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5 Fool-Proof Social Media Musts to Grow Your Small Business

Let’s face it… growing a successful small business can be nothing short of a f*cking grind!

Even if it’s founded on something you’re passionate about. Maybe especially so, as all of your time, energy – sweat, blood, tears! – and money goes into the development of this product or service that has excited and inspired you enough to jump into the abyss and build a business around it in the first place.

Enhancing Your Social Media Presence Can Be Easy – Really!!

The biggest part of the grind often comes with the promotion and marketing necessary to build a business.  It’s unusual when the business owner is not only great at what they do but that they’re also great at the marketing end of things. If only!

Specifically, it can be the additional challenge of growing what has become a mandatory social media presence that can confuse, frustrate, and overwhelm entrepreneurs on their way to success. Consequently, the important online marketing work often takes a back seat as all of the valuable resources (mental, physical, spiritual, and financial) are being spent, or are consistently under strain keeping the business afloat and moving forward.

But… it doesn’t have to! I’m here to reassure you that you CAN do this. Social media is relatively simple in its implementation, and with regular, consistent activity can help to grow your audience, increase engagement, and, ultimately, begin to translate to viable leads.

Say it with me: I CAN F*CKING DO THIS!! To help get started, simply schedule 15 minutes to half an hour each day to devote to developing your social media practice. The steps listed below are designed to take some of the grunt- and guess-work out of it!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

Baby steps – five easy social media fundamentals to get you going:

1. Identify Goals & Objectives

This first step is HUGE! You MUST identify what you want your social media presence to accomplish.  Do you want to increase following and likes (I recommend this as the first goal, regardless)? Drive traffic to your website or blog? Generate sales?

Make sure you know what you’re after – before you start posting. Know which platforms are best for your product or service and how they work as well as what audiences you can reach, where.

2. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

This is all about identifying pain point, really. The needs of your audience help you interact with them on a much more personal, intimate level. If you know what content is most relevant, what’s important to them, and what they want to read, it will go along way in illuminating what you need to provide them. Get your head around this and, with each post, you can give them what they want which, ideally, inspires them to explore further your product or service – visiting your various channels of social media as well as your website or blog.

3. Produce Valuable Content

This is your opportunity to translate your passion for what you do to the social media content you offer your following. People who visit your social media channels or website are often asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ and you want to be sure that you are providing information across channels that answers that question with content of value. Whether it’s a unique insight into your industry; a funny quote, image, or both; or any other content that isn’t merely a sales pitch.

Be sure to incorporate relevant visuals – photos, videos, infographics help catch the eye in a cluttered feed, drawing interest and engagement.

Providing rich content helps set you apart as an authority in your space, inspire the trust of your following, as well as showcase your business and website, which brings in more customers and more money.

4. Incorporate Fun: Games, Contests, Giveaways!

If there’s a sure-fire way to get conversations going and generate interest in your content, it’s to bring the fun!  Incorporate activities that beg responses to questions – trivia games, or “caption this” requests – to build engagement, generating likes, follows, shares, and traffic.

In line with the ‘What’s in it for me?’ agenda, give away something for free.  This isn’t a random something. In exchange for likes, shares, or email addresses to build your list, make sure your giveaway is something designed to draw your visitors further into your business, now as well as into the future. It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can be a free sample of your product, a discount code, perhaps a short trial, or the e-book you’ve written.

Engaging in a fun way with your audience is a terrific way to earn and keep valuable followers who will stay engaged, looking forward to the content you provide.

5. Give Your Audience a Reason!

You want to approach every post you create from the perspective of giving your customers, existing and potential, a reason to like your page, follow your profiles and continue to receive your content. Demonstrate your commitment to them by posting interesting, valuable updates consistently and frequently providing them a reason, day after day, to stick with you.  Not only looking forward to what you have to say but because of the increasing interest in your business!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

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Is Facebook Still Relevant For My Business?

Yes, yes, and YES!

No question, with all that’s befallen the social media behemoth in recent months, it’s certainly fair to ponder whether or not Facebook is still relevant – to average, everyday users as well as your business.

Enjoy the Best of Both: Photos of Your Granny’s New Boyfriend AND Effective, Targeted Marketing

And, no matter how you might feel about Facebook with regards to your personal social media practices, the fact is, it’s still a gigantic boon for any business, big or small, for growing following, increasing engagement, and driving more web traffic and leads your way.

