The world has changed so much in the past 20 years: we are more connected than ever before. Or are we? Many of us have more ‘online’ friends and even ‘followers’ than ever before, many of them we haven’t even met. Our ‘real’ friends can often be counted on one hand yet we get our need for significance and connection, no matter how superficial and shallow it is, in the great big online world.
It is the same for your business. Gone are the days of walking the streets and knocking on doors to make sales. We now live and do business in the online world especially in the industry I am in: the coaching/mentoring space.
I have clients all around Australia and even a few international ones. Many of my clients I have never met in person yet through our online connection have gone on to be longstanding and valued clients and even friends.
I have been active in promoting my business online since day one when I walked away from my job to become a coach. I created a Facebook Business Page, updated my LinkedIn, joined Twitter and got a website. I thought I was going to be able to sit back and have clients beat down my door.
Boy was I wrong.
What I discovered over the next twelve months really made a difference to how my business looks today. There was a lot of hard work and effort in promoting my business online and through the mistakes I made I am now able to talk about the dos and don’ts when it comes to online interaction.
- Add Value. Social media is not the place to go to try to sell, which is where so many business owners make their first mistake. If you go about it this way, it is a surefire way to lose the engagement with your audience and you can actually do a tremendous amount of damage to your brand. Instead, just add value. Post relevant information that will make your audiences lives better. Solve their problem through your expertise and share stories or case studies that back up your information. Give your potential clients and followers tips and sharable strategies and they will appreciate you taking the time to give them. Until you build a relationship with anyone the chances of them buying from you are very slim. People first need to like and trust you before they will buy from you.
- Be Consistent. In the beginning you can often feel like you are talking to yourself as your Facebook business page or status updates resemble a ghost town. Attracting a community is not an easy thing to do unless you turn up everyday and show that you are serious about being on social media. This was one of the biggest lessons I have learned. I stopped and started as I felt that no one was watching and interacting so it took me longer to get going in the first 12 months. As soon as I became consistent and just kept plugging away and adding value as mentioned in point one things started to happen. You must make a habit of posting everyday, let use Facebook as the example, and commenting and ‘liking’ any of your fans interactions. This way they feel that they are special to you and it is proven that when people like you, they are a lot more likely to do business with you.
- Follow Up. If someone connects with you, asks for your giveaway, or comments in anyway online on any of your platforms you must have the systems in place to be able to respond in a prompt manner so whatever you learn from this article, make sure you have a follow up system in place. Reply in a personal way and say how happy you are that they have connected with you. Ask what is was that made them chose to connect and offer to be available to help them if they ever need. In simple terms start a conversation and make the effort to connect in a deeper way. This is another way of being social and building relationships rather than viewing every enquiry and connection as a dollar sign.
Natasa Denman is a skilled business coach and mentor, author of five best-selling books, and founder of The Ultimate 48 Hour Author. Within her mentoring program she guides time-poor entrepreneurs and business owners through the publishing process so that they can have their own story in print. For more information visit www.natasadenman.com the first two people to email Natasa at [email protected] will also receive a free copy of her latest book, ‘Natasa Denman reveals... 1000 Days to a Million Dollar Coaching Business From Home.'