Back in 2013 December, I wasn’t well known in social media.

I’d written this eBook and I thought it was amazing. I believed it would be a game changer for many. But apart from friends, my mailing list, blog followers and guys in Wazua, it felt like nobody else knew me. I decided to attempt to sell in ice cold traffic!

I JOINED A BIG GROUP WHERE NOBODY KNEW ME!

In business, to scale you need numbers. My mailing list was still a bit new so I didn’t have heavy numbers.

My best bet was a large Facebook group where nobody knew me. It had to be a group where many people wanted a side hustle or extra income.

Here’s what I was equipped with at that humble time:

PRODUCT: My eBook called Top Level Freelancing and Internet Marketing in Kenya

SELLING POINT: Helping people to either create a side hustle or earn more through freelancing and internet marketing.

TACTIC: Showing people what I was really making and how they can do it, too.

TARGET: I was looking for talented guys who wanted either a full-time source of income or a side hustle. Also guys who wanted to use online marketing strategies to increase their profit (this was my biggest target since people with existing businesses are more likely to succeed using internet marketing tips than those who wanted to create new products).

The audience was as cold as they come because…

…nobody knew me over there.

The first agenda was to bring immense value. To try and give info on online work that was better than the best online guys they had over there. I gave tips and people got small wins. I made some good networks. Note that in social media you’re mostly selling to the silent followers. I talk more about that shortly. But first…

You need to sell!

My second agenda was to SELL. I know people hate selling. Bad mistake. Start SELLING a little bit more aggresively.

If your product is great, you’re simply transforming lives with it. SELL!!!

If you’re selling umbrellas when it’s raining HEAVILY, why would you not want another guy to get an umbrella? You’ll sell quick, right? You’re helping people.

Same goes for other products. If they will bring a positive outcome in people’s lives, why not SELL? I hear you. Right answer. You should sell.

To sell to an ice cold audience, you need

…lots and lots of evidence.

I posted my income list for the previous month. I broke it down in an Excel sheet, showing exactly what I did. It included my writing clients, eBook sales, affiliate commissions etc. I listed my exact income from each.

The first reaction was doubt

I was prepared for that. After all, the traffic was coooold ❄️. It had warmed up a little bit because I had literally helped a few in the group to get started for free.

One person was colder than all. As you’d expect, it was a pseudo (fake) Facebook account called Whitney Houston or something like that.

Here’s how the afro-cinema went down

Whitney: Walter, you’ve just made up these figures and put them on an Excel sheet. Give some screenshots of your PayPal and M-Pesa transactions we confirm.

Walter: Here you go.

[I poured a couple of legit screenshots on the comments]

Whitney: You’ve photoshopped these. Who can vouch for you?

Jackie: I vouch for Walter, he’s really really helped me free of charge through his emails and free stuff!

[A few others vouched for me as well]

Whitney: You’re playing with our minds and calling your old friends to vouch for you. Take a video of your PayPal account we see.

Walter: As you wish, Whitney. Here’s the video.

[I posted a video of me going from Facebook to PayPal, logging in, scrolling down to show recent transactions, then going back to Facebook. That proved the video was all real-time since the conversation was moving thick and fast, building up an eager audience.]

I think Whitney typed some obscene things that were against that group’s rules and was eventually evicted.

That was the end of the afro-cinema

Did you know that if you post anything in a big group, so many people will see it as opposed to those who react? In ATK for example, if you post something and it trends, it gets up to 15k views. But just 100 comments and 300 to 600 likes or so.

What do the 15k viewers do? Why don’t they like or comment? They simply watch afro-cinema.

Many many many people on social media are watching afro-cinema. In short, many are silent followers. Some love your stuff, some don’t. But they won’t react.

Now that I’d proven I was worth my salt, people moved from afro-cinema and BOUGHT THE EBOOK.

Within 1.5 months I’d sold 66 copies and made 50K!

All from the traffic that was first ice cold.

Due to the little afro-cinema, plus my continuous helpful posts, I was no longer an unknown guy in the group.

I managed to do some of the highest trending posts in that group for a while. And whatever I sold, SOLD.

Of course my eyes were not on the sales, but rather the lives God was helping me transform through whatever I sold or shared for free. I even made incredible friends from the group. Some have been long-term business partners. Others very close friends who stick around in times of need.

How do you get through to an ice cold audience?

You do these things:

1. Identify a great place with many target people

The keyword here is “TARGET”. There needs to be NUMBERS there. Otherwise you’ll waste time creating things and talking to yourself 

2. Offer value first

Be the go-to guy for something. If you’re not an expert in something, just offer some value.

You can show empathy, read and comment in people’s posts, share useful stuff, compliment genuinely, ask interesting questions, buy stuff (that you can afford) etc.

Be a solution, not a problem, a pest or a whiner. You’re free to offer positive criticism, that’s still value.

3. Create a good product

Once you read and understand the group, you’ll start seeing needs that no one is meeting.

Create a good product that can meet those needs. Make sure it’s something that can help MANY. Not one of those that only 2 people will buy.

You may need to stay close to the group’s influencers to see what people really want. Every group has 5 BIG influencers. Don’t judge them, learn from them.

4. SELL

Yes, you heard right, SEEELLL. Don’t sell the product, but sell the benefits. Transform people’s lives.

Focus on buyer success rates, not the volume of buyers.

If you get many success stories, the volumes will take care of themselves. If no success stories, pull the product down or improve it.

Think, feel, walk and talk like one of the biggest entrepreneurs, job creators and philanthropists

I started the year by saying that from now on, we’ll not just be freelancers, but also entrepreneurs, job creators and philanthropists. I’m seeing many here going from full-time freelancing (working for clients), to having their own things.

Some are building garages, others barbershops, others are in Uber, others working on creating sites like Upwork, etc. Some of my trainees are sharing phenomenal ideas that would blow your mind.

Soon, some of them will stand out and start making it big in this internet of ours. I’m trusting God that some here will scale up and become billionaires like Strive Masiyiwa, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos etc.

How I hope that you and I will be part of this successful team!