The fact remains, that with more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is still the go-to for all of us, regardless recent news alerting us to data breaches, compromised security, and Zuckerburg frigging around with algorithms.

It’s also a cheap and effective way to market your business.

Admittedly, given the algorithm changes implemented earlier this year, using Facebook for business purposes has become more a little more challenging, but it’s still, hands down, one of the best tools for communicating with your target audience.

Organic, original content is terrific and posting aggressively is encouraged.  But where Facebook shines for business, is through the specific targeting of paid advertising campaigns.

Regardless how you may feel about it personally, Facebook knows a sh*t-ton about its users (more than you may actually be comfortable with!) and this information is used to your significant advantage when you work with their advert program.

facebook advertising

Leverage the social media giant, as well as your content, to drive traffic and grow your following, and ultimately, your business:

  1. Promoting blog content.  You really should have a blog and here’s why: we can’t say enough about sharing and “boosting” a solid blog post on your Facebook business page that succinctly – and entertainingly – identifies your product or service, or a particular element thereof, providing value to readers and potential followers/leads. It’s super effective at driving traffic to your website, as well as establishing your authority in your space.
  2. Call to Action. Facebook offers you really convenient ways to get click throughs to your product, service or website for either purchase or more information.  You can add a call-to-action button to the top of your page to encourage visitors to interact. Things you can have customers do include get in touch, shop, sign up, or download an app or game. Facebook recently rolled out some new call-to-action options to give you a wider selection of buttons to display for your page visitors.
  3. Allow for Reviews. A terrific trust-builder!  On the left-hand side of your page, you can add a link for reviews. Here, customers can leave a star rating and write a review on your business. Reviews and ratings show up at the top of your page. These reviews help verify your business and make it easy for satisfied customers to recommend your product.
  4. Community Page. This page is where posts, photos and videos from customers can be posted. Customers can also check in to your store here. The Community Page is a great place for your audience to interact and share, while learning more about your company.

Techniques to Make Facebook Work for Your Business… Effectively & Inexpensively

  1. Know Your Audience. Take advantage of the great targeting tools provided by Facebook. As already mentioned, they know who they’re users are and, by default, can target your audience based on parameters you set. Of course, you need to know who you’re trying to sell to first, but with Facebook’s help you are able to target specific demographics, locations and interest groups.
  2. Be Conversational NOT Sales Pitch-y!  You want to connect with your audience not merely sell to them.  While you may have created a Facebook business page to grow your customers, your audience won’t respond well if they feel as though you’re always trying to sell them your product or service with every post. Try to be personable in your Facebook posts. Help your audience feel comfortable with you by sharing more than just marketing and promotional content.
  3. Contests & Giveaways! Everybody loves the opportunity to get something for free! Take advantage of this and offer a great prize in exchange for post or page likes, comments, and shares.  Contests and giveaways are a terrific way to encourage engagement and following. Just be sure that they’re relevant to your product or service. As you’re wanting to attract the ideal audience for your business, give away something they value, not simply a random something or other.
  4. Share Great Content from Other Sources. Relying on your own original content all the time can be onerous and, really, isn’t always practical.  Rather, consider building your authority an open source affair. If another source is talking about something relevant, interesting, entertaining, informative, or beneficial to your target audience in any way, go ahead and share it!
  5. Engage With Your Engagement – no drive-by posting!  If you’ve gone to the time and effort to create and share valuable posts, go ahead and respond to any comments, questions and concerns. If you’re having conversations with your audience, they’re more likely to become your customers.It’s important to note that this past January 2018, Facebook announced it was making major changes to its newsfeed algorithm. With this change, Facebook now prioritizes personal connections and engagement. Bottom line: your posts won’t be seen unless they generate a conversation.
  6. Use Video! Nothing stops the eyeball quite like a moving picture! Video is super effective at drawing in those precious eyeballs in this era of shortening attention spans. It doesn’t have to be long and involved – short and sweet works!  Take advantage of video tools such as Facebook Live and Boomerang to attract viewers to your post as they scroll their feeds.
  7. Facebook Adverts! Really, THE best way to reach your desired audience is to run Facebook ads. Yes, they’ll cost you money, but it’s so reasonable compared to the other means of advertising you might be used to paying for.  Facebook ads are so worth what you’ll spend and they’re so darned effective because you can choose your targeted audience based on demographics, behaviors or contact information. Choose a daily or overall budget for ads, select the amount of time an ad runs, and adjust your desired audience, based on who you know your potential customer to be. Even more helpful, Facebook tracks the interactions on each promotion you run, which can help you develop highly successful campaigns in future.

