To start, we’ll recap Part 1 and Part 2 of this series in the briefest way possible.
Part 1 was learning about the need for ultra-wisdom and distinctive creativity. Part 2 was about how to utilize the heroes in your field to get that wisdom and instructions on how to cultivate that creativity.
But, as great as those posts were… I have some bad news. It is with great sadness that I must tell everyone something. Here it is:
I am not all-knowing when it comes to being able to directly guide every single one of my reader’s businesses.
There. I said it.
The good news on what I can do is draw skeletons. Yes- I can draw skeletons. For you.
Isn’t that great? I bet you were about to throw yourself off the roof of wherever you’re at, weren’t ya? Well, come on down and let’s talk a bit- back to skeletons. Yes, I can draw a one of those for you. When it comes to your particular business, I can lay out the bare bones of ‘how to’ or provide general outlines; however, to generate the muscles (wisdom) and cartilage (creativity) on that skeleton, you have to be the creator for that (and you are the single-most best person!).
For example, just like a generic book on job interviews won’t tell you exactly what you need to say to become the next president of Ford Motor Company; it is simply a guide to give you a broad set of ideas/suggestions. It is you that has to draw relevant information (your own personal experience that nobody else has) into the best of those. You have to be the one to “knit together” the specifics and customize it to tailor-fit to your situation. Does that make sense? You design your own answers to fit your goals for whatever field you are in.
Now, there may be a book about how to become president of one of the largest automobile industries in the free world, but I think you get my meaning because… you guys are all smarty-pantses in your own right. After all, you’re here, right?
In all my posts, after I have given you the skeleton, you must become the grand designer. You must utilize the tools of wise advice and pluck the creative super-fruit – I know you can do it and I’m going to show you how.
You know your audience. That’s your job – as a marketer.” Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media
This post will be about focusing on your customers, or in other words, your audience, or in other words, who’s looking at you, or in other words who’s talking about you, or in other words is there even a “who” out there for you on social media.
This post will re-direct from you, your brand, and your business to the ones, “out there”. (Part 4 will be along the same lines, but about how to implement various methods through your blog, web site, and non-Internet media.)
[This] …is not about broadcasting your message and getting the largest reach and frequency – it’s about tapping into the conversation, listening, engaging, and empowering. The loudest, biggest spenders don’t win anymore. The smartest, most flexible listeners do.” Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media
This is what we’re bringin’ at ya today! I’m super stoked to talk about the following three projects:
- Getting the recommendation – knowing why this is central to growing your business and learning how to implement the indispensable tools to make it happen.
- Transparency – Tips and tricks to exposing more of your personality so that others are more inclined to “watch you”. It’s about getting up close and personal, and giving your audience what they really want (and they’ll tell their friends, too!).
- Networking – Bringing necessary value and essential promotion to the heroes in your field in order for you to gain critical feedback (this is essential for you, and not meant to grow a client base).
I’m bringing a new angle of information in this post and I’m confident this will absolutely benefit you and your growing business. It may seem like a lot to take in at first, but trust me, if you carefully integrate these techniques into your marketing plan, the payoff will be priceless. Why? Because, in essence you can only go as far as the people who, 1) support your business by buying whatever it is you are selling, and 2) people who have marched on to greatness before you; those who can guide and steer you on the path to success. And, that is what the four posts I am publishing really revolve around- establishing, growing and satisfying your client base and helping, promoting and serving your professional heroes. I’m going to help you in these two areas by providing a wealth of key methods that are tried and true.
And to know what that is, I continually ask this question: what do I need to do next to grow my business? Once I find out what that is through watching, reading, studying and asking others, then I work at how I should do it. Once I know how, then I adapt it, perfect it, hone it, and become an expert at it. It is only until all that is complete that I can share it with you.
Section 1 – Getting The Recommendation
To start, I want to ask a simple question: how many of you have ever encountered a slick-haired, plaid-suited, cheesy smile, used-car salesman? To be honest, every car salesman I’ve ever met was dressed well enough, but haven’t you ever had this mental picture when that particular occupation comes up? It’s easy to visualize how they chase you around the car lot, and they just won’t leave you alone; they’re pushy, brazen and they play on the fact that you just don’t have the nerve to tell them to buzz off.
Have you ever felt that way as an entrepreneur over social media? I know I have. I’m constantly pushing my products around on Pinterest, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And, it’s like you know that in order to be a good salesman, you’re going to have to bear with the “no’s” before you can get the “yes!”, so you just keep pushing plugging along.
