In life, we tend towards wanting recipes. When I’m asked about social media, people want to know things like “How much time should I do it?” and “What’s the right number of times to tweet in a day?” People ask whether Facebook or Twitter, and in which proportions. It’s natural. We look for recipes.
We Seek Out Recipes
I do it, too. I want to know the best way to work out with bodyweight only, or the best way to think about portion control. I am also looking for measures and techniques, a kind of “do this, then this.” It’s how most of us think about such.
So when, then, do we offer people the open refrigerator when it comes to offering our services?
Offer Your Buyers a Recipe
Whenever your offering says “You can do this, or that, or whatever you’d like,” your buyer runs the risk of not doing anything. They think, “Oh. I just wanted someone to do it for me, or at least give me the step by step.” It’s a stopping point.
What if you gave your buyers a step-by-step, even if it’s a “serving suggestion?” Maybe it’s not the right fit, but what they’ll do with a recipe is they’ll have a starting point from which to hack the recipe to fit their needs.
Recipes Are a Starting Point
Think about how we do that with food. If you head up to the window at McDonalds, you might want a Quarter Pounder, but with no cheese and no onions. If they had just shown you the various ingredients you could have, it would take you longer to make that decision. Plus, you’d have to ask about the various things that should be assumed, like bread.
Think Up Some Recipes
For whatever it is you’re selling, what recipes will you offer? Then, how will you present them? You’re probably thinking bulleted list. It’s the easiest way to think because that’s what we’ve seen in countless recipe books. But this is the new media world. You could do that, plus also have a video talking one through the serving suggestions. Think about how a bulleted list with a brief video above it might give your buyer the recipe but also give her the nuances of what she could possibly change.
Now, what kinds of recipes would you want to offer? What do you want to offer your buyer? Do you offer recipes or just ingredients today?
| Chris Brogan is an eleven year veteran of social media using both web and mobile technologies to build digital relationships for businesses, organizations, and individuals.