social media strategy

You Better Be Getting Personal on Social Media! Here’s Why:

No, I’m not talking about posting endless selfies or chronicling your day in hour-by-hour increments. I’m talking about being real with your audience. To me, this goes far beyond what you put in a tweet. It’s a business philosophy.

Let me explain.

I’ve probably written it before, but I hate gimmicks. With every fiber of my being. To me, a gimmick screams lack of confidence, lack of morals, or lack of expertise. Either you don’t believe in your skills, you don’t care if you’re executing a bait-and-switch, or you don’t have the ability to generate leads without tricking the general public.

I think there’s a far better way to attract your target audience that leaves gimmicks in the dust. Ready for it? Here it is.

Get personal.

No, it’s not the sexiest approach, because getting personal often means putting in hours of work and then waiting … and who wants to do that? But it’s the right thing to do to build a sustainable business, because you will foster genuine and trustworthy relationships that will convert to clients and customers.

What does “getting personal” on social media look like? Here are a few basic ideas you can put into practice with your own business:

1. Help By Answering Questions

One of the best ways to gain new clients or customers is to help … no strings attached. One of my favorite tools for doing this is Twitter. Search for the most popular hashtags or questions relevant to your business and answer them without asking for anything in return.

Not only will answering that question create a positive rapport between you and the person you’re helping, it will educate your other followers and show them that you are truly out to help.

2. Ask For Genuine Feedback

Asking your audience for genuine feedback helps in a number of ways. First, it refines your messaging. So often, we think we know what our target audience is looking for, but we’re actually off base.

Second, it creates engagement around your brand that has nothing to do with you getting anything in return. You are once again showing a helpful attitude to the person you’re engaging with and to the rest of your followers.

Third, this method will generate content ideas you can use in the future. Since these ideas were suggested from your target audience, they will probably be popular posts!

Suggested tools to use:

  • Facebook. Post a question asking for feedback on your Facebook page and boost the post to your followers for $5-$10. This will ensure more people see your post and will generate a much higher level of engagement than just posting it organically.
  • Email. If you are just starting out, you could actually send one-on-one emails to your subscribers to ask for individual feedback. This would foster relationships with those people, building trust and loyalty. If you have too many to do that, you can send an email to your entire list soliciting feedback.
  • My suggestion is to set up a dummy email address with your name that forwards to your regular email address. That way you aren’t giving away your primary email address, but your audience feels like they’re talking directly to you.
  • Blog. Write an entire blog post around a question you have for your audience and send it out to all of your social media channels.
  • Video. Whether it’s YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, using video to ask your audience for direct feedback is personal and genuine. Embed it into a blog post or post to your social channels.

3. Give Out Positive Attention

Much like answering questions for those who don’t yet follow your brand, offering attention to influencers or others in your industry can give you a great reputation with your colleagues and your clients.

This is actually one of my favorite things to do on social media — I love recognizing others for a great article, podcast, or business achievement! By bringing attention to someone else, you show that you are in it because you care and you’ll expand your circle of influence.

Final Thoughts

I understand that social media can’t be “personal” 100-percent of the time. If it were, we’d be spending all of our time on our phones or computers with zero time to run our businesses.

But working genuine conversation and engagement in with scheduled posts is a great way to showcase your human side and build a following of raving fans.

Are you looking for help in this area? You can subscribe to receive my content and social media strategy tips via email or reach out for a 60-minute strategy session.

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genuine and trustworthy

Dollars Flow to the Genuine and Trustworthy

Passion is a way of life and business for me. One thing I’m very passionate about is being genuine and trustworthy as an entrepreneur.

Businesses run by honest, passionate people are the ones others want to work for and with. I only work with clients who are genuine and trustworthy and who want to make a difference in the lives of their clients or customers.

Beyond operating that way within a business, though, is marketing oneself the same way in order to move a business forward. This isn’t always the sexiest approach, because it can take time to plant roots as an unknown in a digital space, but it will ultimately bring the best return.

Once individuals know, like, and trust you, they will give you their business — it’s that simple. It’s important, however, to follow specific guidelines:

1. Make Sure You’re Marketing to the Right People

While it’s fantastic to generate engagement in the digital space, it’s meaningless if those you’re engaging with have zero desire to buy from you. Don’t fall into the trap of reaching out to an audience that ingests your content, but doesn’t need your services.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you build websites and you’re trying to drum up business through social media. You publish tips and tricks as a way to generate engagement and, hopefully, business. The only problem is that your tips and tricks are attracting a do-it-yourself audience that loves your content, but doesn’t need your services.