No one really wants to think of himself/herself as that guy. And, I get that at times it pays to be assertive. However in this day and age of technology when a person doesn’t want to deal with you, they simply turn you off, delete your message, unfollow you, or at worst- block you.
With that in mind, today we’re going to talk about the latest and greatest ways for growing your audience, increasing your social presence, and generating a better influence across the three biggest social media platforms – through the means of engaging others and how to best do that (basically by being the opposite of this ——->>>>>>
The central focus will be putting yourself in your audiences shoes. Not to worry, it’s going to be easy- it will be through: transparency, what you say and how you say it, capitalizing on the power of the “like”, and working through groups (public ones and private ones) all on the three biggest social platforms you use on a daily basis (or should be using every day).
The skeleton, if you will, is the body of your audience. How will you make it dance?
#1) FACEBOOK – GET ‘LIKED’
The best and most effective way to engage your audience/prospective clients is through your Facebook business page.
Why this is important: Companies and professionals who are worthy of people clicking their [business page’s] Like button will, in the short term, build trust and, in the long term, win the new Web in their respective categories.” – Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media.
The more your page is ‘Liked’, commented on, and shared the more it pushes your page up the in the new feed algorithm. This means that it will stay at the top longer in your friend’s news feeds getting more exposure/views- this is the goal. To read more on Facebook’s edgeranking, click HERE.
The benefits to that is whoever ‘Likes’ your page will be kept updated with your posts, links, pictures, updates, contests, promotions, giveaways for as long as that page is ‘Liked’, which means indefinitely. As long as you don’t pull out the cheesy salesman card and tick your friends off, they’ll keep your page ‘Liked’ forever- w00t! There are a whole smackle of perks to being ‘Liked’, just check this page out HERE.
How to do it: this is where the old adage rings true about thinking before you speak. This is crucial because the language you use can determine your edgeranking. It is uber-important that you know how to do this just right.
Dave Kerpen, in his book, likeable social media, gives a great example of how to ask engaging questions in a very particular way so that people are best inclined to “Like” your page. It goes like this, and I’ll summarize briefly- Company A posts an ad on their business page with a photo of their new product and a comment to go with it along the lines of, “Check out our new running shoes on our website and buy them now!” Company A is using old-hat, nearly obsolete traditional marketing to get this message out to their fans.
Now listen to the way Company B phrases the same type of method: “Click ‘Like’ if you’re excited about the weekend! Anybody going running?”
Kind of getting you thinking, doesn’t it? Which one are you most likely to resonate with? I mean, who doesn’t like the weekend? The best part is that with enough ‘Likes’, your post will stay near or at the top of the news feed, get the most views, and on top that, possible “shares” from your friends (here’s that frisky little asset called the rate of exponential growth!). So, think about the language you will use in how you share your posts. Phrase your post with questions that can always be answered with a resounding, “Yes!”
I. More ways to get the ‘Like’:
Since were are looking through the lens of best serving your audience, and you’re putting yourself in their shoes, think about what it is that you would want to see on social media. Obviously, in most cases, there’s a “payoff”. What do you get when you ‘Like’ someone else’s page? Think about it. If it’s a particular brand of clothing, you ‘Like’ the page so that you will know about discounts, coupons, new items or general company news. You get something.
You need to do the same!
Along with implementing portion A (just above) by asking questions others will want to answer, or ‘Like’, think about posting a link, a picture, or video with valuable content that links to:
- a special promotion you are doing, or
- a contest you are running,
- giveaways (“freebies”),
- fun facts (meme’s are so popular right now) and trivia,
- recipes, or “how to” educational tidbits (nothing lengthy)
Just put out there things you would, ‘Like’ and use your super-creativity to ask the right question that makes it easy for people to say ‘Yes!’ to. Or, in other words, phrase the question in a way that makes it ABSURD for people to say ‘no’ to.
II.) Make it easy-peasy
1) Did you know that you can ‘Like’ pages through your phone? Read, “HOW TO: Like A Facebook Page Via Text Message“
2) Put a ‘Like’ button on all your web site pages and blog.
3) Invite all of your friends at once to like your page with one click of the button.
4) At the end of it all, have a giveaway for the 1,000th person! For ideas click HERE.
III. Using the self-serve ad platform FOR FREE!
Here is a Facebook “page” that breaks it all down. Just a great “go-to” place: Click HERE.
