Today’s shoppers are blasted with sales messages all the time. We are constantly hearing about how great this or that product or service is and we are understandably a bit jaded. So, how do you as a business get the right people to take notice and be engaged with you and your brand?
By building relationships on social media.
For solopreneurs this can happen in the most natural way because it’s easier to develop an authentic relationship when just one person is representing the business as opposed to a department of several people. You may take on an assistant to help with social media and other tasks, but it will still be a more natural approach when one or two are planning, posting, commenting and being relational.
Consider your relationship building strategy carefully. The best way to explore your strategy is to create a Social Media Marketing Plan to help you set guidelines on how you want to present your brand on your social media channels.
Go and see this actionable article from Buffer that gives you the detailed (but not too overwhelming) information you need to create a Social Media Plan. The article contains excellent direction to learn about strategy, content ideas, and a straightforward step-by-step plan to get organized.
How Branding on Social Media Works for Solopreneurs
Marketing is not about what you make or provide, but about the stories you tell and the relationships you build. That’s mostly what your branding entails. I’ll give full disclosure right now that I am not a fan of social media for personal use. It’s not where I spend much time or think that it’s a great place to share about my life. But it is a good platform for businesses to show their personal side (i.e. branding) and I’m thankful that not everyone feels the same way I do about Facebook, Instagram and other similar sites or we wouldn’t have these free business building platforms to use.
I am a hardcore fan of social media for solopreneurs though. It’s a cheap way to market your business with so many ways to give your audience the personal professional touch. Building a relationship with a social media audience requires consistent work, and the regular activity is most impactful when you’ve developed a social media strategy to follow with the flexibility to adjust as needed.
If social media is your thing for your personal life, keep at the top of your mind that you shouldn’t think about interaction the same way as you do for your personal profile. Social media for business should be all about giving your followers what they want and not about sharing all there is to know about your business. You’ve got links to your website on all your social media profiles that interested folks can click on to really find out about your business, so let this pull marketing approach do it’s work. When they trust you enough and get curious about you they will go to your website to get more connected . . . when they are ready.
To get the relationship right, you need to move from a straight marketing focus to a more holistic social interest focus. Instead of thinking, “who can I sell to”, think about how your product or service adds value to people’s lives. Occasionally share about what you sell, but make most of your posts and comments about the need or want you are fulfilling.
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As an example, I sell online courses and one-on-one coaching and training. What I really help people with is discovering what they’re really meant to do with their life and help them get equipped with the skills to do it. So, on social media I share inspiring and encouraging quotes, goal-setting and accountability tips, instruction on learning technical skills and other posts to encourage living a life of purpose.
You can emulate this strategy for your own business by determining what your ideal customer really wants that your product or service is fulfilling. Someone that buys jewelry isn’t really wanting some material hanging off their body. They are more likely interested in defining their personality and exhibiting something beautiful on their body. Appeal to their interest in beauty by posting images of nature (like the raw material jewelry can be made from) or other creative arts, as well as quotes and information on being unique and expressing personality in various ways.
Discover Your Business Brand Appeal
If you’re just starting on the entrepreneurial journey, you may not know what your growing audience is really drawn to. That’s when trial and error come into play. You’ll discover what works and what doesn’t as your followers grow and teach you how to best serve them. Social media is the ideal place to really add extra value to your current and potential customers.
Provide content they would find interesting and useful, and give them plenty of opportunities to engage with you personally and your business. Find out what kind of things your audience is interested in and focus on these. You can do this by seeing what groups they belong to on Facebook, scroll through their feed, or by simply asking a direct question on your own page or group or on a Facebook group that your customers are part of. You can get many different stats about activity and followers on social media business profiles, so get familiar with interpreting this data and as your accounts grow. This is called Insights on Facebook and Instagram and likely a similar term on other platforms.
By building a lasting relationship with your clients the ‘selling’ will come naturally – or at least easier. Right now is the high point of online social activity and it’s not showing any sign of being the ‘old way’ anytime soon. Be constantly thinking about how you can position your brand on social media to get the best exposure to interested individuals and to nurture the relationships already started.
The more people know and trust you, the more comfortable they will be buying the valuable products and services you’re offering.