If, on the other hand, you publish “10 questions to ask of your potential website developer,” you may attract a crowd looking for a website developer instead of looking to develop it themselves. And, going back to our original point, you will show that you are caring and trustworthy by helping this audience find the right fit.

2. Make Sure You’re GENERATING Enough Exposure

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come. Producing fantastic content is only the first step. Next, you need to get that content in front of the right people by working with a social media specialist to dig into the nuances of each platform to get the most out of them.

Here are a few of my articles that may help:

Beyond that is a need for general SEO, or search engine optimization. Writing quality content is one thing; you also need to structure that content within your website so search engines read it and pull out relevant keywords.

One of my more popular posts is, “Stop Thinking SEO is Something You Should Save for a Rainy Day.” Basic SEO is simple and can make all the difference between potential clients finding you and finding someone else instead.

3. Make Sure You’re Saying Enough

As I mentioned before, I only work with awesome, genuine, and trustworthy clients. One of the things I do for them is connect the dots between who they are and what they’re broadcasting to the world.

Too often, amazing, talented entrepreneurs are selling themselves short by not conveying the incredible qualities they possess. These qualities are often referred to as “soft skills” and aren’t as outwardly valued in our culture as hard skills.

For consultants especially, these soft skills are everything. Even if your “it factor” has nothing to do with soft skills, the piece that will push people over the edge to want to hire you is often your engaging personality, ability to problem-solve, or genuine desire to want to help.

Make sure what makes you unique is being broadcast along with your deliverables.

Final Thoughts

Digital noise bombards potential clients and customers with endless messages and pitches. You want to be the person they turn to with their questions and — more importantly — their jobs.

Do that by conveying your genuine willingness to help and take care of their businesses, and you will be well on your way.

Twitter

Can Twitter Actually Help Your Business? It Probably Can

Twitter is a fantastic business tool misunderstood by a lot of successful entrepreneurs. Yes, it can seem silly to summarize what you’re doing in 140 characters or less, but the platform has the ability to generate leads and publicity for your business if you use it the proper way.

Here is a top-level look at ways you can use Twitter for good in your business:

Networking

During Social Media Success Summit, Amy Schmittauer described Twitter as a networking event. It is without a doubt exactly that. If you are in a B2B space, Twitter is a fantastic tool for you to use to get in front of the right people and talk shop or exchange ideas.

Take These Steps:

  1. Find the most relevant hashtags for your industry by visiting hashtagify.me and searching for keywords.
  2. Conduct a Twitter search with those hashtags and save the search to a private list you can easily access later.
  3. Spend 10-15 minutes each day looking through that list and engaging with others. You’ll soon learn who the key players are, uncover trending topics, and get to know others in your industry.
  4. Create another private list that includes key people to engage with. Spend 5-10 minutes each day reviewing their tweets. Give them shoutouts and retweets out of the goodness of your heart … it will come back to you!

How Do You Create A List on Twitter?

  1. Log into your Twitter account on a website browser.
  2. Click on your avatar in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Select “Lists” from the dropdown menu.
  4. On the right, select “Create New List.”
  5. Name your list and add a description if you’d like.
  6. Set your list to “Private” so others on Twitter won’t see it.
  7. When you find an account you’d like to add to your list, go to the account’s landing page and click the wheel icon. Select “Add or remove from lists” and check the box next to your new list.
  8. To view Tweets from accounts in your list, repeat steps 1-3 and then select the list you’d like to view. Tweets from those in that list will populate your screen.

Media Relations

Twitter is a news blotter, which means it’s prime territory for generating media coverage. Spending time in the platform each day will keep you up to speed on trending topics, helping you pitch to outlets you’d like to be featured in.

Take These Steps:

  1. Brainstorm all of the media outlets you’d like to be featured in.
  2. Conduct a search for each of their Twitter platforms and save to a list. To go one step further, find the media members who report on your industry within those outlets and find them on Twitter. Add their accounts to the list as well.
  3. Review their Tweets each day to see what stories they like to report on. Engage their content without an agenda so you learn more about them and they see you.
  4. By the time you’re ready to pitch, they will recognize you and be more likely to consider your story.

