What Influences Anyone Online?
Basically…and truthfully…appearance plays a huge part of what influences people online to do anything. Whether it is to Follow Someone, buy something or just get someone to look at something..if the person, place or thing has a ‘Good’ appearance it will influence others to take action. I could end this blog here since anything else said about what influences people online would be moot.
However, the question I get asked has to do with ‘Influencing Golfers’ online…yes…a HUGE difference. Why?
Online Golfers Total Different Breed
Simply put, there are just not that many Golfers who use the internet enough to know who or what would be of influence to them.
Why? Well..they are golfers is why. Golfers…real golfers…are a total different breed of internet user. Golfers socialize and do business on the golf course..not the internet. Golf is still..and will always be…the most analog culture whose nature is not digital. Oh Yeah…most golfers come online to look for a golf course to play or to book a tee time. A few will even look at a review of a golf product or a comment someone makes on a golf course. Even a few will play some sort of online golf game or partake in a golf simulation program.
Now, this is not to say today’s golfer’s are not tech savvy. Even the over 50 golfers of today use tech. After all..if anyone can play golf handling a computer is a breeze.
Still, the nature of a golfer..a real golfer…is pure. All a real golfer wants to do is play golf. Golf just can’t be played online so why would they want to hangout online when what they are interested in doing is not online?
Yes, golfers are an interesting breed of person. Real Golfers…people who play golf on a golf course…are not easily influence online. As mentioned, they are online but not in huge numbers and don’t spend much time online. So to capture their attention online is going to be challenge.
Many golf businesses, or people interested in getting front of golfers online, are going to logically process the thinking that to lure golfers into seeing what they offer they should belong to, or create, an Online Golf Community. Logically, that would be a good thought. In reality, it just is not going to work. Why?
Well, let’s go back to the nature of a real golfer. Since there are Not that many golfers online it is hard to corral the golfers who are online into belonging to anything online. Why? Also part of the nature of real golfers that is more amplified than non-golfers, or online golfers, is their level of Not trusting anything online. Real golfers are like a wild animal who has an instinct to running from anything untrustworthy..or has an appearance of untrustworthiness. People claiming to be a golfer online will cause them to run.
So why are real golfers so untrusting of the internet? One thing Real Golfers have is a sensitivity to knowing they are Hunted. Real Golfers are probably the most savvy of consumers. The reason they are is they know every golf business in the universe is targeting them directly.
You can search Golf Demographics on Google and blindly point to any of the Marketing Reports and it will show Golfers as being in a Higher Income demographic which translates to golf businesses..or any business for that matter..that golfers…real golfers…have the ability to spend more money.
This means that nearly every golfer who enters an Online Golf Community is opening themselves up to being hammered by every kind of business. This hammering over time has resulted in many…probably millions…of golfers to leave the internet, or declare the internet as a slaughter ground. So real golfers…the golfers who do have extra deposable funds and who play real golf, see no need to expose themselves to unnecessary attempts to get to their money
Who Is Online?
So, now the question becomes…if there are not that many golfers…real golfers…online who is it that is filling up the Online Golf Communities?
It is this question that leads me to explaining the difference in an online golfer verses a Real Golfers. You have seen in this blog I keep mentioning ‘Real Golfers’. This is because there is a huge difference in a Real Golfer and the golfers who are Online. Yes, a Real Golfer can be an Online Golfer. However, very few Online Golfers are Real Golfers.
Now I know this is going to result in many of the golfers who reside online, like me, to say..’Wait a minute!!’
So, let me say..yes, there are a few of us who are Really Real Golfers who are out here in La-La-Land on a daily basis, but if you were to take the time…like have for over 12 years…to count them all there really is not that many of us out here.
Possers Thrive Online
So, who are these people in the online golf Communities on LinkedIn, Facebook and yes, Google+?
Well, from what my study shows, over 85% of them are people who want other people to think they are golfers, but…well…they are not.
They are the ‘Posser’ that really have little interest in golf or to become a golfer. They just like joining any community that will pay attention to them. They usually last a short time and them..they are gone, or they create another profile and come back as another person, place or thing.
‘Posser’s offer absolutely no value to being in a public online golf community. They just boost the number of users a Community Owner can claim they have in their effort to be influencial. OH, the games people will play to be…well…who knows what they are trying to be, but influential they are not.
Over 10% of those users who join golf communities are the ‘Wolves in Sheep Skins’ who are actively hunting the Real Golfers. They represent the Problem of the Internet and are running the Real Golfers…actually are running Real People..off the internet.
