According to the Google definition, spam is:
Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients. Unwanted or intrusive advertising on the Internet.
I hate spam.
It’s indiscriminate. It’s not personal. It’s unwanted. It barges in without being requested. It’s pushy.
Spam makes me feel like someone is trying to use me. I've felt the same way in other situations with people and businesses. I don't think they realized they were even making me feel this way because they were so blinded by their own agenda.
You could be spamming and not even know it.
Here are a few examples:
- Giving out your business card before you’ve even talked (or listened!) to a person.
- Doing this sets the tone that you are only interested in talking to the person so you can push yourself, not serve them.
- Following people on Twitter just so they follow you back.
- When you do this, you aren't seeking to make genuine connection, you’re simply seeking to gain followers by following them for a split second. Just because it works sometimes doesn't mean you should do it, because you may be turning-off people that you wouldn't have turned-off otherwise.
- Bringing up your business in a conversation when it’s not even relevant to the conversation.
- This is often characterized by interruption, which demonstrates that the person was only thinking about what they wanted to say and wasn't listening to you.
Spam-like actions are born out of fear, not peace. They’re born out of a desire for money rather than a desire to serve. They are characterized by pushing instead of listening.
Spam-like actions make us unattractive. No one likes being interrupted or ignored. No one likes being dehumanized as a means for someone to make money. People want to be heard, listened to and treated as humans. When we spam them, we communicate that we are seeking to use them for our own means, which does not make us attractive.
Spam-like actions make our product seem poor. If we're acting like an infomercial salesman, pushing our product indiscriminately, then it seems like our product is poor or unneeded. But if we regard our product as necessary and useful, we know that we will find opportunities to share it with people. We won't need to push it without listening to people first.
You don't need to spam. You can make genuine connections. You can have honest conversations that will benefit your business.
If you listen, you will hear opportunities. But if you are always talking, always pushing, you will never hear those opportunities. People will feel steamrolled and you will miss them.
The world is inevitably richer because of those who have sought to create real relationships. Inversely, it is cheapened by transactional, spam-like interactions.
Those that seek to enrich the world are the true entrepreneurs.
Give up your fear. Don't resort to spam. It's better for your business.