I often see new business owners online awkwardly testing the waters on social media. They’re sure how to put themselves out there, but knowing that social media is one of those things that everyone says you “should” be doing to promote your business. Often times they’ll simply broadcast their sales message on various platforms, not quite feeling good about it, but not knowing of a better way. It is possible to build your social media platform in ways that feel good.
Social media is not about promoting your business. As I discussed in my previous post, it’s about getting to know people and building valuable relationships and connections. It’s about building your tribe, and developing that ever-important know, like, and trust with the people you meet online.
That’s how I use social media, and I’ve distilled my own heart-centered way of using it into seven steps. The first three steps involve set-up (creating profiles, creating content, and connecting online), and the fourth step is where the magic starts to happen. This is one of the most important aspects of my seven step system, and it’s the main reason why the way I use social media for business feels good.
Be of Service
The first step is to be of service: to use your social media connections to reach out and help others. This may seem counterproductive, as I know that many coaches are already concerned about wasting too much time on social media. But the key to building fruitful relationships online is often reaching out to help others first…before you start asking for help.
It’s a fantastic way to spread goodwill and to lend a hand to other coaches and people in heart-centered businesses. It’s also a great way to help out your potential clients by sharing little tips and bits of information that they will find interesting and useful. In a nutshell, helping others online builds that know, like, and trust that you need to attract your ideal clients and to create powerful joint ventures.
I’m going to share a few tips on how to help the two main groups of people you will want to connect with online using social media: potential clients (people who are in your group of ideal people to work with), and other business owners (people who have a similar client base, but who provide a different, possibly complementary, service to them).
Help Potential Clients
There are a number of ways you can help potential clients online using social media:
- Survey them. Once you’ve connected with a number of people from your ideal client base, ask them what they want, and get ideas from them for the content you’ll be creating.
- Blog. Write blog posts with tips and suggestions that will help your ideal clients.
- Images. Create “quote boxes” with your tips and suggestions, and schedule them to post to your Facebook page. Share the same images to Google+ if you use it, and pin them to Pinterest.
- Twitter. Share quick (140-character or less) tips and ideas to help your ideal clients. Make them really useful and valuable, which will encourage your followers to re-tweet them.
- Video. It’s a fantastic way to create connection with potential clients, and for them to get a good feel of your style and what you’re like. You can create a series of quick (5-minute or less) videos where you discuss a tip or suggestion in each one.
Help Other Business Owners
Why help other coaches and business owners? Because you can form valuable alliances with them and cross-promote your businesses. This works best when you have a similar client base, but provide a different solution to your clients (think: fitness coach and health food coach, or media coach and copywriting coach). There are a number of ways you can help other business owners by using social media:
- Reach out. Connect on social media and strike up a conversation with them. Let them know how much you loved their latest blog post or tweet or product.
- Just ask how you can help. Perhaps they have a big launch coming up for a new product or service, and they could use some help spreading the word about it on social media. Or maybe they’re putting together a new affiliate program, and you could even make some extra money by promoting something you already love.
- Invite them to your platform. Perhaps you run an online networking group, and you can invite them to speak. Or maybe you host a weekly podcast, and you can ask them to be your guest. If you have a blog on your website, you can also approach them about writing a guest post for you.
- Share their stuff. Retweet them on Twitter. Share their posts on Facebook. Re-pin their images on Pinterest. Plus-one their content on Google+. Share their YouTube videos.
- Review their product. If you’ve read a great business or coaching book, review it on Amazon and Goodreads. If you’ve purchased an online program that’s relevant to your business, review it on your blog. Then use social media to share your reviews and spread the word about them.
Take action today.
Choose one action from the client list and one action from the business owner list, and make it happen. Be of service, help others, and spread the love online. Before long, you’ll see how lending someone a helping hand online will help your business, too. You’ll have built some amazing relationships online, and others will be offering to help you with your own business.
I hope this was useful to you! This is one of the most enjoyable ways of using social media for me, and it’s been such a huge part of how I’ve built my business. Help others first, and I promise the help will flow back to you. And you’ll build your social media platforms in a way that feels really good.
Holly Worton helps coaches, holistic practitioners, and women in heart-centered businesses go from confusion to confidence with social media, so they can use it to build relationships online and get more clients. Why? Because as a heart-centered business owner, you do amazing work, and she wants to help you help more people. The way to do that is through Connection, and social media is one of the best ways to connect with others and to build your tribe. Sign up for her free 90-minute social media training at Socially Holistic to get started building connections online. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+.