Home » Social Media

Category: Social Media

Sorry, Coaches. If You Build it, They Won’t Come!

alone_700x400

As coaches and entrepreneurs, many of you have probably heard this many times, and it’s true. If you build it, they won’t come.

You build your website. It’s awesome! You create your IFO (irresistible free offer) to build your email list, build a landing page for it and put an opt-in box on your website. You know it offers high value. You create products and add them to your website. You create your social media profiles and pages.

And then crickets. Nothing. You might get some followers on social media, but most of them are probably friends and family.

Now what? Who cares, except you?

You have a gift and talent to help people, and nobody even knows you exist.

Honestly, it takes time, patience, perseverance and consistency to become the go-to expert that potential clients flock to. It’s not going to happen overnight. You have to make it happen.

How? There’s no one specific thing, although you may find that some methods work better for you and your target market than others. But generally, it’s a number of different factors and strategic activities that all send people back to your website and lure them into your sales funnel with your IFO, including the following:

  • Networking
  • Speaking events
  • Blog posts
  • Search engine optimization (your website and blog posts must be optimized for Google)
  • Social media activity
  • Advertising
  • Free teleseminars/webinars
  • Joint venture activities

So, no, if you build it and do nothing with it, they won’t come. You need to build the “Know, Like and Trust Factor” and drive the traffic to your site. You need to set up the aspects of your Client Attraction, Relationship and Sales Systems that will work together to help you reach your goals. If you want an online business with no limits and endless possibilities for growth, then sit in the driver’s seat and make it happen. Honestly, this is what separates the 6 and 7-figure coaches (and even the upper 5-figure coaches) with a successful online business from the hobby owners.

Ready to learn more?
Grab this FREE Cheat Sheet!

The Only 3 Systems You Need to Have a Successful Online Coaching Business

cheat-sheet-rep005

How to Market Your Business Online to Find More Clients – Pt. 3: Social Media

Social Media Virtual Assistant

In part 3 of How to Market Your Business Online to Find More Clients, we’re going to cover social media.

These are some older stats, so you can be sure that the numbers have increased significantly since then.

In 2012, Yola reported that 69% of consumers were more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site. I know this is true for me. I check out most businesses online before I visit them. If they don’t have an active social media account, and especially if they don’t have one at all, I may feel like they aren’t up with the times and don’t care about their customers. This may be a really unfair judgement, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had those thoughts cross their minds.

In fact, Small Business Can said that 59% of social media users think companies who use or are active in social media seem to be more approachable.

The truth is, we’re not only living in an online world, we’re living in a social media world, and according to Vocus, 85% of customers expect businesses to be active in social media.

In 2011, it was reported on Hubspot that 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. I wish I had found a more up-to-date statistic to compare because I am sure those percentages are much higher now. I have acquired many clients through Facebook.

As of 2011, the number of marketers who said Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business had increased 83% in just 2 years. (Source) That is huge – 83% in just 2 years!

In 2012, State of Inbound Marketing said that 80% of US social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. This is true for me, but I spend a lot of time on Facebook.

However, InboundWriter.com found that LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually. Yet only 47% of B2B marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn vs. 90% on Facebook.

What social media platforms you focus on for your business really depends on who your target market is and where they hang out. You really need to know this to make sure you’re spending time and money in the right places. You can’t just go by what works for somebody else or some other business. You might love Facebook or Twitter, but if your target market isn’t spending time there, you’re not going to reach those people and see results from your efforts.

For my business, I find I get the best results from Facebook and LinkedIn. Depending on your business, you might get the best results from Twitter or Pinterest.

You need to optimize your social media accounts to reach and connect with your ideal clients, offer value (ex. tips, blog posts that link back to your blog, etc.), build the ‘know, like trust factor’, and be social with them so they consider you a friend and trusted resource.

Not only can you create a trusted relationship with potential clients and customers through social media, but SEO.com revealed that 70% of small businesses are using social media to improve their search engine optimization.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, this means how easily you are found in the search results when somebody Googles (or searches) for any terms that are related to your business. If somebody is specifically looking for a product you sell, if they have a question about a problem that you can solve, if they want to learn about something you teach, or even if they are searching specifically for your business but they don’t know your website, you want those people to be able to find your website easily, without having to scroll though pages of search results.

How can social media help you rank higher or more often?

