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Creating Fierce Loyalty Is More Art Than Science [Day 21 – 28 Days to BFL]


This is Day 21 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. Yesterday John Haydoshowed us EXACTLY what to do on Facebook to build fierce loyalty. Really great ideas and discussion. Today, Julia Steelman draws on her YEARS of experience in the corporate world to draw five distinct social “styles” and how they apply to our efforts at building fierce loyalty.

Creating Fierce Loyalty Is More Art Than Science

By: Julie Steelman| @JulieSteelman

Long ago to build fierce loyalty, you had to be a fierce leader. You had to be the bravest warrior and most confident samurai. You had to have mad nunchuck skills and be willing to take a spear in the heart for your tribe. Gulp.

Today, the rules have changed: you have to be tweetable.

While it sounds simple, a good social media presence is more art than science. And as a sales mentor, I get this question all the time: “I’m spending time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but I’m not making any money … what am I doing wrong?”

Ah, grasshopper, you’ve come to the right place; I have the answer. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got a social selling style. I’m not talking about what kind of slippers you wear while you update your status; I’m talking about how well you play with others on the cyber playgrounds.

I’ve identified five distinct styles; two are effective and three are not. See if you can identify yourself.

I call the first style Ghosting. This entrepreneur uses social media because “everybody’s doing it,” but she has no idea what she’s doing or why. Her posts are inconsistent, vague and she’s simply going through the motions. If this sounds like you … stop it! You’re just wasting time. Social media is about building connections. You wouldn’t attend a meeting, shake the potential client’s hand, leave and expect to close the sale, right? Ghosters do.

The next style is Posting and Coasting. This entrepreneur hits the social media “easy button” by using other people’s material. She posts quotes. She re-tweets. And she shares links to other people’s blogs and articles. Problem is she’s not sharing much about herself, and she’s not establishing herself as an expert. Posting and Coasting is safe because you don’t have to be original and set yourself up for criticism. But I think Coco Chanel said it well: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”  ‘Nuff said.

Style #3 is Boasting. This entrepreneur talks about herself incessantly. She is concerned with one thing and one thing only: promoting herself. Remember the ‘80s movie Beaches? Bette Midler’s character CC Bloom is a textbook Boaster. She asks her friend, “But enough about me, let’s talk about you … what do you think about me?” Boasting might get you fans, but they won’t stick around. Remember relationships create sales. And the only relationship in which a Boaster engages is the one she has with herself.

The fourth style is Hosting. (Now we’re getting somewhere.) This entrepreneur understands her job is to serve others by continually providing value. She hosts events, chats and conversations, and provides valuable information. She’s an expert in her niche and generously shares what she knows. Hosting produces great results because potential customers feel cared for. She refills their virtual glass before they even realize it’s empty. They trust her and want more. So they visit her site, attend her events, comment on her blog or Facebook page or re-tweet her tweets. They become part of her tribe.

Finally, the holy grail of social selling styles: Toasting. This entrepreneur’s style is the most effective, and she produces phenomenal results. Toasting combines Hosting with a well-defined Social Persona, which is the feeling, emotion, energy, words, messaging, and heart of who you are and what you’re here to do. She is authentic to herself, her brand and her mission. She effectively merges her personal and business life together in a way that creates profound messages. She energizes those around her and is an influencer. End result: her tribe becomes fiercely loyal.


So which style are you? Which style would you like to be? How can you take the first step today?


Julie Steelman’s former clients read like a Who’s Who of big-name corporate giants with Apple, Microsoft, Toyota, CBS, Sony Studios and Universal Pictures in her rolodex.  She generated more than $100+ million in sales during her 30-year sales career. Julie is the author of The Effortless Yes! And is known as The Sales, Success & Bankability Mentor. Her heart-centered selling strategies make her the go-to guru for entrepreneurial business owners who want to master the art of selling and maximize their company’s bankability.  Julie retired at early and now lives in Hawaii with her husband.  She was recently featured on, and  Http://


P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyalty, please sign up here.

