This is a quick clip of me on Tuesday 15th June in Helsinki, chatting about how Like Minds Conversation Helsinki came together. I wanted to show it because I’ve having another thought about value vs volume and also about spreadability being like scattering seeds.

The point is that Like Minds in Helsinki came about through a chain of events that I could never have planned. In actual fact, it came about because we asked 1000heads to partner with us for our Like Minds Conference in February, but without charging them – so essentially promoting them for free. We loved what they were doing and just wanted to use the platform that we had to give them more exposure.

Of course, our relationship began to flourish from that point. One connection then hooked onto another, and before we knew it, we’re in Helsinki running a Conversation and also a Summit with the tourist board of Finland.

Value vs Volume

The value play says that rather than seeking to grow through shallow touches with lots of people (therefore volume being required to turn a profit), we seek deep relationships that have far more yield. This is contrary to most internet and social media marketing which is purely about volume. However with my story of Helsinki, I want to reevaluate this a little.

I’m not sure if you can predict which relationships will be valuable and which won’t. We’ve all been let down by people we had expectations of, and then been surprised by others who have exceeded our expectations. This is church, in business, in work, in life, in family – in relationships of any kind.

This means that if I carefully plant my few seeds in a few select locations, am I not leaving room for this exception equation. You’d invest in the ones who you predict will yield the most return, and leave the ones that you predict would not yield a good return. And then problem with that is as we described above – your expectations aren’t always right. People surprise you – either by letting you down, or coming to the fore.

In my mind I am beginning to see that we need both the value and the volume play. Spreadability is like scattering seeds – and you don’t know which of those seeds will yield what. But by scattering a volume of seeds, you create room for expectations to be both let down and exceeded.

This volume-based scattering is like the training ground where value-based relationships then come to the fore. Something that my social sales funnels make room for.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • We all acknowledge this effect – synchronicity – is the product of planning?
  • Can you predict a value based relationship?

Archived Comments

  •  @barryfurbyFantastic work Scott, this truly is a great example how relationships can flourish in a likeminded community, and that by giving some thing away for free can add solidarity, bond those relationships and result in something much more valuable.Back to your point about predicting a value based relationship – I don’t think you can sense which ones are going to be more valuable than others, but if we all approached things this way it would certainly make it a much less aggressive marketplace to participate…. and you can certainly tell when the sincerity isn’t reflected from others.
  •  Scott GouldThanks Barry for the kind words – it certainly is great to see stories like these unfold. The next trick is communicating it!How do you think we can approach this mindset more?
  •  Randy DunningHi Scott & Barry,Scott – super post, as always.Fellas, I trend far more toward value than volume in most things I do. After being on Twitter for over a year now and as I mull kicking off a new blog/business, I wrestle with the value/volume balance.Barry, what you said rings very true. “If we all approached things this way it would certainly make it a much less aggressive marketplace to participate…and you can certainly tell when the sincerity isn’t reflected from others.”Scott, your comment is also in the same vein. “[Value] is contrary to most internet and social media marketing which is purely about volume.”As I get followed by more people on Twitter, I personally write a DM thank you for the follow and seek to be genuine. I often get an impersonal DM back saying, “Hi, Thanks for the follow – Grab this FREE 6 video series and get the top spots on Google (with link).” Sorry, but I’m not quite feeling the love from such exchanges.How do you guys deal with people trolling for followers and sales? Does it just come with the territory? Can we at least predict that these particular types of relationships won’t be valuable if we’re not interested in the product? I know, for example, that Trey Pennington encourages the following of everyone who follows you.“On Twitter that starts by following the people who are following you. Period. It is just that simple.”…How does such volume balance with value?Any practical insights or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
  •  Scott GouldHey RandyThanks for the kind words!I know you are a deep value player. I don’t follow anyone who is spammy or just unrelated to what I do, and I regularly unfollow people. HOWEVER, I balance this by continually saying “If I’m not following you, talk to me!” in order to create conversation with those people.The real value though is made with people like you and Barry, and the community that we have. I will skype you guys, cal you guys, email you, promote you, etc. Here is the deep value.Trey indeed follows everyone – but Trey is going for a volume based approach there. And volume does have it’s place.
  •  Randy DunningRight – you did make the ask on Twitter for those following you to engage. If you hadn’t, I would not have said “Hi.” It is what motivated me to engage you. Because of your approachability, I anticipated value.Great balance. Thanks.
  •  Scott GouldGlad you agree Randy :-)
  • annholmanAnother great post Scott. Relationships are the bedrock of any company and we need to influence, encourage and engage with them a lot more than we do now. Most of us go nowhere near where we need to go in order to develop valuable relationships. However, as you suggest, in order to do this we must have the volume too!Having said that life is not just about the numbers, it’s the enriching experiences we have too.
  •  Scott GouldAs you know I was with a publishers today, and as I was going through my Social Sales Funnel framework, I got more of an understanding how volume / value can work together.Will think on it and then share soon!
  •  Sam FordGreat points here, Scott, and I agree that there has to be some balance. It’s one thing to pay most attention to those comments that are most relevant to the content you put out there, the issues you write about, the topics you want to “own,” etc. In that way, value is key. It’s about deepening relationships with people when there is mutual benefit involved. It’s about truly getting to know people who generate ideas for you and who you want to be more closely associated with. The problem with that philosophy is that people then take it to “influencers” and “tipping point” proportions and, soon, we are encouraged to think only of those people who might be influential enough to be “worth” talking to. First, that puts too much power in the hands of people who often may be read by many but have no magic power over anyone. And, second, that often means ignoring anyone who doesn’t seem “influential” enough, which can be a costly mistake–among other reasons, because influence is something that isn’t static. In any case, I think we have to strike the right balance, as a company and as an individual, between having deep online exchanges/relationships online, on the one hand, and continuously making new relationships on the other. People may come in and out of “deep contact” with one another, and we can’t expect to be “following everybody” nor should we superficially seem to…but we have to keep our membranes malleable, I think, to be sure we don’t become too static, and we have to accept that relationships online wax and wane with touchpoints and productivity over time.
  •  Scott GouldSam – I love these words of yours.I have what I call my “social sales funnels”, in which there is a mix of volume and value, because I know from experience that I can’t predict what will and won’t prosper. It’s recognising that element of business that even though you can prepare as best as you can, you still need to, at some point, be at the right place at the right time.I’m beginning to understand that we need to be able to both ‘scatter’ and ‘gather’. A good dose of reading your notes that you sent me is about to begin!Scott
  •  Sam FordLook forward to your further thoughts on “scattering” and “gathering,” Scott, as well as any response you have to what I sent along.
  •  Scott GouldI’ve worked them into a little framework – will share soon!