  • Your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, your LinkedIn profile, your Pinterest account, your YouTube account, etc. are all searchable, both on the actual social media sites and through the search engines. Your accounts will register in the search engines, which should also link back to your website.
  • If you’re sharing blog posts and videos that link back to your website, you are specifically sending people back to your website and creating more of those quality links. If people share your social media posts containing these blog posts and videos, you will reach more people and send more people back to your website. This content may also show up in the search engines.
  • If you have social media share buttons available on your website’s blog posts, people have the opportunity to share what they like on their favorite social media sites. This gives you more exposure, but it also tells search engines such as Google that you have quality content that people want to see.

Don’t forget that you can also use social media to grow your email list! You can promote your free gift and events to your audience both for free and through paid advertising that is targeted to the exact people you want to reach. This means that you have increased access to these people and you can contact them directly by email, as you continue to educate them and invite them to work with you or take action on your offers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, find out what social media sites your target market is spending the most time on. Those social networks are where you may want to consider focusing most of your efforts on. Share quality content that educates and links back to your website, make sure your social media networks are linked to your website, make sure your blog posts have social media share buttons so your readers can easily share with their friends, and use social media to strategically grow your email list.

If you hate social media, you don’t understand it, or you just don’t have time to be bothered with it, you really need to consider hiring a social media manager or virtual assistant to get you set up, create the content for you, and help create that ‘Know, Like, Trust Factor’ on your behalf. In this age of social media, if you continue to ignore your target market on social media, you may be losing out on significant business growth and profit, while your target market is drawn to your competitors who are reaching out to them, communicating with them, educating them, and making them feel special.

If you need help getting set up on social media, you would like to create a consistent social media presence, and you would like help to grow your email list, CLICK HERE to set up a Complimentary 30-Minute Discovery Session with me and we’ll come up with a plan for your social media success.

Is Your Marketing Attracting More Clients to Your Coaching Business?

This is part two of my recap from Pat Mussieux‘s Wealth Makers Toronto 2014 event, focusing this time on the Marketing section. This information is compiled from my notes and from some points stated in the Wealth Makers Workbook.

networking-and-marketing

As a virtual assistant, improving my marketing interests me not only for my own business, but also because I handle many online marketing activities for my clients. However, there are some things I just cannot do for you. You have to be clear on your message and your target market, you have to do the networking yourself, and you should do the actual follow-up yourself.

You know how important marketing is to your business. If you don’t have any clients, you don’t have any cash transactions. “If you don’t have any cash transactions, you have no business.” There are many aspects to marketing, including clarifying your message, utilizing social media, networking, and following up. 

Who do you want to help and why do you want to help them?

A confused mind will not buy. Are you a parenting coach or a relationship coach? Are you a career coach or a life coach? Pick one. Are you a Walmart or a Nordstrom? One is not better than the other, it’s just that the demographics are totally different and you need to know who you are marketing to.

If you’re having trouble with this, work with 100 people and then zero down on the main thing you are helping them with. Then you can create your marketing message and go get those people.

What motivates people to buy?

There are four main things people want, and you need to take these into consideration when deciding what your potential clients want and what you are going to help them with:

  1. More time
  2. More money
  3. Improved health
  4. Better relationships

What is the cost of them staying stuck? The external reasons might be loss of money, poor health, lack of time, lack of fun, not being able to take vacations or act on other opportunities. Internal reasons may be embarrassment, or feeling lonely, depleted, and unsatisfied. Be detached from those who don’t want to become unstuck. They need to make a decision, yes or no, whether or not they want your help.

Qualities of an ideal client

  • They are able and willing to pay what you’re worth
  • They have problems and challenges you love solving and working with
  • They know you can help them and are motivated
  • You actually like them and you wouldn’t mind if they were your next door neighbor.
  • They respect your time, skills, staff and space.

Social Media

I love this quote: “If you are not proactive enough to make sure that your business has an amazing online presence, then you are taking your business in the wrong direction.” – Ali Salman

Here are just a few of the social media stats and tips mentioned at the event or taken from the Wealth Makers workbook:

  • 91% of US consumers who use social media to search for local businesses do so with Facebook. (I know I quite often do.)
.
  • 95% of US consumers have a Facebook account, compared to 62% on Twitter.
.
  • 30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan Page.
.
  • Use Twitter to get the attention of media and higher level people.
.
  • LinkedIn is the best social networking site for lead generation. (Watch for a future article on optimizing your LinkedIn profile.)
.
  • LinkedIn is ideal for those of you who want to deal business-to-business, connect with industry/topic specific groups, and develop relationships for potential speaking opportunities.
.
  • YouTube has passed Facebook as the largest social media site, with more than 1 billion unique users visiting YouTube each month and over 6 billion hours of video watched each month.

