Getting Clients with Social Media
If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a social media hermit. I love meeting new people and getting to know them on a personal level. But in a world with over 7 billion people, how can we, as business owners, possibly be known enough to matter?
Over the past few years, social media has pretty much become THE most popular way to connect with friends, family, and promote our businesses. I recently interviewed Ashley Mason from Dash of Social about how she encourages business owners to leverage social media to build meaningful and productive business relationships and it really got me thinking.
Now, I look at myself as extremely lucky in this area. Because guess what – I’ve almost always been a social butterfly, at least in my adult life. I love being the center of the action, doing all the things, and meeting all the people. So taking likeness to social media is no problem for me. But some of us shy away from promoting ourselves online and I’m here to tell you that social media is a must and even you, yes YOU, can have success using it!
When I realized that creating relationships in my business was the exact same thing as something that I already LOVED doing, it made it a lot easier.
Do you know how many social media platforms I’ve met people (as friends :P) and turned around and met them in real life? Myspace, Facebook, Travbuddy, Meetup, and Instagram. Oh and this archaic, non existent, platform that had pink and black (I think) branding that I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called.
Now I’m not saying you have to meet your SM friends in real life, though I encourage it. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer YOU an opportunity to network in various ways that you don’t even need to leave your house for. Are you aware of how many people there are that actually have to go out and network in real life, but wish they could be cuddled up on a couch watching Netflix and sipping wine while networking instead? LOTS, because I used to be THAT person!
Use social media to connect with others in your industry.
Give and expect nothing in return by nurturing your audience and I can guarantee you will see some form of business relationships emerge. They could come as affiliate options, interview opportunities, client referrals and more! All great opportunities to grow your business and maybe even make a friend or 1000.
Ok, Ima break it down for you old school.
Remember in the movie Mean Girls where Cady (Lindsay Lohan) had no clue how the “social chain” worked and Gretchen (the that’s so fetch girl) had to explain it to her?
In short, she states that, “you wouldn’t buy a skirt without asking your friends first…right?”
Same goes for your biz!
You aren’t going to invest in your business without asking your most trusted advisors their opinions or if they know if someone is a good fit for you or not. This includes your social media target audience. 90% of my business comes from referrals from peeps I have met on the internet. FACT.
Many small businesses have a super hard time grasping the concept of using social media for their business. They don’t want to invest in it (time & money), they don’t see results as quick as they’d like or they feel like it’s a waste of time and impersonal. But this couldn’t be furthering from the truth.
How to Utilize Social Media as a Online Service Provider
Social media is an excellent way for your audience to see that you are indeed human, just like they are, and that behind your perfect business profile picture, you are just a regular soul tryin’ to make it in this crazy online biz world.
When on any social media platform, Ashley suggests, giving your audience valuable information while also being friendly and responsive. You can do this by creating amazing content that nurtures your followers (the give and expect nothing rule– instead of always selling something give them valuable information or leave a post of encouragement and inspiration). Also, leave thoughtful comments on threads and make it a point to be interactive and converse. But don’t do it just to do it. You gotta get behind this. You must take the time to realize how important this stage of engagement in your business is. Don’t just do it to do it. You have an opportunity to be seen. Put a little soul into it, ok?
Helpful Hint (because I see this wayyyy too much): Cut down on those DMs. DO NOT randomly message people about your services if they didn’t ask you to. But sure, if someone shows interest, then it’s your time to shine. Just be mindful verses popping in and screaming, more or less, “BUY FROM ME NOW,” without asking how they’re doing or even worse; without knowing anything about them or what they do.
You wouldn’t go in for a kiss in the first 5 minutes of a date would you? Or kiss a random stranger at the bus stop? I mean I hope not.
Take the time to warm up to your DREAM client. Build a relationship with them and support them. THEN you can reach out, and it won’t be perceived as aggressive. #chill
And yes, you guessed it, this takes time, precious, precious time. But it’s worth it. I promise. And before you know it you’ll be obsessing over your social media channels like Gollum obsesses over his precious ring, “my precious.”
But what about bots and autoresponders?
Ok, this is an excellent question. Look, I’m ALL for bots and autoresponders. Heck, I have one on my Facebook page. When someone initially reaches out to me, an autoresponder goes to them and says something like, “thanks for reaching out, I’ll get back to you asap, your time is valuable, peace, Amy”, more eloquently of course.
But if the ONLY communication you have is through bots, you are doing yourself a serious disservice to building your brand. Especially as a virtual assistant, coach, and other online service provider. Your followers want to know they are talking to the real you!
The point of social media is to be social – not a robot. I could repeat that sentence all day. So here it goes…
The point of social media is to be social – not a robot.
Sure, it sounds great in theory, shit, I would love to free up some time and not have to personally reply to every message that comes through. But trying to keep up with the Joneses and their technology might do your business more harm than good.
Plus, strength comes in numbers. When starting a business, it’s very important for others to follow you and support you. You can’t do everything on your own. We need friends (even those we’ve never met) to lift us up and encourage us. We need the help of others to spread the word of our message and to share our valuable content. So chose to surround yourself with a community of people that can support you and one that you’re willing to support in return. Using a social media platform to do that is the best thing you could possibly do for your business.
*Dash of Social helps women establish and grow their online presence. This free platform allows women to navigate through the social media world and gain exposure.