I have a love-hate relationship with Social Media for my Business.
There are weeks where I really enjoy creating content and engaging with my followers and there are other weeks where I just want to turn off my phone and retreat! Am I alone in this or do you feel this way too?
One thing that I remind myself of when these weeks occur is that Social Media is not the only way to market and grow a business. It's only part of my marketing strategy and doesn't need to (and shouldn't) take up a majority share of my time. This is something I often point out to my clients too. Especially when they come to me with an aim to grow their social following rather than grow their business!
Social Media is an excellent tool for building your brand, establishing yourself as an expert and building relationships with customers and potential customers. There is absolutely no denying that.
However, it is only ONE tool.
There are lots of others marketing techniques and initiatives to grow a thriving business. A good marketing strategy will have include a variety of techniques that yes, includes social media, but doesn't rely solely on it!
Here are just a few of my favourites that I think you should include in your overall marketing strategy:
SEO refers to optimising your website and the content on your website so that it appears or ranks highly in search results that are relevant to your ideal customer.
There are lots of different strategies to improve SEO, some of which you will need the help of your web developer or better an SEO expert, however something that YOU can do to improve your ranking is to write a blog.
I know it sounds like effort! But hear me out...
Writing a blog means adding fresh, keyword rich, content to your website on a regular basis. The Google bots will crawl all over your site with delight when you add new written content!
(If your website content hasn't been updated or refreshed or added to since it was first built then your ranking has likely suffered and it's probably time for a revamp!)
To be strategic, with an aim to improve SEO and secure new leads, it's important that your blog is as I mentioned above "keyword rich" this means that the blog post title and article itself contains lots of the search terms, words and phrases, that are relevant to your audience.
To do this, when writing your blog posts try to give solutions to the problems your ideal customers or clients are facing. What are they typing into their search bar?
It's a good idea to try to use synonyms or related words also!
It may sound daunting to commit to writing a regular blog, especially when your website is currently getting basically no traffic and it feels pointless. SEO is a slow burner and it does take commitment but in my opinion it takes less effort than social and offers more return!
As you won't see the return straight away here's what makes writing a blog easier for me. I like to think of it as the basis for all my other content and communications. I use it as a reason to email my mailing list (more on that below). I use it as my theme for my social content that week which makes it so much easier to create the content in the first place.
I'm not saying that you need to create your own podcast. (Unless you want to!)
Guest speaking opportunities on popular podcasts (and elsewhere) is a must for any marketing strategy. Podcasting has really taken off and many people tune in weekly to their favourites.
Being a guest speaker is a fantastic way to build your positioning as an expert in your industry and to grow your audience.
But again be strategic with the podcast you choose to appear on. Make sure the audience for the podcast is similar to your ideal audience. Make sure the person or business producing the podcast aligns with your values. Or that they are your kind of people! And lastly have something to promote or share while on the podcast. Perhaps you have an event or training coming up or simply direct listeners to sign up for a freebie so that you can capture their email addresses.
Do some research and make a list of some podcasts that you would like to be involved in. Start connecting with the people behind them and who knows perhaps you may even secure a regular guest spot!
Word of mouth is not going anywhere when it comes to the best ways to grow your business. People will always look to those they already know and trust when looking for a new service or product. Referrals will likely have already occurred organically for you and they will continue to do so. Happy Days! But why not create a system to support and elevate what already occurs?
Make it clear and visible to all of your customers or clients that there is some benefit they can avail of if they refer you. This could be a cash reward, a discount on future bookings, or a free session. The sky is the limit. Make it easy for them to refer you. Set up a referral link for them to share or add a "did someone refer you" section to your contact form. Whatever you need to do to make it super quick and easy for them to refer you and take the credit!
Collaborating with other businesses is not just good for business but good for your soul! Being a solo entrepreneur can be a lonely place so collaborating with like minded people can breathe new life into you and fire you up for success!
Again, it's important to collaborate with businesses who's values are aligned with yours and those that share a similar ideal audience.
You can collaborate by inviting the business to write a guest blog post on your website or vice versa. You could host an event together, online or otherwise. You could partner up and run a campaign together offering a special bundle on both of your services or products. There's lots of ways you can work with other people and support one another.
Similar to the referral system your could offer a partner cash reward if your partners refer you to their clients. Again vice versa.
I mentioned mailing lists a couple of times already. That's because it really is a very valuable piece of the marketing puzzle.
After Black Friday I bet your inbox is overflowing with promotional emails from businesses, stores and vendors. I know mine is. And honestly I didn't open half of them. I often do a cull of the mailing lists I'm subscribed to. I bet you do too and it probably makes you think that there's no point in sending emails because no one reads them.
But I do open the emails from the people and businesses I'm actually interested in hearing from. Do you?
It's a filtering process in itself really. Only those who truly want to hear what you have to say will open your emails. And did you know that the average email open rate is around 20% while the average engagement rate for an Instagram post hovers around 1.2%? So it's certainly worthwhile sending out an a regular email to your list.
If you are just starting out and don't have a list of subscribers yet don't worry we all start somewhere. Make it an aim or goal and part of your overall strategy to start building your list. Having thousands of followers on social media is wonderful but unless you have their email address you could lose your connection with them in an instant if your account got blocked or hacked or if social media shuts down again like it did not so long ago!
Build your list by asking your current clients and customers to sign up (and making a habit of doing this going forward), create a freebie, an opt in or lead magnet and make it quick, easy and obvious to sign up on your website.
There's loads of email marketing providers out there. I use Flodesk I'd recommend checking it out! (Here's a link to sign up for a FREE account and receive a 50% discount)
These are just a few elements that I think should be included in your overall marketing strategy. Social Media is a great tool but it isn't the be all and end all. I like to think of it as a supportive member of my marketing family as opposed to the all-knowing cult leader.
So if you ever feel bogged down and under pressure with running your social channels just pause and ask yourself what other elements of my marketing strategy could I focus on this week? And remember to be kind to yourself.
If you would like to talk strategy for 2022 you are welcome to book a 2 hour 1:1 call with me.