Social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Once you know what your goals are, what your promotional schedule will look like, and how much time you want to contribute yourself, your virtual assistant (me) can step in and create a regular presence for you by creating your social media content from blog posts and promotional material, scheduling it, and managing your profiles, if you wish.

Networking

Networking is like dating. Have respect, but also expect others to have respect.

Don’t go spreading your business cards around tables and under people’s noses. It’s tacky. Have a conversation and wait for someone to offer their business card before you offer yours.

Be genuine and sincere. Don’t be pushy and don’t stalk people!

Guard your business cards and be choosy about who you give them to. Don’t collect or accept business cards when they are not a fit and you’re not interested, and don’t give someone else hope you will contact them when you won’t. Don’t give your business card to someone you are not truly interested in developing a business relationship with.

Do not automatically add people’s email addresses to your email list just because they hand you their business card! Not only do people consider it rude, but it violates anti-spam laws. If they give you explicit permission to add them, then add them. Otherwise, if you have a free gift on your website, send them an email from your direct email account and offer the gift to them, providing them with the link to opt in. Let them sign up themselves if they want to. You can also add an image of your free gift and a link to the landing page on the back of your business card to encourage people to sign up.

Which reminds me of another important point that was brought up… don’t use emails like Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo for business! It’s very unprofessional looking and people will not take you seriously as a business owner. I started out with a Gmail address and a free blog site when I started my virtual assistant business, so I really do understand. If you’re starting out and cash flow is tight, as soon as you possibly can, get your own domain name and accompanying email address. It’s really important for your overall business image.

The Follow-up

Put the follow-up appointment(s) in your calendar before you go to the event, so you have that time blocked off. The follow-up is where many of us leave the money on the table. Apparently only 10% of people typically do any follow-up at all. Wow.

Some ways that you can follow-up:

  • Phone call
  • Email
  • Send-Out-Cards
  • Send a personal note and include an article of interest

These are just a few of the points that were covered on the marketing day. I could have added so much more, but I didn’t want to turn this into a plagiarized e-book! Next, I’ll be recapping the Money portion of the event. Of all of these marketing tips, what is your biggest insight or ah-ha? What got you thinking? What are you going to change or implement?

.

Why I Quit Facebook Fan Page Parties

partyFacebook Fan Page Parties have been popular for some time. They were a great opportunity for virtual assistants, business coaches, life coaches, and any entrepreneur to connect with other business owners and get greater visibility on the network. Many social media gurus and some business coaches were hosting them with great success (and some still are).

I started hosting my own Fan Page Party and was very pleased with the weekly participation. However, it didn’t take long to see the undesirable aspects to these parties. Many of these business owners  and marketers go around to all of the Facebook parties they can find and like all of the pages, hoping to get likes in return. I’m guessing that they probably have absolutely no interest in at least 80% of the pages that they like. Some of the parties even require you to like all of the pages listed (instead of picking and choosing).

Even so, this was still “okay” until Facebook changed the rules of the organic reach game. Then it left many of us “partiers” in a mess because Facebook has and is continuing to decrease the percentage of our fans/followers who will see our posts. Of course, they want us to pay now!

Instead of having the tight niche community of interested fans/followers, our numbers are diluted with uninterested marketers and product pushers (for example). What is left of our precious organic reach is being wasted and ignored in the news feeds of people who have no interest in our pages and will NEVER be ideal clients. To make it worse, if we pay to promote our posts to our followers, we are then paying for these people to see the posts in their news feed!

The best we can hope for is that they know someone who would be interested and they make a referral. That’s not very likely, in most cases.

Even before the recent Facebook changes to organic reach, I had become frustrated with the Facebook parties, as I was not attracting the right people to my page through these. I did attract some coaches through the parties, but my own party took on a life of its own and was not how I had envisioned it.

My original plan was to create a space for business coaches, life coaches, energy-workers, intuitives, natural health practitioners, writers, and speakers to connect and be able to share aspects of their business, social media profiles/pages, and joint venture activities. Now I have to come up with a plan to restore my page. It’s a necessity now, and it’s going to be a time-consuming effort. I could choose to start a new page, but I really don’t want to start over, so I don’t see this as an option. I can, over time, go through all of the people who like my page and check out their profiles to see if there is any information available to indicate what their business is and what their interests are. If they are obviously not a fit, I can remove them from my page. The only problem with this, besides it being time-consuming, is that Facebook will only allow me to see a certain number of likers/followers at a time when I do this.

