According to Social Media Examiner, 67% of marketers plan to increase their use of social media channels including Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. So why would you care about that? Well, it will only be meaningful to you if you want more clients. Without a social media strategy, you will be left behind in the market and those internet savvy solopreneurs who have understood the value of having a social media strategy are well set to reap the rewards. And yet, social media and your strategy to implement it can be tricky. It’s all about creating and sustaining relationships by providing value – some say you need to provide 10+ times the value of what your clients and customers pay for. It’s also about leverage – how do you as a solopreneur or professional have time, energy and knowledge to understand and implement all the available avenues that social media provides? Should you favour Twitter over Facebook or focus on article marketing and syndication, or video production by building an audience on Youtube. How many times do you need to engage with your audience – daily, weekly, monthly? The answer is – it depends! Here are some points to get you started:
- Understand your business – you may be multi-skilled, with many talents and gifts to offer your clients, but if you are not absolutely clear on what you offer best, you will only confuse your market. Pick what you are best at AND love to do, and you will be able to effortlessly connect with clients who are a match for your services and products.
- Understand your client’s needs – If you pay attention to your clients’ concerns, you will likely discover some online location where they hang out and discuss what’s important to them. Find out what forums, groups or networks they frequent. If you can boil down what you do best in your business, this will give you a starting place to hang out with your ideal marketplace and which social media platform best suits your unique offering.
- Understand yourself – It is vital that when communicating via social media you are authentic and transparent. Be yourself, be clear and direct about your focus and passion, you can even be controversial if it is really how you feel. Take a stand for what you represent and offer, and don’t be afraid to be passionate about it in your communications.
- Serve your clients – always acknowledge and respond to online enquiries, comments and even complaints. The internet is a big place, and the old adage rings truer than ever that bad news travels fast! Be upfront in all your communications.
- Use a marketing calendar – this is crucial if you are challenged for time and ideas. By creating a marketing calendar, you can strategise and plan ahead in an afternoon all that you can promote and communicate for a month at a time or more. A much better leverage of time than reactively deciding that you need to post to your business page and keep putting it off for lack of content or ideas.
- Don’t forget the offline – tradeshows, seminars, networking clubs all have real people and a chance to connect in person and keep the connection going online.
- Be patient – you need to spend some time getting to know your fans and followers, some of them will come and go, some of them will be stay on your list forever, and some of them will even become valued customers and clients – AND tell their friends, families and colleagues about you too.
Don’t expect an avalanche of clients overnight, but if you use the tips above you will gain the ‘sticky’ clients – that is, they will be with you for the long haul!