Business success online today is all about connection and conversation, community and collaboration.
While traditional online marketing methods and social media complement each other, it is no longer good enough to be found on Google alone. You have to have a solid and positive presence on social media networks and ultimately where your targeted client spends their time online. Not only so you can take part, contribute and be an active participant in relevant dialogue to attract and engage with potential customers, but also so you can harness the power of the people and have others generate a buzz about your business on your behalf.
In order to get others speaking highly about your business you need to invest in the four following factors that will influence your online success.
Getting your business in front of as many targeted users as possible is paramount to success no matter the size, format or niche of your business.
Many business owners believe, or are mistakenly told, that by getting online and developing a website they will be inundated with phone calls, bookings and sales.
The truth of the matter is that’s not how it works. Your website will simply add to the hundreds of millions that are already there competing for the same traffic.
In the past a business owner had to attend networking events or seminars in order to raise their profile and get in front of targeted business partners. Now social media means that you can connect with like minded people online and if your profile is right then people will be attracted to you and connect with you.
Select a social media platform based on the business partner you want to attract.
- 50 year old business owners might use LinkedIn
- 17 your old males might prefer YouTube
- Twenty something girls could be on Instagram.
Then select a group where your niche will like to spend their time, join, watch and learn how people are connecting but more importantly study how those who are getting the most interaction are engaging and use some of their strategies to help increase your visibility in the group.
Incidentally I plan to put more time into collaborating on LinkedIn the future so if you would like to stay connected then send me an invitation to connect here…
We all want our message to be heard by as many people as possible. That right has to be earned through building credibility in your subject or niche.
Getting people to like you or follow shows that you have demonstrated a reason for them to connect with you. From that point on your focus should be on motivating them beyond the like to connecting with you, speaking with you, sharing conversations with you and with the people that follow them.
Credibility online is a two way street. It should be viewed in terms of conversation. The better the quality of the conversation you have, the more trusted, well liked and respected you will be and as a result the more people will introduce you and refer business to you; and the more business you will generate.
Make your conversations meaningful. Interact and converse, don’t just broadcast.
Credibility is not all about what you say. It is about how you listen to other people and the value of the responses and information that you share.
When looking to build long term business relationships it is all about quality and not about quantity. Having ten thousand Facebook fans or followers is great as it means that you have great visibility but it is counterproductive when looking to build true and meaningful relationships.
One of the mistakes that I made when first starting on social media, Twitter in particular, was to follow too many people. This meant that it wasn’t a stream of valuable information presented to me by people I respected but more of a tidal wave of deafening noise. There was no value to be had because it was impossible to digest.
I therefore took the decision to cull the number of people who I followed down from 10,000 to around 150. Now, I actually enjoy spending time interacting and sharing on Twitter because it is relevant to me. You can follow me on Twitter here..
Interact and engage with people that have a high profile and large influence on their following. Be positive and add valuable input to their conversations and you will find that people stop and take note of who you are and interact with you.
Likewise you need to make sure that your brand is reflected in a positive manner online. Take the time to research what is being said about your reputation and if there are any negative sentiments make an effort to contact that person and set the record straight or help them overcome the problem they had with your brand or business.
For people who are looking for someone with your skills for the first time, being presented with negative information from other people is not a great way to start a relationship. Make sure that when people search for your online reputation, what people find is positive and a true reflection of you and your business.
- How can someone in your network help someone else?
- What do others need?
- How can you help?
Profitability might mean what is in it for you but rather than going in with the “what’s in it for me?” attitude, think about how you can be a conduit for others?
Your relationships and the connections you have developed are one of the most valuable assets that you have and will ever have.
By introducing and interweaving your connections with others you are building a stronger web of connections that you can turn to when you need something like an introduction or referral.
Keeping everything you know and everyone you know locked away in the annals of your mind is not going to get you anywhere. Share what and who you know and build more and more connections. Those connections will manifest themselves into relationships and profit. People do business with people they know, like and trust.
Ultimately the success of your business will come down to how good you are at building relationships. The more value you can add to other people, the more relationships you will develop giving yourself the greater chance of closing more sales.
What strategies have worked to help grow you authority and business online? Share your thoughts below and then hit reply.