My husband and I were sitting on the deck, glasses of wine in hand, sun beginning to set, when the Ring doorbell went off.

I opened the app to check if it was our DoorDash order getting delivered.

I laughed out loud when instead, I saw a salesperson on a segway scooter cruising up our driveway, clipboard in hand, lanyard around their neck.

“That’s a first,” I said to Marc as I showed him my phone. 

Needless to say, we didn’t get up to answer the door because we knew it was “just someone trying to sell something” and at dinnertime to make it worse.. What I call, interruptive selling. 

When I first started my own business, I made a promise to myself: I would never market my business in a way that I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of. 

I didn’t want to be the person that people tried to avoid, I wanted to be the one they gravitated to.

You know the cold sales pitches that pop up at your front door, in your DMs, your email inbox, the incoming call you automatically know is spam. They’re unfortunately everywhere.

The sales person on a segway, cruising up to every door in the neighborhood at dinner time is the exact opposite of how I want to market my business.

While my marketing happens fully online, we all know that there are digital versions of door knocking and those aren’t for me either.

Social media and online marketing strategies  can be so powerful when they’re approached with the mindset that you’re there to share your expertise and build relationships, not just to sell. 

It’s asking yourself how you can focus on a relationship driven approach. How can you approach marketing in a way that makes people crave more instead of declining, deleting and avoiding?

That is where my  approach to marketing that never feels salesy comes in.. What I call “the glass of wine with the friend approach to marketing.”

Picture this: You’re hosting a cocktail party

Your Instagram followers are all waiting for you to open the door

When they come in, which of the following would you do?

A – Jump on your dining room table with a microphone, tell everyone what you have to sell and then proceed to hand out business cards to everyone and then leave

B – Introduce yourself, get them a glass of wine (insert anything you serve to drink), ask them questions, have conversations, talk about your life and business, refill their glass, serve food, etc.

I realize the answer is obvious but what about when it comes to social media? 

Are you doing more of A or B? 

I want you to think of your Instagram (or any platform you’re using) as YOUR very own cocktail party. 

You are the host.

It’s your job to serve them (provide value), have conversations (build and nurture relationships), and entertain them (make them want to come back. Glass of wine with a friend, style!

Here are 5 ways you can start implementing “The Glass of Wine With a Friend Approach” in your marketing today:

1 – Give your social media a personality infusion

This is the key to conversion, especially if you want a business that is rooted in relationships.

Your face in your feed, your face on camera, allowing people to hear your voice and learn more about you beyond your job title.

“You can attract all the business you need in order to be successful by doing one simple thing: being yourself.”

2 – Don’t try to attract everyone

“You cannot be everyone’s glass of wine”. Or as Zig Ziglar said: “You cannot make it as a wandering generality. You must become a meaningful specific” meaning that you are not going to be the right fit for everyone so don’t try!

If you’re trying to be too generic, you won’t be specific enough for anyone to truly notice. You will blend in with the sea of all the other people in your industry using Instagram. 

3 – Relax the way you talk and the way you write. Avoid over the top industry jargon

So if you were sitting down with your friend to give them advice about real estate, how would you talk, what words would you use, what would your voice sound like?

We don’t want to be the digital version of our corporate bio. We want to be the way our friend would describe us. What advice would you actually give them?

There’s something so comfortable about hanging out with one of your best friends – like “Are you just wearing sweats? Okay, good, me too!” What if you could make people feel that comfortable when it comes to your business? How much more approachable would you be? 

Instead of people being worried that you’ll bang down the door of their inbox or dms the second they ask you a question about what it is you do, they will know they can get your good, best friend style advice without the pressure. 

4 – Focus more on building know, like and trust than on worrying about the sale. 

Focus more on infusing the human behind what it is you have to sell, on getting to know the people already there in front of you and on serving them consistently. 

In addition, put more effort into getting to know and like your followers too!

Give back what you want to come to you – share about another local business, leave a positive review, pay it forward. 

5 – Pour a glass of wine, coffee or whatever your favorite beverage is and start having genuine conversations.

Conversations > Conversions needs to be the focus if you want to approach your business like a glass of wine with a friend.

If you take the time to have more genuine conversations, the more organic those referrals and those sales become.

PS: You can still be strategic without being icky!

Listen to this episode for ALL the details!

If you want to build a business built on relationships versus cold leads, the glass of wine with a friend approach will be your best marketing strategy. 

Before sharing content, ask yourself:

  • Why would someone want to know this?
  • How can I make this simple?
  • How can I help them?
  • How can I be the resource?

Because at the end of the day, sales is such a good thing because you help someone get where they want to go faster. You help someone achieve a dream. You help someone find a new house that is a way better fit for their lifestyle, makes their life easier, less stressful, more organized, more space for their family, etc.

Sales is a good thing. 

But we need to be the friend, we have to be the resource, we need to build the relationship, not just sell.

Because if we truly want to help people achieve that goal, get that better (for them) house, have the best hair on their wedding day, or the sweet family photos, we can’t just show up in their DMs telling them what we can do for them.

We have to first focus on the conversations, on the relationships and on the value we can provide. 

It has to be rooted in that glass of wine with a friend approach and it will work so much better, especially if you are in your business for the long run!