By Sharon A.M. MacLean
I’m jazzed. More people are reading my blog about modern marketing for the savvy bussiness leader. The percentage of readers opening my EduMail hovers around 20%, a solid rate. An increasing number of interested live souls—not web bots—are following me on LinkedIn and Twitter every day.
This ties in with Publisher Gary Slywchuk of Troy Media http://www.troymedia.com who distributes the blog/column to 1400 media outlets throughout North America. He reports that Twitter and Linkedin account for the majority of my retweets.
These numbers do not reflect the superstar status of a Kim Garst picured above who counts 350K in her Twitter feed. https://twitter.com/kimgarst (Full disclosure: I belong to her Inner Circle of 247 digital marketing disciples.) My numbers do, however, reveal a smaller group of people keen to learn about finding new customers online and nurturing existing clients using digital tools that save time.
That lifts my heart when it comes to my mission: Help the savvy business leader transition to modern marketing.
It’s the reason I’m not giving up on this message for leaders of commerce and the community: 79% of salespeople who used Social Media as a selling tool outperformed those who didn’t use the new approach. Business needs to get over their fear of modern marketing. You can include the Aberdeen Group and Jim Keenan (asalesguy.com) in your research to confirm these stats.
How to start social selling
What’s the single most important thing you do? Please don’t tell me all the amazing features of your exceptional product. Drill down to how your product or service helps a fellow human being to thrive in their own circle of influence. Successful Social Selling always starts with answering the question to WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
Let’s get to these 5 steps.
1. Build your Professional Brand. This exercise does require some introspection on your part. Think about answers to these questions:
- How do you want others to view you?
- How do you want to be known professionally as you go forward?
- How might your colleagues, friends, and peers describe you?
- What’s your ideal description of yourself?
Next, you can decide on which networks you’re most comfortable but also think about where your ideal customers spend their time. For example, business people spend most of their time on LinkedIn in these ways:
- Top level executives primarily use LinkedIn for industry networking (22%) and promoting their organizations (20%);
- Middle-management professionals primarily use LinkedIn to keep in touch with their peers (24 percent) and professional networking (20 percent);
- Entry-level employees primarily use LinkedIn for job searches (24 percent) and co-worker networking (23 percent).
You’ve heard this before. Upload a professional head shot because it’s important for people to see who they’re dealing with. Photos of you with your dog or you at the lake are better suited for Facebook and Instagram. That gray silhouette positioned next to your name sends the message that you might be too lazy or time-crunched to bother with details. That’s not the first thought you want to convey to someone thinking about working on a deal with you.
Also complete all of your profile details. On LinkedIn, there is a difference between choosing keywords so that you will be found on LinkedIn and choosing keywords for your website. The core difference is that with a Google search, people are typically looking for things or information. In LinkedIn, people typically are looking for a person who provides a particular service or product.
2. The Art of Conversation. A monthly event I frequently attend hosts people from all walks of life with the promise that mobile phones are stored away and that attendees must talk about more than work.
Great networking is about “being seen to be believed” and adding value to relationships. Listen to what others have to say and ask questions. Nobody likes people who talk constantly about themselves. Always be ready to take the conversation to a next step – whatever that may be.
3. “The difference between helping and selling is just two letters,” says noted marketing consultant Jay Baer. Helping people is the new mantra for marketing. What are you doing right now that’s adding value to your current and potential relationships? Here’s how to add value:
- Offer helpful tips that benefits professionals in your industry;
- Blog about topics that your ideal customers want to know about;
- Think about what your customer is looking for, thinking about, and taking action on, as if you were making that purchase;
- Remove stress by thinking of yourself as a teacher more than a closer striving to hit month-end targets
4. Become a Hunter/Gatherer of Content. Prospects are online today and they have an insatiable appetite for information. Do them the favour of giving it to them and they will remember your name. Blogs, Infographics, podcasts, Edu-Mail, Video, and newsletters are ways to use content marketing to “sell” your customers’ experience to other potential customers.
5. Know your prospect’s behaviour, inside and out. I hear this all the time: Everyone is our customer. Nope—it’s never been true in the traditional world of marketing and it’s even less true for the online prospect.
We want more than the typical demographics. Where do your prospects spend their time online? Which websites do they visit? Which testimonials are they reading? On LinkedIn, which groups have they joined? The more you identify the behaviours of your ideal customers, the better a marketer you’ll be.
Social selling is here to stay. The sooner you get active online, the better for you.
Need help with modern marketing? Contact me through LinkedIn or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life-long communications strategist Sharon MacLean owned and published a traditional print magazine over 21 years for business people. She now applies her enhanced knowledge in digital marketing to the needs of her clients and believes in the value of combining the best of both worlds.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]