Landing a job when you’re 55+ isn’t easy. If you managed to land one, keeping it until your desired retirement date isn’t so easy, especially in today’s still fragile economy.
Through the years, I’ve successfully launched several home-based business ventures, often on a shoestring budget. This Boomer start-up route seemed like a more promising option for those 55+ who were seeking solid and sustained income.
I now realize a major flaw in my thinking back then: I was making sweeping assumptions, but there are profound differences from one Boomer segment to the next. Everyone doesn’t view this start-up revolution with the same excitement and delight as I do.
Through hundreds of conversations, I discovered this path isn’t a fit for everyone. So in 2012, I put this idea on the side-burner and joined an incredibly talented consulting team. No regrets on that decision, as that phase boosted my own business know-how immensely.
Still, this Retirepreneur concept kept beckoning and in time, it was a mission, even a ministry, I could no longer ignore.
2016 Retirepreneur Reboot
Older (and hopefully wiser), I’m now championing this concept, but with a more clearly defined audience in mind. Retirepreneur is for business professionals looking to master the leap from full-time employment to a more flexible, part-time consulting practice. [In a future post, I’ll share more about why I chose this niche segment.]
This past week marked the launch of a new Retirepreneur website. Recognizing the surge in podcast listeners, I launched a bi-monthly podcast, too. The website, podcast, and monthly eNewsletter are my first owned media assets and I won’t build more until these are firmly established, appreciated, and on a steady growth curve.
Of course not. Building up digital assets where you’ll share helpful content is the first step, but there are many more to follow.
Content may still be King in today’s digital marketplace, but distribution is Queen and she’s ranking higher these days. While social channels offer a wealth of opportunities to build up a thriving online community, these channels are growing noisier and more crowded by the day.
Tapping Family & Friends to Promote Your Business
To grow word-of-mouth buzz, it makes sense to start with those who already know and love you… but for me, it was important not to over-step any boundaries. The last thing I wanted to do was become that pesky self-promoter that everyone grows tired of and eventually blocks or unfriends.
In an effort to help you determine where you’ll draw the line, I’d like to share a few things I did this week to get the word out to family and friends, along with a few observations:
#1 – Once the site launched, I posted an update on Facebook.
Happily, that one update sparked a huge surge in traffic to the new website and a few eNewsletter subscriptions. There was also a nice boost in Likes on the Retirepreneur Facebook page. Thank you Facebook pals for helping me get the word out.
Sadly, minutes after my Facebook update, a colleague I lost touch with tried to email me at my Retirepreneur email account, but received an error message. Thankfully, he alerted me immediately. I learned that despite having this email hosted elsewhere, once the website moved, email “pointers” had to be reset. A few support calls later, the email account was fixed and all was good. I’m hardly an IT geek, but I’ve managed to “MacGyver” my way through most tech challenges. I also have a tech maestro on call to bail me out, as needed.
#2 – Do I dare hit Family & Friends twice in the same week?
The traffic surge prompted by my first Facebook update lasted two solid days, generating nearly 1,000 views and podcast downloads. By Day 3, activity dropped off considerably. The marketer in me was tempted to post just one more update before the holiday weekend. Fortunately, the family/friend side of me prevailed and I decided to hold off for awhile.
For years, I’ve established clear lines of social media demarcation. LinkedIn and Twitter are the channels where I share helpful business insights. Facebook is the place to share family updates and fun things. I’d like to keep it that way.
#3 – Invite Family & Friends to “like” the Facebook Company Page
Before the website launch, about 20% of my Facebook pals were already following the Retirepreneur Facebook page. There’s an option within the Facebook company page where you can invite other friends who haven’t “liked” your page yet (it takes some hunting – you’ll find it in the “More” drop down menu).
Rather than hit up my friends with yet another Retirepreneur update in the same week, I decided to scan the list and invite friends who hadn’t liked this page yet to consider doing so. By the way, I didn’t invite every single Facebook friend. My decision filters for invites:
- Have I had exchanges (in person or digitally) with this person in the past year?
- Would this person be interested in knowing about this page?
The results? I only did this yesterday, but I’ve already earned 30+ more page likes, which is roughly one-third of those I invited. I’m a disciple of Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing principles. I’d rather have friends choose to opt in than push unwanted updates out to disinterested parties.
#4 – Will I ever share another personal update on Facebook about Retirepreneur?
Probably, but I’m holding off for a few months and I’ll only do so if there’s something new and noteworthy to report.
So there you have it — I’ve opened my playbook in the hopes that this degree of transparency will help you better navigate this delicate, yet incredibly helpful Friends & Family promotion channel.
What’s your take?