Why using social media is the easy way to grow your business 

It’s official: I am a social media nut.  Like ‘Groundhog Day’, each morning plays out the same — coffee, news and … social media. I love it; it works for me.

I enjoy the daily ritual of posting, sharing and commenting. I love monitoring my stats, checking out the number of shares and reading comments.

Social media helps us keep in touch with clients
Social media is a subtle way of staying in touch

There are many reasons for using social media. However, one benefit isn’t talked about that much…

Doing it tough

A number of years ago I needed more work. At that stage, as a newly self-employed copywriter, I didn’t have the steady flow of customers that I enjoy today. So, if customers weren’t coming to me, I needed to go to them.

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Before becoming a copywriter I was a salesman. So, my first instinct was to do something that most of us hate but often necessary — start cold calling. I Googled businesses that looked like they could use a copywriter and began making phone calls.

The experience wasn’t too bad. I set up some meetings. I even won some business. However,  most responded with, “We do use copywriters from time to time. Send us your details and we’ll call if you’re required.”

This was frustrating. I wanted the business there and then. However, as time passed by, several of those businesses eventually came back to me — the seeds had sprouted.

Why did this happen? Well, I could have made a nuisance of myself by phoning every month or sending regular emails (I confess, I did a bit of that). However, I used a softer approach.

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Getting connected

Whenever I conduct any sort of business with someone, I connect afterwards on social media. Because I work with businesses rather than end users, the platform is usually Linkedin. I might have met the person at a conference, written for them, or as mentioned, spoken to them on the phone while trying to drum up business. I find this to be a good long-term strategy. It’s subtle. I’m not spamming anyone. I’m not asking them to be on my mailing list. I’m just connecting.

How does it work?

As mentioned, I spend time every morning on social media. In fact, social media makes up about 80% of my marketing activity. I enjoy it, but that’s not why I do it.  Here is my process:

  • sign in to the social media sites I use — Linkedin, Google + and Twitter 
  • read and respond to messages
  • scan feeds for items of interest
  • share and comment on material that is interesting and relevant to copywriting and content writing
  • post my own blogs.

 

What do I achieve?

This routine achieves several things:

  1. It enables me to make connections and build relationships with potential referrers all over the world
  2. I give value to my connections by supplying useful information related to what I do
  3. I keep in touch with my connections.

 

It is point three, keeping in touch, that I’m talking about here.

A gentle touch

The great thing about social media is that it is permission based — people receive your material if they want it, not because you’ve emailed or phoned them directly.  When people read your material, they gain an understanding of what you do; if you have written the material, you demonstrate your expertise.  Even if no one reads your material, at the very least your connections are reminded that you exist when you appear in their feeds.

In summary

So, maintaining a regular social media schedule is important for keeping in touch with your prospects. Doing this doesn’t suck up anywhere near as much time and money as paid advertising and cold calling and, on top of that, it’s a lot more fun.

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  1. I take my hat off to you Andrew, I just about need a drink to take on cold calling for myself and thankfully don’t do it.

    Love your approach and totally agree, being permission based sets the tone for social media. Be sincere, be helpful and be consistent. I treat social media like I do offline meetings and going with that approach keeps me focused on my connections and audience (rather than myself). I honestly don’t know if I could have built my business to what it is now without social media.

    I also think it’s important that your goals don’t focus on marketing your product or service, to do this you risk missing out on all the other opportunities out there. I have connected with fantastic people who will never be clients, yet they add value to what I do and hopefully, I add value in return. Friends, suppliers, industry leaders and yes, clients … all a result of a ‘gentle’ social media strategy.

    Great post, as usual 🙂
    Justine

    1. Thanks, Justine. Like you, most of my connections are unlikely to become clients. However, most of them have the potential to give me referrals. It’s all about building credibility so that they can give referrals with confidence.

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