P.P.S. Just in case you missed my announcement about my only live coaching retreat in 2012, you can catch up on the details (like there are only going to be 10 people there) and grab your seat here:

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  • Helen Kim

    I love how you have distilled the various behaviors one can have in this social realm.  I know my personality is that of a hosting kinda gal where I want everyone to have a good time, mingle amongst themselves and let them make their magic. However, when building a biz, people want to know who is bringing them together so it has been a fine balance of moving through the learning curve by doing #1-3 while now, I feel, moving into 4 and 5, Hosting and Toasting. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Julie! I think it will help shorten people’s learning curve.

    • Jsteelman

       Sellebrating you Helen Kim!  I love how you relate to your clients by socializing with them elbow to elbow!  That will surely earn you tons of trust and clients!

      • Helen Kim

        I’m Sellebrating! Thank you : ). It’s tons of fun to do with clients and colleagues.

  • This post is like a Rorschach test or going to med school. I’m pretty sure I have every ‘disease’ here. 😉  Erm…

    The thing that strikes me is that what’s required for social media, and certainly life, is a level of responsibility. I would guess this style would work for thinkers or mavericks (Jonathan Fields is a good ex of this style) but might be a little obtuse to folks who are not so thought to action oriented.  I tend to connect with people, so much of it is easy for me. I connect everywhere so social media isn’t any different. (I run a chat. I haven’t done events but I probably will this year. I guest all over the place. blah. blah. blah.)

    I wonder if there are quick and dirty rules that might help people who aren’t so heady, thinky, before actiony?

    • Jsteelman

       Great question!  ALWAYS follow your instincts and heart.  Put yourself in your potential clients shoes, what would they want to hear from you that would get them salivating to work with you.  What you would want to know if you needed what you offer?  Go with that.  Does that help?

  • Sharon E. Greene

    Hi, Julie,
    Well, what can I say? WOW! Since I’m new to the concept of using social media to enhance my business, I haven’t even reached “ghoster” status yet, BUT I appreciate the clear and straightforward description of the various styles that people use (or misuse). Although I’m not ready for the leap to tweet, you’ve given me great guidance for the kind of social media presence to look for in others…and eventually from myself. Thanks, Julie, for sharing your insights with us.

    • Jsteelman

       Sharon, you are most welcome.  You can use this thought process for any time you are interacting!  This idea of a social selling style gives you a context for knowing how to frame your brilliance on social media. 

  • Carla K.

    Gosh… To see myself for what I “really am” is devastating. I thought I was doing it right. If you are wondering, I am a combination of 1 and 2.  More 2 than one. I think the problem is the feeling that I am the “new kid on the block” and not really having much to say.  And then the next hurdle is to get “my own” followers from my business as opposed to inheriting followers becaouse I follow someone interesting and has a lot more to say than I do.

    The thing is, I know I am a nice person and I know I have a lot to offer, the problem is translating it so that I “sound like an expert” that someone wants to follow.

    Thank you for the post… I loved the rhyming personnas/titles.

    • Jsteelman

       Miss Carla, can we I be frank?  You sound pretty brilliant to me!  The value and worth you offer has nothing to do with how long you have been active on social media.  It has to do with that genius you carry around and the way you can use it to help other peeps.  All you have to do is assume you have something important to say and then say it in a way that is meaningful to other people.  AND, we all started somewhere.  The only reason I can identify these styles is because I have done everyone of them.  It’s not bad or wrong.  Now you can instantly graduate to an elevated way of socializing!

    • Mark Sherrick

      Inheriting followers wherever they are is not a bad thing…you have to start somewhere. Resting on those who come to you that way is the bad part.

      I cannot begin to count the followers and follows that have resulted from Sarah and her crew – checking out retweets, common follows, lists, and so on. Take that inheritance and invest in it and let it grow.

  • I like the five styles you’ve come up with. My social media engagement comes and goes, but I am mostly numbers two and three.


    • Jsteelman

       Excellent!  Do the best you can!

