About 3 months ago, there was a conversation in one of the Facebook Groups I frequent, started by someone who is working with a Business Mentor. This person (let’s call them A) had been advised by the Business Mentor (let’s call them B) to send weekly emails to their list, but with a 100% focus on content – no promotion whatsoever.

Yet I knew for a fact that this went against B’s own actions… and questioned why A would follow “do as I say, not as I do” advice. Several people disagreed with my observation, claiming that they received the emails and all of them were only focused on sharing great content.

So I decided to run my own test… and signed up for B’s emails using an email address set up specifically for this purpose – then analysed each individual email over the subsequent 3 month period.

And here is my full analysis of the 45 emails I have since received

What I discovered was interesting. Of the 45 emails sent over the 3 months since I signed up on 13th September 2013, only 13 (29%) contained pure content. 8 emails (19%) contained a soft form of promotion (register for a webinar, or give us a call if we can help you), and over half (24 emails, 53%) of all emails sent contained a hard promotion message – “here’s my offer, buy it now”.

The soft promotion started in email #5, and it was in email #11 after 3 more soft promotion emails that the hard promo began. B is clearly not practising the “no promo” advice that A was given.

To be clear, I am not criticising the volume of emails, nor that they contained promotion or the ratio of promotion. Nor am I casting any doubts over the credibility of Business Mentor B. In fact, the reason the debate started was because I disagreed with the advice, but totally supported B’s actions.

I teach (and practice!) that you should regularly promote your stuff in your emails – the key word is balance.

Step 5 of the Social Marketing Profits Blueprint™ is Verify. In order to convert your warm leads into sales, you have to be showcasing your expertise. And part of showcasing your expertise is letting your connections know how you can serve them… by promoting your products and services.

It’s important that most of your emails contain content – tips and advice that your connections can take away and apply. But you MUST include some promotion. I typically work on a 75% content, 25% promotion ratio for the emails I send.

But in advising A not to promote in their emails, B’s advice came from the “do as I say, not as I do” camp – and that’s what I’m challenging with this study.

When you invest in learning from a Business Mentor, you aspire to some aspect of their success. So if that expert #1 Question To Ask Your Business Mentor | Veronica Pullenteaches you to do something very different to what they are doing in their own business, you have to question why?

And if they aren’t doing it themselves, is it because it would make their business less successful? Which by definition means your business will not reach their level of success either if you follow the advice.

Or is it because they don’t have the time/inclination to do what they’re advising you to do – which means they are giving you untested advice?

How does the expert know something works if they haven’t gotten success from following their own advice?

When you choose which Business Mentor to work with and what of their advice to listen to, look closely at their own actions, and explore whether the advice they have given you is congruent with what they are doing in their own business

Do you agree? Would you follow the advice of someone who is suggesting you do as they say, not as they do? Do you observe the actions of business experts to make sure they are getting results from what they are advising you to do? Would you choose to ignore advice if you cannot see evidence of your Business Mentor following their own advice? Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think