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If you create something – whether a product or a service or a coach – your business doesn’t really matter unless people see it, which means you need to find the right people online. There are some ways that you can do this.
It’s easy to feel that as a small business or solopreneur that we can’t keep up with the big guys online, those brands that have social media teams dedicated to doing their work. But your smallness and your scrappiness and your ability to reach out to people on a personal level actually is a little bit of a superpower for you.
There’s Power in the Personal
What we’re going to discuss today is how to find these followers by doing a little personal outreach. The important thing is that you go into this with having an approach of having a servant leadership mindset and making sure you’re always leading with an abundance and a collaborative approach when you reach out to people online and when you make these networking connections. We need to think about social media as one big party that we’re networking in, right? We need to find the right people at that party to speak to who our product or service can solve their pain point and make their life better.
You can start initiating personal outreach by finding and participating in:
- groups on Facebook
- groups on LinkedIn
- finding Twitter chats
That’s your simple first step. That’s all you have to do. Locate three to five groups on LinkedIn and on Facebook that you can join, that you know your ideal audience is in, and start participating in the discussions and offering value, dropping a blog post that you wrote in order to help people actually get a question that they asked answered. The more value you can add in there, the more likely it is someone will see your comment and say, “Oh, who’s this?” and then click on your profile, and start an engaging conversation with your brand.
Now, you can do this with your pages and groups too. Facebook pages have the ability to comment on group stuff and that’s going to be your best bet for getting your company out there. Or, if you want, you can use your personal profile to do this.
Don’t be afraid to go in there, approaching networking with your personal profile. Building a brand around our personality leaves a lot of leeway in business to help grow and grow and expand because we know that people are going to have to pivot, that people are going to add new products or services to their offerings. Whether you’re a coach or whether you’re a product-based business, you might want to add other different revenue streams in there. If your brand is built around your personality, it’s much easier for people to recognize your product and say, “Oh, I trust that person, so I will buy their new product, no matter what it is.”
If you’re reaching out with your personal profile and you want to start some dialogues with people who you actually think will be a great fit for your business, try friending them or connecting with them on LinkedIn.
Don’t Start with The Sale
You know people like to talk about themselves, so do not sell on your first outreach to people. If you’re DMing them on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, reach out and say something about how you admire something you learned about them on their profile, ask them about their business, and get them to reply back to you. Create that dialogue a couple of times. Remember, it takes about seven touchpoints with a business in order to get that brand loyalty. Why not make some of those touchpoints really fun for the person where you’re just connecting as another human, right? All of those touchpoints do not have to be direct aggressive sales. They can just be you communicating with another human being and them getting to know your brand a little bit.
Ask them questions. give them a compliment on something you admire of work that they did, do your research in that way, and open the dialogue. That way, when it comes time to end the conversation, you can say, “Cool. It was so great meeting you. I continue to look forward to seeing your stuff show up in my feed.” And then you can end it with a little sneakiness by saying, for example, if this was me, Edgar, “If you have any questions about social media, let me know.”
That is a great first step to planting in their head that you are the go-to expert and the logical choice if they need whatever help your brand provides in the future. Look for those ways to build in conversations. That’s the key to selling on social media and getting new followers.
You can also get followers by doing other things like webinars. Here at MeetEdgar, we do a lot of collaborative webinars so that our brand is getting in front of other people’s audiences, and their brand is getting in front of our audience. We do this strategically in a way that we’re identifying brands who we know would really support our audience’s pain points. We know that they’re going to get a lot of value from our speakers that we bring on here. But if you can do these in private settings, like on a Zoom webinar, you can drop your handles in the webinar and say, “Let’s keep the discussion going on Twitter.”
If you’re doing a webinar and you want to leverage this to get more followers for your social media accounts, make sure that you’re giving them a way to continue the discussion. For example, suggest using a branded hashtag. We did a webinar, and the title was Less Work, More Traffic, so do less work, get more traffic to your site. When that webinar was ending, “Hey, let’s keep the chat going. Use the hashtag on Twitter, #lessworkmore traffic, and we’ll be happy to keep your questions answering.” What great brand awareness that is for your brand when other people see this awesome discussion happening on Twitter, and they get curious and say, “Oh my gosh, I want to be a part of that discussion. I want to learn these things people are talking about.” They go to your profile, they follow you there. It is as simple as that. You just have to let it be known where people can talk to you, where they can find you, and why you want to interact with them there. Approach it with that value mindset.