Lead Generation

Twitter can also be a great place to generate leads. By searching for relevant hashtags or questions, you can help your target audience with no strings attached. That is the key: don’t go into Twitter, guns ablaze, hard selling people.

Take These Steps:

  1. Search for questions pertaining to your specialty. If, for example, you’re a website builder who specializes in WordPress sites, you would search for troubleshooting questions.
  2. When you find a question, publicly reply with the answer.
  3. If the individual replies with a thank you, respond that you are happy to help and then direct them to your website for additional resources. Don’t try to sell them anything!
  4. Save that person to a list that includes potential leads.
  5. Spend 10-15 minutes each day engaging with your lead list. This will keep you in the forefront of their minds so they will reach out should they need paid services. If the opportunity presents itself down the line, pitch your paid services, but do so when there is a clear need.

Honorable Mentions

  • LinkedIn Positioning: Twitter offers an opportunity to get in front of those who curate LinkedIn Pulse. Tag “@LinkedInEditors” with the hashtag “#tips” along with links to your LinkedIn Publisher posts.
  • Trending Topics: Use Twitter as an idea generator for content. Whether it’s topics being most covered or an abundance of the same questions, you can directly address the needs of your target audience by engaging within the platform.

Don’t Forget …

  • Make sure you have a complete bio with a relevant hashtags, a link to your most relevant landing page, and a call to action.
  • Pin a relevant Tweet to the top of your account so visitors who check out your profile will see your best content first.
  • Take a look at Twitter analytics to see who is following you, your most popular Tweets, and more.

Looking to dig even deeper into your social media strategy? Book a 60-minute strategy session!

target audience

Get to Know Your Target Audience’s Behavior for Social Media Success

Social media is incredibly simple. All you have to do is sign up for an account, type in your message, and hit send. Customers or clients will flock, right?

Wrong.

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media is its simplicity. The fact that your 13-year-old nephew knows how to navigate Facebook leads you to believe you should be able to make it work for your business without batting an eyelash. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of business owners get tripped up.

Just because you have a successful, six-figure business off of social media, doesn’t mean it will be an automatic success on social media.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself if you’re struggling to get your business humming on social media:

Where Is Your Target Audience Spending its Time?

When you’re launching your business, it’s tempting to think of the key social media players — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — and believe you have to have a presence on each of them. If your target audience isn’t there, though, you won’t get much traction.

It’s also important to know why they’re spending their time there. If you’re targeting school teachers, for example, you might immediately think of Pinterest as a platform you should invest in. If you’re targeting them because you offer professional development courses, however, LinkedIn or Twitter may actually be better options.

You can’t just think of where your target audience is hanging out, you must also consider why.

How Will Your Clients or Customers Find You?

Map out your customer’s or client’s frame of mind to best understand where you should be focusing your attention.

Let’s go back to our teacher example. You offer professional development courses for teachers. You’ve been putting your efforts into Pinterest with no luck, so you do a little digging. It turns out your target audience is on Pinterest … but they’re using the platform to find lesson plan ideas and DIY projects.

What should you do?

  1. Change the approach: Since your target audience likes DIY projects, what if you created DIY professional development? You could offer printouts or forms they could fill out themselves, then link to additional information (i.e. course materials) on your website.
  2. Change the platform: Maybe Pinterest isn’t the right platform for what you offer, even though your target audience is there. Shift focus to a platform that fosters networking and professional development like Twitter or LinkedIn.
  3. Change the audience: The audience you typically go after may not respond on Pinterest, but perhaps a different audience on Pinterest will. Maybe school administrators use Pinterest to find professional development materials for their teachers.

How does Your Target Audience communicate?

Just because something works on a billboard doesn’t mean it will work on Facebook or Twitter. Each social media platform exists to fill a specific communication need.

I may spend time on Twitter while I’m watching a TV show. Facebook is where I share family photos and engage within communities I’m a part of. I enjoy YouTube to watch hysterical spoof videos. Pinterest is where I find recipes.

Your audience may spend time on each of these platforms for entirely different reasons. It’s important to get inside the heads of your avatar and understand why they enjoy Facebook, Snapchat, or LinkedIn.

