How to network and not be spammy…
One of the best lessons you can learn as a new entrepreneur is how to leverage networking to reach your ideal client. Marketing your business is much easier than you think. There are many platforms to choose from, I choose to hang out on Facebook in various groups as that is where my ideal client typically hangs out.
Social media networks help you build relationships…
These platforms are ideal places to do market research, create brand awareness, and lead generation. This is how I grew my business without a dime of ad spend. Networking is like growing the roots of your business. Other business people are like the leaves that infuse the energy into the tree, they help you grow!
Understanding these networks can put you in front of many thousands of people if you consistently post. In my daily routine, networking is critical. I take the time to comment and provide value in 3 to 5 groups, per day.
If you just go in and drop links and spam people, you will be ignored and most likely removed from groups. Do you like when your friend from high school that never talks to you tries to sell you all day mascara? Pretty damn annoying, eh? Users are much to savvy for cold marketing and find you spammy.
People buy from trusted friends or brands they know, like, and trust. This is HUGE!
The key is to provide value, consistently, people then start to take notice of you. Keep showing up and sharing your area of expertise. Help people out, teach them something new, and don’t drop pickup lines like you are at a bar.
Human beings are funny animals. I have noticed once you help a person they will start sending you referrals for business just because they know WHAT YOU do, not how well you do it! My work has been referred by people I have never worked with, they just know OF me! It is cringe-worthy that people don’t even verify my skills, they just know I am a designer so they shout me out to people looking for design work. 100% truth, help people out and they will sing your praises!
Top of mind association…
Staying consistently in front of people is how this process happens. Dropping mad value in social media feeds, on the reg, your name floats to mind when someone posts in groups looking for someone with your skills! Post daily and you will attract clients like bees to honey.
Like cliques in high school, or in the case of the online world, people with similar interests hang out at separate tables or in the case of social media, different groups. Find where your group hangs out and post often.
Another fun fact, online influencers work with other freelancers and are certain to recommend people they work with or share like interests within groups they hang out in. Find an influencer you align with, and their followers are your followers. Find ways to get to know these people!
Which social media platforms to use in your business…
Here is a quick breakdown of why you might want to use certain social media platforms, think of it this way. Where did YOUR clique hang out in high school? Did you like to read articles in the library, like Pinterest, gossip in study hall, like Facebook, or raise your hand and comment or ask a question of your teacher, like Twitter?
I strongly suggest mastering one platform, maybe 2, but get freaky good at marketing to your people in one place. If you are posting willy-nilly and throwing spaghetti posts at the wall, your inconsistent posting will never gather you a following. You also need to post content that helps your target market with their problems, what they dream about, or products they might use.
- Media Sharing: Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat – Share videos, photos, and other online media.
- Social Networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – Connect with people and brands, online.
- Discussion Forums: reddit, Digg, Quora – Discuss and find news, share opinions and information
- Bookmarking & Content Creation: Pinterest, Flipboard – Share, save, chat about trending content/media
Each type of forum could be an entire post, but I want you to focus on doing some research. See where like-minded people hang out and that is your forum. Think about how each platform is used. Instagram and Pinterest show lovely images that entice your reader to click to find out more!
If your readers share a social cause, they might be in a group dedicated to that cause. Think in real life where people like to hang out and what they usually do with the hobby or cause and that can give you a little better direction. Do your readers love recipes? They most likely will be collecting them on Pinterest or Instagram.
Are they vocal about a certain cause? They most likely will voice their opinion on Facebook. Does your ideal client need instruction to pick up what you are putting down? YouTube might be just the place they hang! I hope this gets your mind going. Network, it is the life blood of your business!