  • Julie

    Love this post! I am almost 100% socially active when I’m on Twitter and Facebook, meaning I don’t do this for a living and I do very little of it for my employer. I like the convos with friends, I like jumping into convos and meeting new people and enjoy learning new things.  I could probably do more Hosting and Toasting but not sure that’s my purpose right now, at least for work.  Not that I wouldn’t want to do it more from a work standpoint 🙂

    Anyway, I am wondering how these styles might apply to someone who does social media (twitter and facebook primarily) for other businesses (they don’t work in-house and don’t own the business).  Would it be a little more challenging? 

    And I am also wondering how these styles might apply to a business that has several associates posting for the same business accounts, again primarily twitter and facebook.

    Thanks so much for the valuable information.

    P.S.  The Holy Grail-great movie. “Bring out yer dead…”

    • Jsteelman

       Awesome!  I think the answer to both of your questions rolls into one thing.  Anytime anyone is representing a company or other entity in their social media activities, they are starting conversations and dialoging with customers.  They will learn so much valuable information about how to speak to their customers needs, and that builds fierce loyalty.  If anyone is just posting to “push” info out without any attempt at back and forth, it’s wasted.  Hope that helps.

      • Yes that does clarify.  The principles are the same across the board: it’s all about the relationships.

        Thanks Julie!

        • Jsteelman

           You are most welcome.

  • Fabulous breakdown. You could probably go even deeper into each of the five and find subsets, but this is definitely meant to be a small list of “where are you and where do you want to be” as you mentioned.

    I gotta admit, lately I’ve been posting and coasting…been pressed for time and don’t have much to share of my own stuff, so I do at least try to stay active.  I wonder, is there a variation on number four for non experts? I’m no professional, but I like to think I’m not just blowing smoke out my rear about what I do know.

    • Jsteelman

       It’s okay to vacillate between styles. We all do.  It’s more about what you are trying to accomplish.  What I would say to you is, take those things you know something about and find a way to ignite discussion around it.  We all spend lots of time just pushing out ideas and we forget to get other people involved in the conversation.  Think of it as asking a leading question and then as you interact you can leak out your ideas/thoughts.

      • Sherrickmark

        Bingo. That’s what I don’t have too much of, is back and forth. I do mostly broadcast, not for lack of want, but lack of time, and also missing the forest because I can’t get aroubd the tree that are the full timers.

        Lame excuse, I know…it’s not even valid. 🙂

        • Jsteelman

           Just do the best you can. The back and forth is where the value is!!  Maybe add 10 minutes a day devoted to that?  I am finding one great post a day sparks more conversation then posting multiple times.

          • Sherrickmark

            Quality over quantity is a rule I live by.

            Most of the time, anyways. I try…lol. Twitter just moves so fast, I find I have better luck with my blog in the quality aspect.

  • jPeter78

    I have to admit I can relate to all these styles and have been finding out that you’ve hit the nail bang on with the hammer with this comment.  Hopefully I willing to  learn the Toasting style and who know maybe that is what I’m growing towards.  taking the first step is showing up which I’ve done next step is to engage… more then family and friends that have shown up… sounds like I’ve got a plan using the above and a guide to go by.  Thanks

    • Jsteelman

       Love it!  That is a wonderful plan.  It takes a little bit of thought to get there, but if willing, you will.

  • This is most helpful breakdown of tweeter types imaginable. I am still at the ghosting stage but you have given me a goal to get to toasting.  Many thanks for this.

    • Jsteelman

       You are most welcome.  Glad it gave you something to aspire towards! 

  • I think a lot of folks struggle to know when they’re engaging in Post & Coast behavior versus when they’re building community by participating with others on Twitter (including re-tweeting content). I’ve seen rules of thumb for how often to share others’ content in order to provide value as compared to how often you post about your blog, events, services, etc… but those ratios seem hokey to me. What I do in an attempt to strike a balance is maybe even sillier, though: I check my own Twitter stream and see how often my icon shows up and how often others’ icons do. My fuzzy goal is for it to be clear whose Twitter I’m looking at- I want tweets from me to be in the majority- but for other folks’ icons to give plenty of splashes of other colors, so that it’s not a Wall Of Me. My secondary goals are for the tweets straight from me to be about half about other people, events, or interesting sites, and half about my own content.

