of all we will help you evaluate your progress and fine tune your plan based on what happens in the real (virtual) world once you start.

Of course we will also share ideas, case studies, and tools based on our experience.

3 class meetings – lots of virtual support in between

We will meet on three Thursdays October 6th, 20th and November 10th from 6:30-9:30pm in Central Toronto. Between sessions you will get support from Tim, Andrew and your classmates.

What we will expect from you

  • To do your homework – if you can’t put in the time we can’t help you.
  • To share and support other people in the program – both in class and via email between sessions.

Limited space

In order for this to work, we want a small group of people so everyone gets a good amount of attention at the meetings. This is why we are allowing no more than 10 people in the first session. Reserve your spot today!

Early bird special

Book before September 20th for a discounted price of $210 +hst.
After that, we will charge the full $280 +hst.

Who we are

Andrew McGregor is a Tarot reader and coach. Andrew helps people from all walks of life figure out what they want to do and how to go about making their dreams a reality. He has been marketing his services online and through social media for years and his strength is measured not in the number of followers but the high level of response to his list and other communications. His business The Hermit’s Lamp merges his interest in things spiritual, his background in advertising, and his experience in counselling and coaching.  He runs a blog and a monthly tarot podcast.

Tim Maly is a writer and independent educator. He ran online and offline event promotion for Jack Layton’s leader’s tour in the 2008 and 2011 elections. Through consulting and workshops, he works with small retailers and community groups to help them understand the best way to make online communication work for their needs. He runs Quiet Babylon, a website about the near future which has led to numerous online collaborative art projects such as 50 Posts about Cyborgs, Border Town, and Upper Toronto. His work has been covered in Wired, io9, the CBC, and the Guardian UK.

Creative Commons images, courtesy of Emily