That’s the key to understanding how you should be communicating.

How Does the Platform Work?

Each social media platform has it’s own tips and tricks.

  • If you’re posting to Facebook, you better be aware of the dreaded algorithm.
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags on Twitter (you can research on hashtagify.me).
  • LinkedIn prefers longer posts within it’s publisher.
  • Instagram only allows one dynamic link for each account.
  • The list goes on and on …

Final Thoughts

You may take a look at this list and decide it isn’t worth the trouble – you’d rather hire someone. If that’s the case, reach out to me and we can schedule a discovery call — I’d be happy to do the heavy lifting for you!

I am also gauging interest for 60-minute social media strategy sessions! If that’s something you’re interested in, please let me know!

influencer marketing

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Brand

Any online promotional strategy should include an influencer marketing piece.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you. – Tap Influencer

I personally recommend that you focus on the organic side of this strategy. As a successful business owner, you have an audience that can provide something to the influencer, so paying or hiring someone isn’t necessary. The key is finding a mutual benefit between the two of you.

A Case Study Metaphor: Fitness Guru

Let’s say you are a fitness guru, building your business around online consultations. You have found success through referrals and have modest followings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You’d like to expand your online reach as a way to automate your lead generation process.

You’ve believe influencer marketing can help you achieve this goal. Where do you start? There are a number of parameters to keep in mind when determining who you will reach out to, when, and how.

Who

Who will you reach out to? There are a few rules of thumb when considering the influencers you’re going to engage with as part of your influencer marketing strategy.

  1. Choose a non-competitor. Yes, your competitors will be the most relevant to your brand, but you don’t want to open that can of worms. Not only may you be perceived as trying to steal audience members from your competitors, you’re shifting the attention of your audience to someone else who offers your services.
  2. Choose a mid-level influencer. Don’t reach so high that your effort gets lost in a sea of tags and shoutouts. “Internet famous” people are inundated with messages and yours will easily get lost. There are exceptions to this, though, that we will get into another time.
  3. Choose a related industry professional. It’s important that the person you choose can benefit from your audience and vice versa. While there are situations in which you will simply post something and pray an influencer throws you a bone, it’s ideal to choose someone who will appreciate the additional traffic you are providing him or her.

When

Influencer marketing can happen anytime, but basing it around a particular article or event will generate the best results.

When someone in your field publishes an article, engages in an interview, or holds an event, he or she is looking to expand business reach. By giving a shoutout to that person in light of that content or event, you are becoming a part of their promotional strategy.

They will appreciate you recognizing their hard work and endorsing it as something others would benefit from.

How

How do you implement an influencer marketing strategy? You can write a blog on your website that mentions and links to the influencer, offer a shoutout on social media, or create a video that mentions the person or business.

The key is promoting what you do on a social media platform your influencer is a part of. Here are the best platforms for influencer marketing, ranked best to least best:

  1. Twitter. I LOVE Twitter for influencer marketing. You don’t have to get through any red tape to get to the person or brand you are engaging with and the benefit can be instant. If the brand you are engaging with retweets what you post, you’ve already expanded your reach. If you are engaging around a particular event, make sure you use that event’s hashtag.
  2. LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn is a B2B platform, you are going to get a lot of bang for your buck when you tag someone else within the news feed. Mention someone within an original blog you write and then post it along with a tag. You can also share content from an influencer on your timeline and give it a little endorsement while tagging the person or brand. This will expand your reach, but it will also nudge someone you are trying to woo into becoming a client or customer.
  3. Instagram. You can repost someone’s photo on Instagram, comment, or share. If you have a big, relevant following, reposting with their handle will go a long way. If you don’t know how to repost within Instagram, check out repostapp.
  4. Facebook. The best way to gain traction on Facebook is to share someone else’s post and tag their page when you do. This most taps into the “good karma” category. It’s a good strategy if you’re looking to gain this person or brand as a lead for your business because you’re starting out the relationship by giving them something for nothing.

Finishing Our Case Study

Now that we’ve gone through all of that, let’s finish our case study. Our fitness guru is looking to expand reach to automate lead generation. How might she tap into influencer marketing to do that?