 

 

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How’s Your Elevator Pitch? 9 Tips to Make It More Effective

You have an unexpected opportunity to sell your big idea or new business venture to a potential new client or investor.  The research shows that you’ll have NO MORE than 30 seconds to deliver your best pitch.  Are you ready?!

If you own a business or are developing a product or service looking for clients or possibly investors, you should have an effective elevator pitch in your hip-pocket, ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.

Your business or idea is great.  An elevator pitch identifies and delivers all that greatness in as little time as possible.

Too often we get excited and caught up in the details of our business, and want to share the all of the intricacies about why it’s so amazing when we have the opportunity.  Consequently, your elevator pitch can lean more towards a lengthy preamble evolving into an even longer monologue of endless details describing not only your company but each of your products and services.

The result:  a bored, uncomfortable and, ultimately, disinclined listener eagerly anticipating his, or her, escape.

Tips to developing an effective elevator pitch

Here are some easy tips to help you deliver the pitch that grabs attention rather than loses it:

Keep it short – say as little as possible.  This is a fast-moving social media culture we’re living and working in.  As stated earlier, your time will be limited, plan for as little as 30 seconds.  The points to follow will help you refine exactly what you’ll say in such a limited amount of time.

Identify, define and REMEMBER your vision.  Get in touch with why you started your business and what’s exciting about it… to you! You don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, you want your listener to connect with what’s exciting about your product or service.  If you aren’t connected to the vision behind your business you can’t expect your listener to connect with what your selling.

Know intimately your value proposition.  Know exactly, intimately and in precise detail, what makes your business, product, service, unique and of value.  This is what you’re selling.  Understand it. Own it.

Authenticity wins.  Don’t waste valuable time trying to impress with industry jargon.  Get straight to the point with real language to share what you’re doing, why it’s exciting for you and what’s in it for them.

Who is your ideal subject:  Investor?  Client?  Employer?  Make yourself familiar. One size DOES NOT fit all.  Take a long think, and imagine who it is you want to be pitching to. Who are they?  What do they care about? What do they need – what is their problem (‘pain point’) – and how can you provide for, or solve, it?

An understanding of whom you want to target and what drives them will provide you with the insight you need to help draft your 30 second pitch. If you can identify your subject: the ideal investor, client, employer; you can refine your pitch so it feels the perfect fit for that special listener.

Your pitch is simply the the start of what will be an actual conversation. Is your listener nodding attentively.  Is she interested asking questions. Connection!  Now’s the opportunity to delve further into the details.

Ask a great question.  Don’t forget a simple and fairly universal human fact: what we all love to talk about most is ourselves. So, it can’t be all about you.   Get them talking about something that is meaningful, important, significant and compelling to them.  If you can get your subject talking about himself in a meaningful way, establishing a connection with you, you’re increasing your chances for real memorability. Also, they might just be that much more receptive to your offer to continue the conversation and, eventually, to your offer to take the next step in the journey of becoming your next ideal client or giving you money.

Depending on the company, you might find this tip gets immediately catapulted to the top of the list. Read your room!

Denied?  Don’t get caught up in the rejection. The entire process from concept to draft to delivery, offers you the opportunity to better identify your vision, your ideal listener and better hone your spiel.  If it doesn’t connect, so be it.

Lastly, practice! It’s natural for a new pitch to feel awkward at first so the key is to practice it until it feels natural and meaningful to you. Then breathe and smile. Your elevator pitch will come across much better when you’re relaxed.

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The Marketing Funnel of Love: Content Marketing and Funnelling Leads

Marketing your business online can seem enough of a burden that many simply don’t even want to get started (see last post!).  

It wasn’t that long ago that adverts in the local paper, perhaps a radio spot or even a billboard were what you did to let people know you were out there.  It was a relatively known quantity, probably a sure thing at raising the profile of your business and, let’s face it, wonderfully passive.  Pay for a spot, whether it be magazine, TV, radio or billboard… and wait for the phone calls.

Build it, buy ad space… and they will come, right?

Not so, this brave new world of Internet marketing.  Marketing  your business has become a decidedly impassive endeavour.  It requires far more engagement on the part of business person to encourage engagement and, ultimately, legitimate leads on the part of the target market.