These are places that you want to be sharing your best-kept secrets, your biggest value out there. I think we get a little bit afraid to share our best-kept secrets because we’re afraid if we’re giving it all away for free, no one’s going to buy my product or service. This is the wrong mindset to take on social media. You need to dive in with an abundant mindset, that you are teaching people these things so that they are getting results from what you are teaching them, they are taking steps from what you are teaching them. That’s building trust along the way because if you’re giving them these little results when they’re not paying for your program, think about the fact when they see this outcome happening for them, about how excited they’re going to be to give you that money and to continue their progress.
If you’re not comfortable talking to people, start out with a topic you’re super comfortable approaching people with. Think about a fun question you would like to be asked and get these relationships going. There is so much power in one-on-one relationship-building on social media, and you as a small business owner have the ability to do this way better than these bigger brands, and people appreciate that more than ever these days.
Show them they care, show them that you are interested in them directly. It takes time, yes, but time is going to be your best friend if you put the work in here. Hard work always pays off and it’s fun work.
The best part of this is that you’ll be able to get so much customer research through these DMs, personal outreach and connections. Pay attention to the specific words or phrases that your community is using. Then, take those words and phrases and use them in your sales copy because that is what’s going to resonate with other people. By using the same phrases or specific language your audience uses, they’ll be more likely to resonate with your messages. They’ll feel as if you’re talking directly to them. This increases trust and trust increases sales.
For you to get the most out of personal outreach, you’ll need to make the mindset shift to offer value instead of selling. Ask questions like, “Hey, what’s your biggest pain point right now? What’s your biggest challenge around this area right now?” Ask those questions. Go into it with the ability to listen and not have any preconceived notions when you’re asking these questions about what they’re going to say next. Don’t talk about your business unless they ask about it.
Remember, if you want your audience to think your brand is valuable, you need to prove to them you are going to really take the stress or really take the fear that they have in their life right now out of their life. That is what people want, and that is what people love brands for. Look for ways that you can take people’s stress or fears away in these DM conversations and in these groups. If you can do that, it’s likely they’re going to continue to follow you in other places because they want to keep getting this value. You really need to make sure that it is not a chore for people to follow you, which means making sure your social pages are filled with just as much education, inspiration and value as your personal outreach and DMs.
Here at MeetEdgar, we use a category-based system of posting to make sure that every post on your social media feed is a way for people to get to know you a little bit better, not a way for you to sell to them directly. Direct selling really doesn’t work anymore. We are all too smart for that. You know the feeling you get when someone doesn’t care about you or your business, they just want to close the sale. No one likes that feeling, including your followers. They don’t want to follow you if you’re going to just directly sell to them all the time. Whether you’re inspiring someone with a great quote, giving them a productivity tip, or actually doing a live stream to teach them something that you’re an expert in, these all indirectly are going to help you sell to them.
Instead of asking yourself how you can get your followers to buy your product or service, ask yourself how you can help them feel confident in solving a problem. What do you need to teach people so that they’re really confident and really good at that area of their life that your product or service will just make them that much better? That’s going to be your golden ticket right there. It’s all about education.
Another way you can educate your audience and attract new followers is by getting on other people’s podcasts. This is way easier to do than I think a lot of people give credit for. All you need to do is start emailing podcast hosts. So often they will be grateful if you approach them with an email where you’re telling them the value that you are going to offer their audience. Do a little bit of research, understand who the podcast is being marketed to, who their audience is, and tell that podcast host how much value you can bring to their audience from this educational expert status that you have. They’ll love to have you on your show. You can show some expertise, get into some people’s ears, and start those seven touchpoints that it takes to build that brand loyalty.
Another thing you can do is collaborate with people in YouTube videos. We recently started the “How’d She Build This?” YouTube series. It’s a series where we are interviewing female entrepreneurs and business owners about business practices and marketing practices that they take on social media. We’re using our platform to elevate these businesses and to give them a little bit of visibility. This helps us because the interviewee often shares the interview with their audiences, which increases our reach and introduces our brand to their audience. Taking a collaborative approach is a beautiful thing because it’s helping both parties.
The truth is there are lots of different ways for you to find new followers online by leveraging your superpower, which is of course, YOU! Increase those followers by providing value and creating relationships. Trust us, the work is worth it!
Learn more about how you can leverage your own unique personality and social media to find new followers and become an expert in your industry with our course Creating Fame! Enroll for free here!