    What strategy do you use to strike a balance? Is my instinct-based approach a good way to go, or would you advice working on developing goals that are a bit less fuzzy?

    • Jsteelman

       I love your strategy and like that you are looking at it from a different angle.  I’ll be super honest, on Twitter, I just figured out how to have relationships and was a coaster for a long time.  Even ghosting.  It’s those comments contained in our tweets that spark something in someone else.  And the Twitter news feed moves so fast, not everyone sees things, so re-post.  I only like to re-tweet if I can add some comment/color about why I think others should read it.  I tend not to like super rigid formulas because they don’t allow for creativity.  I think your strategy rocks!

      • Thank you! Your comment about re-tweets actually really helped solidify something for me. I’ve always liked the idea of making sure that the things I re-tweet are communicating something about me and what I’m interested in, so I prefer to add something. It seems like a nicer way to communicate with whoever originally tweeted, too! But you might be noticing that saying that I “prefer to” isn’t quite saying that I always make time to do it…

        Instead, I get in a hurry, or I find that the original tweet didn’t leave me enough characters remaining to comment and I decide not to send a follow-up tweet, or… for some reason, I neglect to share what it is that caught my eye!

        I think this might be another case for an aphorism from a friend of mine, which is frequently what I need to remember: “get off your ass and take your own advice.” I’m thinking that the biggest way for me to move toward styles 4 and 5 is for me to take a close look at what I’d “prefer” to do that I’m not consistently doing!

        • Jsteelman

           Love the thoughtfulness you put into this! My 2 cents would be, spend only the time it takes to do an awesome job.  Forgot about posting just to feel like you did it or are “keeping up” or relevant. Use the “wasted” posting time to develop a trusted posting style.  It will pay you back!

  • annettenack

    Well I have most definitely resembled most of your 5 types at one point or another but geez oh geez how wonderful to be able to look in the mirror & see exactly what I can do to contribute more good stuff to the social media world.  I’m an optimist here, I’m going to just admit that I was Ghosting for a while & move it along.  No sense in focusing on what I’ve done wrong & mistakes I’ve made.  

    What is most interesting to me is how I’ll be evolving from my sometimes Post & Coast nature into one where I’ll be able to interact more with my followers and become a more often than not Hoster or Toaster!  It’s really cool to see how simple tweaks done over time will help create almost without any serious conscious focus or supreme effort- a fiercely loyal community.  Thanks for boiling down all of this crazy social media, especially twitter (!) info!  Twitter is probably my favorite, but it’s like children, you shouldn’t really *have* a favorite…  :  )

    • Jsteelman

       You are most welcome!  I politely disagree!  It’s good to know you have a favorite.  Always do the stuff that is the most fun and brings out the best in you.  It will be easier for other people to see the genuineness and respond to it.   Just totally avoid the “boaster” style, it isn’t flattering.  Love that you found this thought provoking.

  • Sarah Trevor

      This gives great food for thought. As a writer I’ve resented time spent on the internet, considering it time wasted.  So it has been a steep learning curve realizing this is all part of building communities of writers/ readers and wannabees and utterly ESSENTIAL for  every writer who doesn’t want to fade into the fog of remaindered literature. Being so new to this, hosting is where I’ll direct my efforts.  Thanks Julie for making it all so clear.

  • Hi Julie,

    I’m toasting in my off-line life for sure. That’s where clients find me. I try to build community wherever I go, encouraging others to wake up to life. Too much sleepwalking going on out there, when going through life awake makes it exciting.

    On-line I’m more hosting. I live life on full throttle most of the time, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time for Twitter, etc.  I do the Fearless Question of the Day for folks, retweet, answer questions others post. I love that! And if I’m offering a writing class, I will post that.

    Folks might want to think about on-line/off-line balance.

    Enjoyed the post!


  • rmsorg

    Wow, thanks Julie for placing a virtual mirror in front of us (me) and showing us why we aren’t building fiercely loyal followers but most important, you take the time to show us HOW to go about being a toaster! 

    You have inspired me to get off my ghosting, posting & coasting ways and to work hard towards my goal, to be a Toaster.

    Thanks again!


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