Developing leads and increasing sales through the use of blog and/or social media :  creating useful, engaging and perhaps even inspiring content can be the difference between converting a new customer and making a sale or not.  If you’re looking to dip your toe into the roiling waters of what is now known as content marketing here is a bit of an introduction to the route both business and prospect have to travel.

The Content Marketing Funnel is a great tool to help visualize the phases a prospect must experience to go from cold to client. 

Blogs are fantastic facilitators of awareness

… but do very little to facilitate evaluation and conversion.

Unfortunately, most content marketing stops at blogging.  Without a doubt, blogs play a major role in content marketing, but they’re only a part of the bigger picture. You might be surprised to learn that, in most cases, a blog is not actually the most lucrative form of content marketing.

Your content, from blog to social media to email to podcast, helps to set you apart from your competition.  It serves to elevate you as an authority in your market and engages and hopefully grows your community and target audience.  But without providing the necessary content to close the deal, fulfill evaluation and conversion, it’s essentially for naught as I’m sure you’re already painfully aware, it’s these steps that are essential to the growth and success of your business.

Certainly as you consider what takes a cold prospect to paying customer the Content Marketing Funnel will provide you a foundation, some tried and true steps, that can ensure you are growing the awareness, leads and conversions that will grow your business.

Content marketing must incorporate the Marketing Funnel.

Content Marketing Funnel Explained

For that prospect who has no clue who you are or what you do to become your customer they’ll need to travel this funnel.  Let’s take a look at what lies ahead of them in more detail:

  1. Awareness – your prospect must, of course, first become aware that there is a problem and that you and your business have the solution for it. What facilitates the awareness is the content you provide them at the top of the funnel. This is where you dazzle prospects with your informative and entertaining blog posts, photographs, social media updates, graphics, email & newsletters and anything else you might present in digital, audio or print form.  This is your opportunity to educate, inform, inspire and, wherever possible, entertain.  This is often where most content marketing ends.  Make sure you are providing the appropriate content that moves prospects to the next step…
  2. Evaluation – This is where potential customers evaluate the multitude of choices available to them.  This includes what you’re offering as well as that which is offered by your competitors.  Bear in mind, one of the choices is also to take no action at all.  At this stage what are you providing that keeps them moving through the funnel? Coupons or discounts, free resources, maybe simply a quiz or survey to guide their interest. Host a contest or an event, maybe a webinar offering a free introduction to the solution you’re providing.  Don’t forget about testimonial or client stories!  These are fantastic opportunities to provide the confirmation prospects need to move on to the next phase of the funnel.
  3. Conversion – Calls to action!  The moment of potential action… a decision has been made and your lead is buying what you’re selling, so give them ample opportunities to make it so! What was once a prospect needs as many clear opportunities as you can provide to be converted into customer.
  4. Purchase – Ka-ching!  But will it be one purchase or an ongoing relationship resulting in a repeat customer?

 

There is a lot to consider as you lay out your content marketing strategy – a necessary step!! – and the Content Marketing Funnel is an integral part of understanding exactly what steps your prospects will need to travel in order to convert to paying customers.

Want to see what a Content Marketing Funnel might look like for your business?  Scroll down and get yourself a FREE consultation!

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Getting someone to do what you want

Two questions to getting someone to do what you want.

When people have their own reasons for doing things, they get done.  bottom line.

Whether it’s your colleague, employee, boss or teenager, unless you can glean from them what their motivations are, or what it is that sparks their reasons for doing something, all the nudging, bribing, threatening and pulling your hair out will only result in superficial, temporary change at best; frustration for everyone involved at worst.

Getting your way in a way that works for everyone

Perhaps you’re needing more input and involvement from a co-worker.  you need more participation from her, but she’s less than motivated to bring her best.  do you coerce her?  threaten her?  throw up your hands and just do the work on your own, pissed off that you’re stuck, yet again, carrying the load?

What is the trick to establishing buy-in?  particularly if it’s a difficult task or concept?

What you need is a strategy that actually inspires the other party, creating a motivation that is their own rather than something that’s being imposed upon them.  because, by and large, on some level we all resent being told what to do.

So, let’s not…

Instead, let’s consider the impact of two questions in getting someone on the same page and contributing what you need, regardless the situation.

Persuasion expert, Dan Pink, demonstrates that with simply two questions, when used together, are dramatically effective in persuading others.