Two Trainers, One Rainy Evening and A Single Facebook Post
It was a cold, wet, rainy evening and Karen and I had just driven all the way from Wolverhampton to Cambridge to speak at a networking event, only to be faced with 10 men and a dog.
Not the best turnout I must say. After I gave my presentation and headed back to the hotel (which cost me £150 for the night), I jumped on Facebook. I’d got a promo video of a talk I’d previously done, so I decided to share it over all the groups I was linked to.
In just minutes, I’d put my presentation in front of over 20,000 people… all from my hotel room!
That was my light bulb moment!
What am I doing? Why am I spending ALL my time, driving all over the country talking at events and IGNORING my online presence?
That is when I made the decision, we were going heavily into online marketing.
I’m still a big advocate of physical networking (and you can find out more of my tips on that by clicking HERE), but it requires a real commitment of time and effort. Wouldn’t it be great though, if you could “network” without leaving the confines of your office or bedroom? Avoiding the cold mornings scraping the ice off the car, no huge breakfasts ruining the diet and being able to ignore people you really don’t want to talk to?
Well you can have all of this by using social media – the fastest growing change in our human behaviour and socialising attitude for centuries
You can have access to the whole world or just your community online, right NOW if you choose to, yet so many businesses ignore this most valuable opportunity! Why?! Simply through misunderstanding and not knowing HOW to capitalise on such a phenomenal networking tool.
With social media you can connect with literally thousands and thousands of people in your area or profession. You can share great content between other experts and reach out to your market and get to know all your potential future customers. But this is the problem, businesses don’t feel that it is worth their time communicating with ‘potential’ customers, the returns are not high enough.
If I were to tell you that in my business we now see social media as one of the main income generators, creating on its own over many £1,000s in revenue every year, filling physical events every month, time and time again, would this surprise you? Clients come to us because they feel they have gotten to know us already, they trust us, have learned from us and want to work with us as a result of our social media activity.
What’s really great is that when a lead of this type comes through to us, they are already sold; they love us because we reached out and got to know them, blowing any competition out of the water. The weird thing is, we don’t know them but they know everything about us. We have taken them on a journey with our online activity and built up that respect and trust with them enough for them to call us and want to do business with us.
How much did all this social media activity cost?
NOTHING, absolutely nothing, just time, and have I given up my day job to sit in front of Facebook all day?
I still do all the things I used to do, with a bit of social media wrapped around it and I utilise the team I already have to help me, because more people on SM can reach a far wider crowd.
So how do you ‘do’ social media?
A HUGE question, but avoiding the ‘practical’ HOW TO’s (there are plenty of teenagers around to show you the practical elements), in brief you need to pick your platform or preferably three and decide what interests you have that are also likely to be interests of your clients, for example, animals, gardening, cooking, etc. Don’t make it up, it has to be genuine or else your market will know and this would be embarrassing.
Start connecting with people that you feel are the most likely customers. Maybe your clients are generally 35-50, male, maybe play golf, like gardening or live in a certain part of town. If you think about it you can normally narrow down the possibilities, also you can search in interests like any sector or investors as well to identify a wider range of people you might like to connect with.
For me I also connect with the customers I already have, getting to know them on Facebook, in turn I get to know their friends and their network too, meaning I am more likely to get a referral from them in the future.
When I do physical networking events or speak on stage, the first thing I do upon returning to the of office is to connect with everyone I have met. This makes keeping in touch much easier, so when you meet them again you can discuss about what you’ve shared on Facebook or wherever, instantly moving the relationship along.
When you have established your online community, joined relevant groups, in various sectors, etc, you will be able to get your message out to literally hundreds of thousands of people in minutes… now that’s powerful stuff!
When you get into social media, there is a lot more to it, for example we use a ‘60 minute social media week system’ ‘Twitter Teaser Turner’ and a ‘7 day Facebook conversion method’ too, but for now just get active online.