For many of us, Facebook is still the place to be right now. It’s where I’ve had the most success and a number of clients have found me through my page. As Facebook continuously changes, we have no choice but to adapt and make the most out of it if we want to stay and connect with our fans.

We must use our time, resources, and money wisely, and aim to build a tightly niched following. In my opinion, Facebook parties – as they are typically held – will not benefit many entrepreneurs (especially those with defined target markets or location-based businesses) as we head into the future of Facebook.

Have you participated in or hosted a Facebook party? What has been your experience? Did you feel you actually benefited from participating or hosting them? Please comment below!

.

How to Get a Custom LinkedIn URL

LinkedIn for CoachesI know that many of you still don’t have a custom LinkedIn URL, so your link contains a lot of extra characters and numbers. This looks a little bit messy. If you want to share your link with someone, you want to give them a nice, customized link. This is easy to change!

Social media platforms are always changing the look and layout of the profiles, where things are located, etc., but it shouldn’t differ too much. Even if LinkedIn changes again, this should give you some idea of how to find it. You just might have to take a few extra minutes to look around for where things are located.

1. On the main menu of LinkedIn, Hover over Profile with your mouse and select Edit Profile.

2. Look for your link (under your profile picture) and click the ‘Edit’ wheel icon beside it. It will take you to your Public Profile page.

3. Near the top right-hand side for Your Public Profile URL, click the pencil icon to edit.

Delete what is in the box and type in your custom URL (my URL is currently Transcribble – my old business name). You might want to use your name or your business name. If you have a name/word that you use on all your social media sites, use that to keep it consistent.

Your custom LinkedIn URL must contain at least 5 and no more than 30 characters.

When done, click Save. If the custom URL is already taken, you may have to choose something a little different.

4. IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to change all the links to your LinkedIn profile! (Websites, other social media sites, email signatures, documents, etc.)

There, doesn’t that look better, more professional?

Looking for a done-for-you service? Contact me today to set up a Complimentary Discovery Session.

Do I Have to Promote my Business on Social Media?

Social Media Virtual AssistantNo, of course you don’t have to promote your business on social media. But even if you hate it, you should use it! Why? Because almost everybody has at least one social media account, and many have accounts on multiple networks. It’s how people keep in touch these days, and communication via social media has become even more main stream than email.

Social media isn’t about directly advertising; it’s about building relationships and trust with your clients and potential clients. It’s important to create and contribute to conversations, share useful tips and share your blog articles. Give people a reason to ‘Know, Like and Trust’ you, and be consistent.

If you’re not actively using social media, you are missing out on a big opportunity to network and put yourself in front of your ideal clients. Not only that, but if you impress your fans/followers/connections, they may share your content and status updates with their friends, allowing you to reach many more people.

Ideally, it would be great to have your presence everywhere, on every social network, but that may not be necessary, depending on your business. You want to be where your potential clients are hanging out and spending time.

  • If you’re targeting business and corporate professionals, you may only need a LinkedIn profile. It may be harder to find and connect with those people on Facebook or Twitter.
  • If you’re targeting parents or young adults, you’ll generally have better luck on Facebook, Instagram and maybe Twitter than you would on LinkedIn.
  • If you have a very visual business (eg. Food industry, fashion, design, flowers), you would definitely want to consider Pinterest, Instagram Facebook.
  • Studies have shown Google Plus (G+) users to be 70% male and primarily of the technology profession.
  • There is conflicting information on Twitter user statistics, but it is popular amongst businesses and celebrities because of the ease of self-promotion, and is popular amongst young men.
  • If you are able to produce short videos (of you, basic training, promotion, etc.), YouTube is a valuable social network for any business, especially because videos do so well in search engine rankings.

The biggest thing is to narrow down your niche, research your ideal clients and find out what their preferred social network is.

If you hate social media with a passion or don’t use it often enough, you should probably avoid Twitter. With Twitter, so many people follow thousands of accounts, so to stand out and get your short message seen, you need to be posting very regularly throughout the day.

With Facebook pages and LinkedIn, you can get by with posting once a day. With Pinterest, you can pin once a day as well, but you probably won’t! Pinterest is so addicting that you’ll also be sharing all of the cool pins that everybody else is sharing!

Social networking doesn’t have to be stressful! There are many ways you can make it fun, but if it just plain stresses you out or takes up too much time, you can easily outsource that activity to a Virtual Assistant or Social Media Manager!

 

I offer packages including social media account setup for those who need a social media presence, as well as social media content creation packages and Boost Your Online Visibility Packages. Click here to learn more or click below to set up a 30-minute Complimentary Discovery Session.