*note: I admit that title is a bit much, but I had a lot to say.
Look, I was never one of those “girls” who needed tampons and corralled a whole group of other girls to head to WalMart.
Don’t believe me?—ask my college roommates.
Throughout undergrad, grad school and my first job, I did my work, worked my jobs, and crossed shit off my list. I was a doer.
Flash forward many years, when I found myself with a budding business of my own, and I picked up, flew across the country and attended a business conference myself. To me, it was no biggie.
Throughout my first tenure of being my own boss, the most important lesson I learned was business is business, and friendship is friendship, and while the two can coexist…in business, business comes first.
Tory Johnson, used to speak of a Business BFF. The difference between my at-home BFF and my business BFF immediately sunk in for me.
Women—and this is not an indictment—in our very tangled web of relationships, being nurturers, and often, pleasers, confuse the two. Friends are friends and business is business. When you wrong a friend, you say you're sorry and hug, maybe take some space, and hopefully move on.
WHEN you commit a wrong in business, sorry isn’t always enough. Sorry doesn’t take away business accountability. It eases your conscious, but not others. It’s why women are often told to not apologize in business. It discredits our own accomplishments and makes us look weak.
Anyway, I digress. Where am I actually going with this?
In my current world, the book world—not to mention other female-dominated worlds I've worked in—I find the lines often a bit blurred.
I’ve been saying for some time, numbers don’t lie and our wee-little book world needs to show our numbers. Not only sales numbers, but hey—we rely on bloggers for promo, etc. What do their numbers mean? What is their level of engagement? How many pageviews do they have? Unique visitors?
NOW, I say this knowing full-well, it could bring on the hate. But I speak from a vantage point of knowing both sides. I was a lifestyle blogger, and before signing clients the likes of five-star hotel chains and mobile carriers, I had to show numbers. Reach, engagement, views, comments, followers, on and on.
I wonder if all bloggers/influencers could furnish it?
It’s not meant to make anyone feel small: in fact, sometimes smaller numbers are better. TAKE a closer look...
For example, check out this nifty Instagram engagement calculator:
Number of likes + comments / overall followers x 100
So take this small potatoes account:
87 likes + 25 comments = 112 / 529 overall followers = .211 x 100 = 21.2% engagement
That’s freaking phenomenal!
Then let’s look at an example of a big dawg.
320 likes + 14 comments = 334 / 29,000 = .0115 = 1.15% engagement
If you do the math, sometimes those with smaller followings have larger engagement.
Moral: numbers don’t lie.
Last week, I ran an ad. A new ad, somewhere I hadn't run before. I spent $100 on the ad, and was quoted it reached 4000 people. I had 32 sales on a 99 cents book (roughly 40 cents profit). Do I like those results? Not particularly. If I went on the 10% rule, I should have had 400 click thrus/responses to 4000 people. Now, I know even 10% is hard to achieve, but with a percentage so low, I can’t even write it…the numbers don’t lie. Either the ad didn’t reach 4000 people or those 4000 people were not engaged.
Hey, I’m not complaining. It’s business and marketing/advertising is the biggest gamble of them all…you win some and lose some.
I guess my point is, not everyone is an “influencer” or major engager. Business is not a sorority and quantitative data matters.
Word of mouth can be a business person’s best friend, especially because it doesn’t cost you anything, but making promises on quantitative results require
*this is a crossover post between my business head and creative mind. If you're an indie author, you're a business person, hands down. You need to wear multiple hats including your biz one. Hey, even if your a hybrid or traditional author, your words are your business.