  • Find complementary services. Fitness goes hand-in-hand with diet and nutrition. While our guru may offer services around diet plans, she can share recipes from healthy eating brands,  articles written about clean eating, or other fitness gurus that work in a different niche. For example, if our fitness guru specializes in yoga, she could share the work of a weightlifter. For everything she shares, she would tag the handle of the brand.
  • Tap into challenges. Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to find people engaging in a particular activity because of the use of hashtags. Research the top hashtags for training for a 5K or marathon and comment on the posts of those people. During the race, use the event hashtag to offer encouragement to those participating and give a shoutout to the face facilitator.
  • Engage the stars. Once a strong enough following is built (at least 1,000 followers on each platform), our fitness guru can work to engage in conversation with some of the stars in her industry. Comment on their articles, compliment their business, and express admiration!
  • Engage the media. A great influencer marketing strategy on Twitter is to engage media that covers your industry. Our guru can retweet articles and reply to tweets to compliment content they’ve created (she’ll want to reference the content so they know she actually read it). Once she’s built a rapport with those media members, she can start pitching them for her own stories.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it, and there is plenty more where that came from! While these are great tips that apply to any business, digging into the customization of each brand and each target will open up even more possibilities.

How have you tapped into influencer marketing? What has it done for your business?

Facebook

Let’s Take the Mystery out of Facebook So It Can Help Your Business

There are countless ways Facebook can help your business, but even the most intelligent entrepreneurs struggle to crack its code.

While it’s simple to use, it can feel like you’re shouting to no one, pushing out post after post to little fanfare. You may even find yourself questioning your own skills.

This can’t be that difficult … can it?

The answer is yes and no. Facebook is a powerful tool you can leverage for your business, but it can easily become a nuisance if you don’t understand how it works.

Here’s the key: give Facebook what it wants, and you’ll see a return.

1. Facebook Wants Your Money

It’s harsh, but it’s true.

Facebook is a robust advertising asset because it collects everything. Do you need to promote your content to women who recently had a baby? Someone who just changed jobs? A person afflicted with Lyme disease?

You can target all of that within the ad manager and that’s the route the platform wants you to take. Organic content — or content left to perform without paying to promote it — can work, but it has become increasingly difficult for businesses just starting out.

Facebook has made it tough for businesses to build an engaged audience without paid advertising, so it should be expected when you’re earning your first 1,000 followers.

2. Facebook Wants You to Engage its Users

Speaking of an engaged audience, that’s what Facebook wants you to have. The user experience is extremely important to the brand, which is why shares, comments, and likes will increase exposure of your content to your followers.

Have you ever logged onto the platform and seen a post with “Jane and Joe recently liked this post …” at the top? That’s a post receiving a lot of likes, comments, and shares, so Facebook believes you’ll want to see it, too.

It’s how it weights published content: when a post gets a lot of attention right away, it jumps to the top of the news feed. Create content your followers want to engage with and you’ll generate more exposure for your brand.

3. Facebook Wants You to Record Videos

That’s right, Facebook wants to be the No. 1 source for online video, and it’s well on its way. In fact, it predicts that the news feed will contain only video within the next five years.

If Facebook wants it’s platform to be video-focused, it means it’s going to help things along by favoring video posts. This past March, Facebook changed it’s algorithm to give preference to live video vs. on demand. It’s why you will get a notification if a page you follow is going live.

Here’s what this means for you: get on the video train, or it’s going to leave without you. Whether you’re talking to your audience, conducting a Q&A, or posting live from an event you’re attending, you will increase your traction by dabbling in video.

Additional tips

  • If you have a large following on YouTube, you may be posting YouTube links to your Facebook page. What you may not know is that YouTube links won’t do well within the news feed because Facebook wants you to natively upload them to their platform.
  • Are you open to putting a bit of money into Facebook ads? Make sure you have a clear focus when you do. Boosting random posts for additional clicks may be fun, but it’s wasting money if you don’t have a specific objective.
  • When you’re earning those first 1,000 followers, cross-promote your page as much as possible. Since Facebook allows you to embed its content, you can upload a video and then include it in a blog post. It’s a win-win: you give Facebook what it wants (video) and you promote your page to your blog audience!

I could dig so much deeper into each of these areas! Do you find these tips are too simple or too complex? Let me know which of these is most helpful to you by commenting below!

video

How Video is King … and Social Media Success Summit

smss-image-101116Doing what works isn’t always easy. Or convenient. Or pleasant.