Fortunately, they have now caused enough accumulative damage to the social spaces that many of the social networks…like Google…are starting to deal with them from the backroom.
This leave 3% to 4% who are just totally lost souls who are out to be everywhere. They are like many of the Possers who are told they need to join Communities if they want to be influential, but just join and do nothing.
What is left is the very, very small percent of the members of online golf communities who are actually Real Golfers. They are the salty more talented online savvy ‘interneters’ who either work in social media or just have the time to sit at their computers most of the day fighting off the Possers. They post photos of golf courses, golf clubs, get into discussion about golf equipment, write reviews on golf equipment and generally are the most awesome of all online Golfers.
They Are Out There
Now..with all that said…Real Golfers are out here on the internet. ‘But wait a minute? Didn’t you just say they were not online?’ Yes, I did. What I did not tell you is that the Real Golfers who are online will NEVER, EVER, EVER tell anyone they are a Golfer.
Why? Well, as I mentioned, they are very untrusting of the internet, so they will claim to be an ‘accountant’, or a ‘landscaper’ or “whatever”..just to keep from saying they are a Golfer. Saying they play GOLF sends up a flag that tells every scam artist and MLM organizer that they have Money To Burn.
This group of people who play golf, and would qualify as a Real Golfer, do use the internet to socialize with others and look at Golf products. They will even go into Golf Communities, but they will do so as someone, or something, else. They will never expose their self as being a golfer.
So How Do You Attract the Covert Golfer?
I thought you would never ask. The answer is again simple. To influence the people who play golf, but will not tell anyone they play golf, you have to be the practitioner of the science of ‘Effective Social Media’. This means, you have to drop the self promotions, the blatant in-your-face advertising and other forms of ineffective attempts of using old school marketing.
As I mentioned, golfers are on the high end of the most savvy of consumers. To win them over to checking out your golf product or service you have to follow closely the following steps.
- First, you will have to appear to golfers as being a Golfer. Posting a photo in your personal profile of a Cat or your business logo will result in not appearing to be a golfer. The best thing to do post a headshot photo. You can moan and groan all you want about privacy and expressing your feelings on how posting your photo will result in people finding you in real life. All that is going to do is push Real Golfers further away..so Get Over It and move into at least being in the era of 2000 social networking.
- The best way to gather a following is to get real. You can do this by stepping out on the Golf Course and play golf with people…real people..preferably Real Golfers. Show them you are a real person and invite them to check you out online. The ONLY way you can gain trust of a Real Golfer is to play golf with them…not talk golf with them online. But..Wait a minute! How do I play golf with the thousands of people I need to buy my golf product? Have you heard of Videos?, I am not trying to be funny here, but think of ways you can play with golfers so they can learn more about you. They will in turn tell their golfing friends you are a Real Golfer so as to get them to come online to see you. The best way to get golfers to come online to see you is to go where they are..offline, and have a conversations with them. For every golfer you talk to, they know at least 10 golfers you do not know. Have them pass the word for you…but remember, be yourself..not the high pressure sales person you are told you are suppose to be
- Once you go back online you have to appear to be yourself, not as a product. If you are a Golf Instructor this might be hard to do, so tone down the golf instruction and be more like the people you want to instruct. Talk your consumer’s language not ball flight and swing planes. Have conversations, not instructions. Then, once you get a following. Repeat this process.
- If you are a Golf Product or one of the gadgets most real golfers look at as a waste of time, change your approach to showing them who you are…yes, show your face. Be YOURSELF and not the product. I know that will hurt your brain to think you are going to have to be a person and, yes, it goes against every business consultant you have ever talked to, but just remember..you are dealing with real golfers, not half dead zombie who reside on Facebook.
- If you are really determined to making your time worth while I strongly suggest you find one of the ‘Private-Member’s Only’ Golf Communities that have formed. Naturally you will have to do an Excellent job of following all of the above steps before anyone would invite you to join their online Private Country Club. Private clubs are more acceptable to Real Golfers since it takes them out of the sites of the product promoters. Private online groups has been the direction online golf has been going for sometime now and, yes, believe it or not, they are out there. Of course, if you can’t find one or get invited to join one you can always create your own. This actually would be a good way to sort through who you would better influence…so try it.
Yes People!! We are talking about the Internet here and how to get people who really don’t have a huge need for the internet to use the internet. You have to get the real golfers online so you can influence them into seeing what you do professionally. In order to do this you have to be more of a real person than a thing.
If you don’t want to be a real person it might be better you not try to do any of this since obviously NOT being a real person will not work.
However, if you want to try it out, then…let me know how I can help.