by guest author Anna Long-Stokes
I'm excited to introduce you to one of my business BFFs, Anna, because she is a brilliant business strategist and always give great advice :) We were chatting the other day about how people often come to me about their social media strategy before they are really ready for my help. (Social media is many things but it is not going to magically make your business successful, especially if you don't have some key foundations in place.) So I asked Anna to share the steps she walks her clients BEFORE they get major marketing & social media.
Have you ever had that nightmare where you are teaching a class or doing a presentation and then all of a sudden you look down and you realize that somehow you left the house with absolutely NO CLOTHES ON? “Holy crap!” you think and then BAM, you wake up (thank God).
Less sexy, but almost as scary, is using social media to promote your business when you aren’t at all ready!
So how do you ready yourself for social media success?
I've compiled a list of 7 steps I like all my clients to take before they spread their message to the masses:
1: Define or refine your business idea
This is the VERY first thing you must do in the social media sequence! If you are about as clear as a foggy day on the value you provide and how you help your clients, then you will have trouble with social media (and selling). So define what problem you solve, who you solve it for and the value/benefit that purchasing with you will bring to your people.
2: Own your very unique set of skills
Your people (and potential buyers) want to buy from YOU (not a faceless brand). So spend a little time figuring out how you are unique in your specific market. On the surface you might sell something many others do, but when you dig deeper you are unique and you bring something to the table that none of your competitors do. Figure out what this is and I guarantee that you will be on the road to social media success in no time!
Guess what, not everyone is your ideal client, and if you try to meet the needs of the masses, you will fail. So figure out who you want to work with and who you don’t! Once you get clear about this, you can target all your services/products/marketing/social media etc. to your “ideal clients” and spend less time meeting the needs of the masses.
4: Tell a dynamic and relatable story
Even if you are the most exciting person ever, if you can’t tell a good story through your copy, no one will pay attention long enough to listen. So figure out your “story”. Your people want to know why you were drawn to help them and why you are qualified to do so. If you can learn to relate this back to them in an interesting way, all your other marketing will fall into place.
5: Develop 1 sellable “thing”
I know that it’s tempting to create 100 offerings when you are first starting out, but if you can create one and focus your marketing efforts on it, then you will be off on a good foot and you will have one very targeted thing to base your social media marketing around.
6: Set income goals and price your offerings to sell
Before you begin shouting from the rooftops of the internet, make sure that you have taken a good look at your prices. Are they competitive? If not why? If you sell out, will you hit your income goals (have you even set income goals)? There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, but make sure that you have put some time and effort into setting prices that will allow you to reach your goals, but that also won’t scare new buyers away. It takes some time to build up a good reputation and until this happens, demanding the highest rates will likely get you nowhere closer to your goals.
7: Write killer copy!
If you are using social media to attempt to get people back to your website to buy from you… then you need to make sure that the copy on your website is rock solid! Start by writing a great about page (this is one of the most visited pages on all websites). Make sure that your copy is succinct, but hits all the key points that your ideal clients will want to know about. Don’t forget that your copy should be like 85% about THEM and only 15% about YOU! If they can’t see themselves within your website, then they will look elsewhere for someone who knows how to speak to them more directly.
I know it’s a LOT, but it’s actually not that bad when you break it down and work on one element each week the way I do in my Idea to Empire course. Because while social media can help you build your empire faster, it can’t make up for a wobbly foundation that you didn’t take the time to build right the first time.