I run a digital marketing agency and that involves me being on social media just about all day, every day for multiple clients and my own business. What I have experienced with my own business is enough to drive me insane. Don’t even get me started on the things I see in my personal news feed!
I love supporting my friends in their endeavors. I freely give advice on growing their online business and audience. It’s what I do for a living and my main bread and butter. I try to share and comment on their social media posts because I know it’s harder than pulling teeth to get a good following.
You know how many people have asked me for a discount? I couldn’t tell you the exact number but it’s quite a lot. You know how many of them have shared one of my social media posts, or given my name to a personal contact? A handful.
Unfortunately, we oftentimes alienate our friends and family when we rely on them to make our sales. Below, I'll show you how to keep that from happening by utilizing other audiences to grow your business.
Value Your Time and Expertise
I don’t ever ask my friends or family members who own a business to give me a discount when I purchase from them because I VALUE their business, their time, and their expertise. By getting a discount, it devalues them and their entire industry. If they’re willing to work at a discounted rate, then the person down the street who does the same job has to charge less to keep up with the discounts being offered. I read a great way to put a value on your time and you can read it here.
If you’re in business, and especially as a woman, you cannot count on your friends and family for support. You will need to branch out and find your true audience, the people that really need what you’re selling and speak to them directly through social media, search engine marketing, and even networking. If you only rely on your friends and family, you will get discouraged quickly and go out of business.
How to Find Your Audience
It is really easy to rest on the idea that your loved ones will help grow your business, but it would behoove you to find your true audience and get growing. To that end, I have this free advice for you.
Start using your social media accounts (and if you don’t have any, make them!): Post engaging content regularly and explore using relevant hashtags on the correct platforms. What works on Instagram, may not work on Facebook, and likely won’t work on LinkedIn.
Create or join an existing Facebook group that is in the same industry as your business. Start interacting online as your business, answer questions, and be part of the conversation. After all, it IS called Social Media. Be your fun social self!
Join a live networking group. I get it. Sometimes these groups feel like you’re not making the right contacts. I definitely agree that it can seem detrimental to productivity when you take time away from working in your business to be at a meeting with other entrepreneurs who are trying to make a buck, too. BUT, being in one of these groups can be helpful. If you find the right group, you can make amazing contacts with people who want you to succeed, you can help get the word out about their business, and oftentimes, can be beneficial to get your public speaking up to par. Once you’re in a good group, start talking about your website, your Facebook groups, and your profiles while you are promoting yourself. Tell people that they get more information on your social media profiles that they won’t get anywhere else - and then give them what they want!
Create a website. You don’t need a huge, expensive website to build your brand. But you do need some place holder. Get your URL, put a one-page website on there and rock it out. You can use Squarespace, Wix, or whatever you like. There are several drag and drop builders you can use. When you’re just starting out, you don’t need to go over the top with the design. Keep it clean and simple, using your logo and your brand identity and you will be fine! Take it from a web design business owner, you don’t need it to be fancy to be effective.
Start with just one of these things, and once you feel comfortable in using that, move on to the next step. You can start in the middle and work your way through, or whatever order you choose.
The most important thing you can do is to give your audience what they want. I struggle with this in my own business. I believe that a solid digital foundation is the key to everything, meaning that your URL is properly licensed, your Google account is set up right, your local listings and social media profiles are exactly correct. Once you have all of that done properly, you can move on to engaging content, etc, but that’s not what my clients care about.
They care about RESULTS. They want leads because all that really matters is sales.
So, the foundation set up we do is an extra added bonus. It is not the thing that gets us in the door with a potential client. RESULTS that speak for themselves are what gets us in their office and ultimately what seals the deal.
You need to find what your clients/patrons really want and give them that. Seems super simple, right?
It's actually not that hard to do. The thing you're most passionate about is what you should speak on and then your audience will come to you. Good luck, out there ladies! I know you can do it, and if you have questions about this, please comment below!