You must know exactly what you are selling before you can use social media, or any other media, to market your business. You must be able to identify what equipment you are selling if you want to sell earth moving equipment. The answer is obvious if you think about the huge yellow machines you see in mines and construction sites. You must not answer the questions based on the features of the service or product you offer, but the utility or benefit that the service or product offers.
A front-end loader buyer isn’t buying the machine; they are purchasing what the machine will provide, namely a hole in their ground. Ask yourself the same question when you are looking at your product or service. My prospective client will need my product to meet their needs. A drill machine is a tool to make a hole. Someone who purchases a camera is buying a memory storage device. Professional speakers and business consultants sell specific organisational solutions that provide hope for people and businesses. (See explanation below).
It is simple to grasp a basic concept, such as buying a drill machine. However, if your need is really a hole it is not difficult to understand. Complex products and services like professional speaking or business consulting require more understanding. Professional speaking is an example of how I can help you understand more complicated concepts.
I love analogies. The one that best describes professional speakers as people who provide HOPE is based upon an experiment with rats. Rats were put in dark boxes filled with water. This was a very cruel and brutal experiment. The rats were unable to climb out of the water, and they could drown if they stopped swimming. The rats were kept in the dark box for three hours. They then stopped swimming and died. Researchers made a small hole in the box to allow a single ray light to enter the box. This same rat could survive for 36 to 48 hours. This cruel and brutal experiment proved that even if there was a ray of hope, the rat would continue swimming, hopeful of escape.
Professional speakers and business consultants offer HOPE to their clients. That tiny hole is the tiny ray that shines through the box. This tiny light allows the rat’s survival to be extended for over 10 times more than if there was no light. Astute professionals are able to provide specific solutions for business professionals. They can help people and businesses find HOPE by promoting ongoing expansion and growth that will increase profit and/or develop human capital.
This clarity regarding the benefit or solution you are selling makes it easy to identify your ideal client and how you can differentiate yourself from your products and services (Unique Selling Proposition). The next step is to identify your ideal clients. You know that success in any marketing or networking strategy involves maximizing your resources to get the best results. Avoid the “SPRAY & PRAY” approach that most businesses use. They create a marketing campaign and then send it out to the market hoping that someone will buy their product.
What strategy works if the “SPRAY & PRAY STRATEGY” is not working? Marketing your business is about knowing your ideal client, finding them where they are and using all marketing channels to reach them. This will help you get to know them well enough to convince them to buy your product.
This is where social networking really shines as a marketing tool. Social media platforms are full of conversations. Listening to conversations about companies similar to yours or the market you are interested in is a great way to make your mark on social media. This will help you understand what people think about your company and products, as well as the trends in your market.
There are many forums and blogs that you can use. To search keywords relevant to your business, you can use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can then choose the conversations that you think are most aligned to your strategy once you’ve found interesting conversations. By leaving comments and providing feedback, you can leave your virtual handshake. This is the best way for you to get involved in the conversation and start to explore social media.
It is best to take your time and be part of the conversations on social media forums. If you’re thinking of building a social media strategy for marketing, imagine yourself at a high-powered networking event filled with prospects who are interested in what you have to offer. Imagine you soaring into an event shouting about how great you are and the value of your product or service. It will not work in any networking event.
Once you’re certain you have found the right forum for your ideal client, you can start to get involved in relevant conversations on social media by commenting on other people’s blogs and posts. You are now ready to contribute to the community by providing valuable content on the various forums.
To make your social media strategy a success, you must create great content and find the right people to enjoy it. These forums are worth your time. Contributing ideas and commenting to as many articles as you can. You will be an integral part these communities over time and be considered an expert contributor.