With the power of the internet “client attraction” and “networking” is now 24/7 you have the opportunity to connect with people 24 hours a day, but how do you keep up, how do you get started? It’s not like walking into one room, armed with your business cards, having a glass of wine and citing your “elevator pitch”.
If you want to grow your business successfully you need to get a grasp of social “online” networking and here are some of my favourite ideas to take your networking online to build your brand, profile and increase your revenue.
5 Steps to Successful Social Networking
- Create a Social Networking Strategy
Before diving right in, develop a strategy plan. First it’s really good to understand what it is you want to achieve from social networking?
Is it to build your brand, to set yourself up as an authority figure, to gain more traffic to your website, to build your list or to get more sales?
Next question is to figure out how much time you can dedicate to social networking. Ideally I suggest you join two or three relevant networks and focus your energies on cultivating relationships within these – rather than the scatter gun approach (trying to do everything).
- Join The Relevant Social Networks
Firstly ask around and find out what the popular networks are for your industry, for your customers, where your competitors are – maybe these are the networks to join first.
Currently the most popular networks are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Intagram, Youtube and Pinterest. There are other new ones coming through all the time
So once you’ve worked out where you audience “hangs out”, join one or two of the networks and then set up your profile pages. Don’t forget to complete all details like your Bio, contact details, a web link (optin page ideally), photos of yourself (people buy from people not logos), think about keywords that your market will search you for and include these in any text you are creating.
Also don’t forget your brand. You want consistency across from your website/blog through to all your social media sites, so that when one person goes from one to the other it is consistent, they see your brand/profile and know it’s you.
- Start to Get Connected
It’s time to join the conversation, get involved with what’s going on around you in the industry and in the conversations with your marketplace. So it’s important to start following some of your industry leaders, comment/share their content as well as build your own content (your blog will become your hub).
It’s good to check out some of the “etiquette” for each site as well, so watch what’s going on, but don’t stand in the corner for too long, take the plunge and say hi to people.
A lot of these sites have “groups” or “forums” on specific topic areas, interests and industries. So start to join in some of these conversation, post up your blogs, share content and start your own discussions.
- Become a “Celebrity”
No I don’t mean become a TV Star or anything like that, but I mean become a “celebrity” in your field/niche – you need to stand out and let people know you are now online, you are providing valuable content and that you want to connect with people.
So make your contact details available, let people know wherever you can your Facebook contact, your twitter page etc. Connect with “recommended” connections wherever you can and connect with key leaders in your industry wherever possible.
Build your following online but don’t forget you ideally want to transfer this following over from a “connection” on the social media sites, into a “lead” contact on your list. Make it easy for them to join your list, whether that’s a newsletter invite, or a free giveaway. Just make sure it’s visible to them wherever possible.
- “What Goes Around Comes Around”
Networking is about giving first and online you’ll find lots of opportunities to give. To become an “attraction marketing” queen, you need to lead all the time with “value” to your marketplace. If you provide your audience with great content and value, you will never need to “really” sell. People will ask you about your business and services all the time
So think about on Facebook, getting involved with posts and add value/answer questions and provide solutions. Same with LinkedIn go the Questions section and answer those in need of help or advice. On Twitter, tweet interesting blog articles you’re reading. Offer to write a guest post for blogs in your industry.
Please remember not to get into the “vomiting” effect, which we see all the time online with beginner marketers. This is where you “vomit” or “spam” your business everywhere, pushing your links/offers all the time. Always remember the 80/20 rule. Ideally provide 80% value and only ask for something in return 20% of the time. Even less is better
If you want to know more about building your “Platform” to create your following and fans, check out the book “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” by Michael Hyatt
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you are using social networking to grow your business, maybe some of the problems you have in the past and some successes?
Do share and comment below.
To Your Success