As a digital marketing consultant, I sometimes find myself in a position of having to explain to a client why he or she should do something that fits within the aforementioned category. It’s tough, especially since I don’t always have stats readily available to support what I know to be true.

That’s why I registered for Social Media Success Summit — to have access to an amazing panel of experts that would support and add to the knowledge I already have.

So far I haven’t been disappointed.

What I Already Knew to be True

Heading into SMSS, I already knew that video was king. After all, Facebook embraced the idea of being provider of all videos which means we all have to follow suit or be banned to a world of zero engagement (aka algorithm hell).

Live video has become “the thing” for businesses (and direct sales individuals) to take advantage of because:

  • It pushes out a notification to your followers/friends announcing you’re live – instant promotion!
  • Once you are finished recording, an archived video lives on your page or profile.
  • Facebook loves videos, which earns you special treatment on the news feed. Think of it as your child being on his or her best behavior in order to get dessert. Give Facebook what it wants and you will get more of what you want: exposure!

What Presenters Validated

We are barely into the second week of SMSS and I’m blown away by the volume of quality content. I have watched a handful of presentations live (others I can listen or watch on demand), all giving me applicable information I can use immediately.

  • Amy Schmittauer is the founder of Savvy Sexy Social. Her presentation supported the notion that chronicling our story through video is critical to developing a brand message. She also drove the point home that businesses must engage with each social media platform differently.
  • Mari Smith is a top Facebook Marketing Expert. Mari dug into the dreaded Facebook algorithm, reminding us social media marketers that achieving organic reach is something that takes time, effort, and VIDEO.
  • Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted presented seven visual marketing tools to help posts stand out. After hearing Amy and Mari talk about the “what,” it was awesome to receive the “how” from Donna!

What Worked Immediately

I put the advice and tools of all three ladies into practice right away and saw immediate results. Even better? The results were with two brand new clients who hired me to expand their Facebook reach.

Both clients already have established audiences and thriving businesses, but were missing the mark on Facebook. Video is something I was already pushing prior to SMSS, but receiving expert advice from Amy, Mari, and Donna had me packing a bit more of a punch.

Though one of these clients had to step outside her comfort zone and the other had to make the time to make the video, both took the leap and both saw an immediate increase in reach!

That is what I am loving about SMSS — it is showing me that my expertise is right on track while providing me with tangible resources to back it up!

Can’t wait for the next 2 1/2 weeks!

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social media marketing

Content and Social Media Strategy: Why Should You Invest?

As a successful business owner, you understand the importance of trust. Whether you’re targeting other businesses or individual consumers, you get that others invest in you because they know you have their best interest at heart.

What you may or may not be doing, however, is translating that into your digital media strategy.

Different Worlds

The online world plays by a different set of rules than the traditional marketplace. If you are fluent in the latter but not the former, this can be frustrating for two reasons:

  1. You don’t understand the nuances of digital media and, frankly, don’t have the time to figure it out. Your business is doing just fine, thank you very much … why invest time or money into something you don’t need?
  2. You have invested time into digital media and it isn’t working, so you’re ready to give up. Refer back to No. 1. Your business is doing well without social media and online content … why not leave well enough alone?

Why You Should Get Behind Digital Media

I’ll tell you why! If you already have a successful business, there is huge untapped potential for you in leveraging digital content and social media. The key factor is trust.

You must translate the trust-building efforts you put into your brick-and-mortar (or person-to-person) business into your digital strategy. It is the fuel that drives online marketing.

Here’s why:

1. People or Businesses Invest in Experts

If your target audience trusts that you know what you’re talking about, they’re more likely to pay for your product or services.

If you’re a hair stylist, make how-to videos showcasing fancy up-dos. If you’re a wedding planner, write articles that list the items every bride should have on hand on her wedding day.

Don’t fear giving away your company secrets!

I may read a cheat sheet for filing a lawsuit, but does that mean I want to do it myself? Heck no! But that cheat sheet shows me that the lawyer knows what he or she is talking about and I’m more likely to hire him or her!

2. People or Businesses Invest in People or Brands They Like

Quality engagement on social media is a huge plus! As your audience gets to know you, it builds a trusting relationship that can translate into sales.

