Traditional marketing techniques are failing—or failing to deliver the predictable benefits they once did. The only viable way that a startup can have access to a global audience of exactly the right people is social media.
So, what’s a startup to do? The obvious solution is social selling. Social selling is NOT in fact selling at all, but rather it is making yourself appear attractive enough that people would rather buy from you than your competitors. Follow these 5 tips for social selling and you will be on the right track to creating an online presence that will help everyone see you as a credible and believable player in your space.
Here’s what you need to know about social selling… well, in no specific order.
1. Create great content
As a startup you need to make good use of the time that you have—and that means write as much content as you can. Write content that doesn’t aim to sell, but instead educates the reader to understand a little bit more about the area in which you operate. This will empower them and help them to like you. Then when they are ready to buy, you stand a much better chance because they already know and trust you.
How much content should you create? As much as possible. We at Digital Leadership Associates (a team of 5) write and publish at least one piece of content every single day so after a year, we have 300+ blog posts on our site. The best bit about that is that those pieces of content are always going to be there, creating visibility and a body of work that helps us to look like the experts we are.
2. Tweet and post as much as you can
You must tweet and post lots. I’m not talking about 5 times per day, I’m talking about 25 times.
Why? Because nobody is going to read everything in their newsfeed, so you want to make sure that you are there when they turn on and start to read. The biggest challenge that you face is being visible to your prospects.
3. Build a personal brand
Building a corporate brand is one thing, but unless you’re Google or Microsoft or Rolex people buy from people, and that means from YOU. If you’re a startup the key to placing your message in front of people is YOU. So your personal profile needs to be slick and full of interesting points about you, highlighting why you are a good choice.
As one of our team members says, “if you have an empty shop window…nobody will stop and look.” If you give people enough information about yourself they can see why you’re good at what you do and therefore they can reach out to you with confidence.
4. Create a repeatable process
At Digital Leadership Associates we have seen a very strong correlation between content and inbound. When we stop posting the phone stops ringing! You absolutely must keep up the pressure on yourself to maintain your output of content. A new blog post every day, lots of tweets and comments and posts every day. EVERY DAY.
I’m too busy is not an excuse because what you’re saying is “I’m too busy to showcase myself and my company in front of the 530 million people Twitter has to offer”.
5. Network, network, network
The size of your network and what they think of you is so important. Think about it, if you have 2000 connections and they think that you are the best in the world at what you do, that’s a pretty good place to be.
If they like you and rate you, they may introduce you to everyone they know who might benefit from your product or service. Those “champions” who give their network the heads-up on great new products, services and people are exactly how Google got to be so big so fast.
6. Do it yourself
But, if you take nothing else away from this post, the one thing that I really want you to know is that growing a strong and impressive social presence is going to be hard work. This is not something that you can outsource to your agency, this is something you have to do for yourself.
It’s all about relationships. You must do it yourself because YOU need to build and maintain the relationships. To expect an agency or any third party to do it for you is like me telling you that I need to spend more time with my wife, so I’ve hired someone to take her out to dinner! Only you can maintain those relationships.
Time to harness the power of social selling
In short, developing a compelling and impressive social presence that delivers value to your business is a load of hard work. It requires constant feeding. You will be posting to and interacting with your audience in every spare moment that you have and you can never stop. But trust me, it will be worth it.