Hey, hey, you super marketing entrepreneur! Yep, you guessed it … I am speaking to you! Today’s topic: the dreaded social media! It still scares me, too!
Time and again, it’s been said that in order to grow your business, you have to use various forms of marketing to get clients. As an accountant who serves a particular niche (law firms), I found this process especially challenging. I’m a little reserved, and while I don’t often enjoy bringing attention to myself, I am a small business owner who wants to grow my firm. So, I had to bite the bullet and jump into the deep end of the pool!
In the hopes of helping someone else, I’ll share the journey I embarked on to grow my firm using social media. As one of the continually largest growing marketing platforms, social media can cost you next to nothing to get started and maintain engagement.
Pull your manifesto together
When you’re considering using social media for marketing and bringing awareness to your business, brand, or identity, it’s important to plan your intentions. You wouldn’t take a new journey without a map or GPS, so you want to clearly state your intentions, offer, or images in a relatable way that the client can understand where you’re headed with your communication.
The process of planning what you’re going to state will make you look like a star, or better yet, a subject matter expert. Give yourself some time to pull your ideas together. Some of us can undoubtedly bring something together off the cuff, but that’s stressful to me, especially with deadlines like holidays or events. I’m sweating now just thinking about it!
Who are you talking to?
Ask yourself who the best fit is for your product or service. Who is the type of client you desire to work with? One of the most important factors to gaining clients via social media is to identify your ideal client. Your service may not be for everyone, so no need to waste your efforts and someone else’s time. However, that someone else may know a colleague or business owner truly in need of your talents and expertise. Are you going to solicit everyone from every type of business – a shot in the dark, if you will? I would say that’s not the best choice because I’ve seen this approach turn south very quickly. It’s okay to service more than one type of client or niche because that gives you a chance to become a true expert in the industries that you serve. Or, you can choose just one.
Engagement with those you want to serve gives potential clients an opportunity to experience you, your personality, your knowledge, and like what they are learning or connecting with through your presence.
Where does your ideal client hang out?
If you go where your prospects go, you’ll definitely be present when they need you. Create accounts on platforms that fit your product or service, and your potential client uses, or where they can learn about you and your business, and easily connect with you.
A key to your success is consistently sharing your content on the right platforms.
For example, if your ideal client uses Twitter for news and information, you should be engaging there. Particular associations, groups, and networking opportunities can be found for your ideal client. If you’re not sure, a bit of research never hurts, and you’ll be empowered with the information you need to proceed.
You can also share educational videos to show your audience that you know your stuff! This can be done in many ways and added to the platforms you choose. You can even create a YouTube account and regularly post video content to bring awareness and grow your audience. This gives your audience a chance to know, like, and trust you.
Lifestyle posts let your audience know you’re a real person with a real business. It’s totally okay if you like skiing or wrangling kittens. Sharing your personality with your potential client will give them an opportunity to see if you’re a good match for interacting with each other. And, please be yourself. Your potential client detects falsehood, even online.
Offers or promotions
By creating an offer or promotion, you’ll have a great opportunity to gain clients that are interested in what you offer, allowing them to see a sample of your work, learn something from the tool you may have shared, or just save money.
For example, maybe you could offer a discount on a service, such as a certain percentage off of a bookkeeping cleanup with an annual commitment. You can offer a free tool to help get them organized, or create a better system for what they currently use. Be creative!
Design your own plan
To reiterate, social media can really grow your business. However, like any garden that produces a good return, it must be cultivated and cared for in order to see a yield of the fruits of your labor. Whatever you do, make it your own. Find best practice examples from others you admire, but customize any social media to make it your own.
Finally, have fun! Pull out that alter ego that helped you jump into your first adventure – you won’t regret it!