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!

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?