After bootstrapping my own business, I recently decided it was time to take things to the next level and invest in personal coaching. The coach I reached out to was someone I’d listened to via Podcast for months.

I handed over my $300 for a 90-minute session without hesitation. Not only do I recognize her expertise, I genuinely like her. There’s no way I would hand over that kind of money a coach – grossly successful or not – if he or she rubbed me the wrong way!

3. People or Businesses Invest in People or Brands They Can Find

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new roof. Not a cheap project! You’re going to want to invest in a business you trust. You do a quick search on Google: “replacing a roof.”

You skim past the paid advertisements to see what comes up in your search organically. To your surprise, the top results aren’t company pages, but articles. You click on an article entitled, “How much does a shingle roof replacement cost?”

The local company has a resource-rich article filled with cost comparison, methods for replacement, instructional photos, and how-to videos. You immediately recognize that this business knows what it’s talking about (No. 1) and you enjoy reading the article (No. 2).

You found this business because it had a solid digital marketing strategy that no doubt included keyword-rich articles and multimedia along with social media promotion.

Invest in What Matters

If you are a successful business owner struggling to get behind a digital media strategy, take a moment to rethink your stance.

If you’re currently putting a futile effort into social media, paying for a premium consultant can free up your time to invest in the parts of your business strategy in which you rock!

If you haven’t touched digital media with a 20-foot pole aside from a thrown-together WordPress website and a Facebook page you’ve checked twice (and since forgotten the URL), paying for a premium consultant can take your business to the next level!

It’s all about building trust. What do you say … are you in?

get leads

Is Social Media the Only Way to Get Leads As A Freelancer?

Definitely not.

Though I should admit I’m a social media addict. It’s bad. My husband has to tell me to put the phone down, so it’s tough for me to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to use social media as a way to generate leads.

At the same time, social media is useless if you don’t get it, don’t want to get it, don’t like it, or aren’t good at it. You won’t engage anyone if you aren’t genuinely engaged yourself.

Does that mean your situation as a new freelancer is hopeless? Of course not. There are other ways to generate leads.

1. Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging Goldmine

I don’t agree with all the principles in this book, but it was a great resource.

The majority of my organic leads have come through guest blogging, which is writing for another site and include an author profile at the bottom. Always include an author profile with your guest blogs. Not only does it drive traffic to your site (make sure you include a link!), it gives you quality links for search engine optimization.

There are a number of resources on the subject, but one that I stumbled across is Guest Blogging Goldmine by Tom Corson-Knowles. I definitely don’t agree with everything Tom says — like not paying more than $30 for a blog post once you hire your own writers — but there are plenty of quality tips to take away.

2. Networking

You may not be into social media, but you can still leverage it. LinkedIn is especially great for connecting with influencers who may be willing to share your content on their social platforms. I have reaped the reward of influential people with significant followings sharing my social media posts, but this you could also ask influencers to straight up share your content.

Remember, the first reason you should network within your niche (make sure you have a niche) is for a mutually-beneficial relationship. A secondary benefit of those contacts is content and social media sharing sharing.

3. Upwork/Service

If you’ve followed me for any length of time on LinkedIn, it’s no secret that I love Upwork. The great thing about Upwork it is that it provides warm leads. You already know the potential client is looking for your services, so you get off to a great start before you’re even out of the gate.

The other benefit is that it’s within a platform that tracks your proposals so you can see if the potential client has hired someone else or stopped checking in. I’ve definitely fallen victim to submitting proposals for jobs posted to websites like Craigslist or Problogger and never hearing another word.

If You Do Want To Tackle Social Media …

Here are quick tips on my favorite lead generators:

  • Facebook isn’t the best for freelancers looking for organic leads. Unless you share your work with your personal network or want to take a stab at paid ads (which are great if you choose to go that route), I suggest trying another platform first.
  • Twitter is great for networking and building relationships with influencers, but it may be tough if you don’t have a good follower base. If you think it’s the platform for you, though, jump in and start Tweeting. Use hashtags, get into conversations with influencers, and have fun.
  • LinkedIn is the go-to for professional networking and lead generation. Join relevant groups and engage, write Pulse blogs, and comment on posts of others. I don’t recommend cold messaging people with offers, but I know that does work well in some industries and if done the right way.

How have you found organic leads outside of social media platforms?