#2) Using Twitter
#3) Your LinkedIn Account
Why this is important – LinkedIn is only as effective as your contact list is. Your effort to reach out to as many appropriate people as possible to grow your connections is the path to success in growing your own profile and your own business. The key word, however, is “appropriate”. …this means constantly growing your network in a targeted way.” – Eric Butow & Kathleen Taylor, How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn
A) Personally inviting a contact – click HERE for the best way,
B) Requesting recommendations – click HERE also,
C) Creating a group (1st step is creating a logo – ask me for help, I’ll create it for free) (2nd step is to not allow your contacts to display the logo), click HERE for a great tutorial.
Gaining their recommendation takes you further than any traditional marketing method out there in this day and age ever could.
SECTION 2 – TRANSPARENCY
Now that we’ve canvassed the “big three” social platforms, let’s talk about being transparent.
Nowadays, transparency is the “it” thing on social media (should have always been, but you know that there are always dishonest people out there, unfortunately. But, that’s not YOU!). You just have to be… you; and, likeable at that (remember cardinal rule #1, don’t be a jerk?).
Facebook and social networks are ushering in a new era marked by increased transparency and the most empowered consumer of all time. There is no doubt that this shift creates massive opportunities for the organizations that are most able to adapt their thinking and strategies to successfully implement plans via social media.” Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media
Don’t you want to know more about companies you support? Isn’t it nice to actually see the owner’s face? Aren’t celebrities who open up about their lives more “watched” (Ashton Kutcher)? For the longest time, as a business owner, I was always given the impression that it was better to appear more “corporate” and that as an owner, standing behind that façade would make you appear more as a “magnate” therefore attracting customers. Once again, this is old-hat, obsolete traditional marketing tactics.
This is how it is now- the more social media seems to unveil about a person the more it makes them seem… approachable? Relatable? I’m learning that that is what people really want. Even with people who are virtually untouchable- as long as they engage their fans and relate to them on a personal level, their following goes up. It is truly what people want and I’ll keep saying that.
Opening up and getting personal might be a little painful. But, think of it as a band aid- just rip it off and deal with the pain. This is not to say that I don’t realize exposing more of your personal life might make some uncomfortable, but don’t not do it. Remember, you can let more people know “you” without selling the whole kit-n-kaboodle; as the level of revealing is entirely up to you- you can use discretion (no hard and fast rules). Just don’t forget that as a company, people actually “buy” you first, they have to almost “know you” before they do business with you (not always, but generally).
Here are some ideas:
1. Share an embarrassing story –And, just to get the party started, I’ll go first. One day, in fifth grade, during the Pledge of Allegiance I decided to stand next to the teacher’s desk while we did. For some unknown reason (that I still to this day cannot figure out), I thought it would be a brilliant and hilarious idea to pull back my teacher’s chair while he stood up unbeknownst to him (my teacher was a big, burly man who weighed close to three-hundred pounds and he had a mustache). When the pledge was over, he went to sit down in a chair… that wasn’t there. He came crashing down so fast and so hard I swear the ground shook. For a split second imagine pure homicidal rage combined with manly embarrassment. It got REAL. He stood up, face redder than anything I’d ever seen and screamed out, “WHO DID THAT?!” Funny he would ask considering I was standing right next to him. Within a split second, every finger in the room was pointing at me. I was promptly asked to leave in the loudest voice I’ve ever heard. It went like this:
Yup. The most humiliating story of my life… that is, up until the time me and my best friend were driving along one night when I decided to turn into a gas station. Like I said, it was at night, visibility was low, and I’m pretty sure there were other things going on that I won’t mention here, when I inadvertently drove over a big mountain of a hill next to the entryway. It was a landscaped sort of hill, but pretty big, and we might have even jumped it. Both our heads hit the roof. After the impact, we simply drove up to the pump like nothing happened, much to the amazement of other gas pumpers.
2. Steal jokes.
Everybody has a particular taste when it comes to humor. Don’t be ashamed of your taste! Look up jokes, find ones that are good… share away!
Taglines, clever sayings, and euphemisms are good, too. Google search is your friend.
3. Post a “what not to do” story.
This one may take a bit of time. You’ll have to pay attention and be keen to what’s going around you. Not everyone can remember on the spot the last time they tried something and failed. I don’t know, maybe you failed at something yesterday, but it wasn’t very impactful. Keep track of what’s going on news-wise, television-wise and trending-wise that you might like to implement in your own life. If it doesn’t work, share it! As an example, on Pinterest there are some great ‘what not to do’ stories, or how they’re dubbed as ‘Pinterest FAILS’. Some are funny, some raise awareness, you get the gist. When it happens to you, keep track of it in your trusty notepad so that you can remember to share.
