How would you like to grow your business by developing a loyal following of customers who regularly refer their friends and family to you? Sound too good to be true?
There is no magic bullet when it comes to social media, there is just you. It can happen for you, but my guess is you won’t be willing to do what it takes to make it so.
The Social Media Sales Secret is simple – Show Up!
Stop saying and spraying your message at people. That is not how you grow your business. It takes work, even things like social media.
Here are some things for you to consider:
If you are using social media because you are looking for a quick fix to impact sales, your chances of success are next to none. People can smell a fraud a mile away. Your mindset really needs to be one of building relationships and looking for ways to serve and help others. If you show up and try to help others first, and you do so consistently (and no, that does not mean once a day for a week), people will reciprocate.
Your mindset has to be that you are there to build relationships. Social media is another form of networking. You need to build a relationship and build trust. The business will come later.
- Know Your Client and How You Can Help
When you start using social media, there are many search functions you can use to find your target client. The most effective thing for you to do is to think about their problems. What problems do your clients have and what solutions do you have to help?
Wait! Slow down … don’t go all guns a-blazing and start selling to every person. Look for ways to give it away. Yes, I said, give it away.
Let’s say your client’s problem is they don’t know how to use their mobile device. Look for questions about technology and help them – for free. Your goal is to build relationships, not to sell. If you focus on how to help others and treat them like real people instead of just sales opportunities, you will see a difference in how they respond to you.
My fundamental belief is that people buy from people they like and trust. Your objective is to be likeable and trustworthy – and it goes without saying that this is sincere and authentic. You are NOT trying to manipulate people by demonstrating false charm.
- Be a Connector
As you build relationships with others through your social media channels, pay attention to what other people do. Take a sincere, active interest in them and how you might be able to help. When you see an opportunity to connect individuals together – do it. And do it without any expectations.
I know you don’t want to hear this but, when you connect with someone it is supposed to be all about them, not all about you. If you are connecting just because you want something in return, it will not work. The law of reciprocity is alive and well in today’s world. If you help enough other people win by connecting and referring business, the same will happen for you. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to do this.
- Be Consistent
Often people hire me to take a look at what they are currently doing and assess what they could do differently to be more successful. I usually find the same things over and over.
They are not consistent. They are not engaging. They are not helping others.
If you show up once a week and post one line about how your business is having a sale, no one cares. You need to build relationships all the time. If you are serious about using social media as a networking channel, you need to do your work. That means showing up on a daily basis for more than one Tweet or status update. It means engaging with other people and becoming part of the conversation. Even if you only have 30 minutes a day at 5:00 a.m., you can still contribute and be effective.
This is the part where I say that most people are not willing to do the work. Everyone says that they know the value of building relationships but when it comes to making time to do it they falter. They prioritize their time in other ways. Did you hit the snooze button this morning? If you said yes, you have time.
- Be Appreciative
When it does start to come together for you, and you suddenly have new business because someone has either expressed an interest in you and your services or they have referred someone to you, don’t forget your manners!
It is very important to demonstrate appreciation for others when they help you. You should not take people for granted – even when they are people you are connecting to online that you have never met in person.
It is very easy to demonstrate appreciation through a status update and to mention the person you want to thank. It is equally as easy to write a testimonial for excellent service on a Facebook Page or on Linkedin. Make this demonstration of gratitude part of your habits. People love to feel valued and appreciated. When you fail to do this, you can unintentionally offend someone who has gone above and beyond to help you.
Don’t take others for granted any more than you want them to take you for granted!
I want you to make a promise. Promise yourself that you will not to market anything to anyone about your business using social media. Instead, focus all of your intentions on getting to know other people, looking for ways to solve problems and finding ways to connect other people.
Start off today by looking at your platform – the number of people you have in your network. As you begin the process, monitor your progress. Look at your network – has it grown? Look at your leads – have you received any referrals?
Apply this homework consistently for the next month and pay attention to what happens. See if you have what it takes to show up with the intention of building relationships.
By John Hester