3. Share one of your dreams/goals.
Remember that guy from Pretty Woman who at the very beginning yelled out, “What’s your dream? Everybody’s got a dream!” I guess we don’t know if he was homeless or not, but don’t be like that guy. Don’t wander around screaming, k?
But do think about sharing your dreams and your goals in ways that people can relate to. Ask whether or not someone from your audience has the same goal. If they do, help them out. Band together. Solve problems. Forge a friendship. Bring value. Above all things and most of all- do something to work on that goal.
End result: make your dream/goal a reality no matter how big, no matter how crazy, just do something to work towards it!
SECTION 3 – NETWORKING
Creating groups on Facebook and LinkedIn are probably going to be the best ways for you to plug-in to the “wisdom” channel broadcast by your favorite heroes. This portion of the series will take you a little time, but that is OK- this is about quality, not quantity.
These are the places where you can “test drive” your ideas, see what works and what doesn’t, and generally get some much cherished business advice, accountability, motivation and inspiration. These groups should be invaluable to you, as they can and will be a well-spring of knowledge, and a fountain of “keeping you honest”- this includes accountability, precious feedback, and constructive criticism which are imperative to your business growth.
When I did my own study on the subject of networking, everything I found was strictly limited to growing your client list in order to make sales. I found this information to be flawed and a tad insulting. Yes, you are to build relationships with your audience/fans/potential customers, but you “network” with other professionals for guidance, for encouragement, for educational purposes. Why? Because no one was born into this world with a full knowledge-base of how to run a business; everyone should have a group of mentors, go-to people, and guides for help. And since we will never truly “know it all” (even after a top college education), it’s foolish to suggest that we can ever stop learning at some point. I realize that sounds negative… But, it shouldn’t. Think of it this way: there’s joy to be found in the journey of learning and growing. I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoy expanding my brain pan. Don’t you like to learn? Here’s another tad of truth: there is joy in the journey of learning. Hey, that almost rhymes! And, often times you learn best from those who have walked before you.
So again, keep in mind that your groups are not to find clients- they are to network with other professionals who can bring value to your life and/or your business and vice versa. When you help promote them, they can help promote you. The end result of networking is to gain wisdom on what it takes to create a following, what it takes to foster relational growth with clients, what it takes to keep your clients, etc. etc.
When you create a group on Facebook (how to do that is HERE), your goal is to create an open group with people you actually know in real life, or if not in real life, at the very least, have had substantial online contact with via email, Skype, telephone, text, etc.
Create the group as an “open” group, but keep it small. You will want to have it “open” in order for it to be able to be viewed publicly- the idea being that others can see and possibly glean some information even though the group will be exclusive. If, in the future, anyone asks to join they should meet the criteria, i.e., personal relationship.
- Start by asking five real people in your life and incorporate the willing ones (maybe even the unwilling ones) into your group.
- Try your very best to use discretion when it comes to whom you allow in. Your “inner circle” should have the following similar traits/goals that you do:
i. Like-minded goals when it comes to business growth, marketing, online presence, customer service, etc.
ii. Are positive, supportive, encouraging, motivated, ambitious, and creative.
iii. Are helpful, knowledgeable, offer some value (no matter how small), and WILL engage in the group.
Once you have that established…
Wonder on over to LinkedIn and create a “private” group (how to do that is HERE).
The difference here is that it is OK to create a group of people you may not actually know in real life. BUT, you should have at least some contact. You will want to find some top professionals in your field and that can be done like this:
Assign yourself little “book” reports using one of each of these mediums:
III. Blog article
Write a brief summary of at least five people in your field, that have already trod the path you are on. These people resonate with you. Ask and answer these three questions:
- How are our goals and paths similar in life?
- What has happened in their business life that I wish would happen in mine?
- What value do I bring to the table?
This little number should challenge you and cause you to really dig deep. Upon completion, you will use what you wrote to personally invite the people you have studied to join your private group. Remember this: there has to be value in it for them. Think about what that will be and use your creative super-power to accomplish it.
The goal is to remember is that each group should profit all involved (not monetarily, but educationally, economically, and promotionally)!
Take heart that every change can represent money in your life if you learn about it and do something about it.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing
Let’s continue to learn, grow, expand and help others! Hope you found this post helpful!
Till next time,