Social networking is the wave many solopreneurs are now riding. Using social networking as a piece of your marketing strategy helps your prospects get to know you and your business, how you work, what values and ethics you uphold. Your prospects come to trust you, turn to you for information, and eventually want your services and products. They will even refer you to other people they know who can use your services.
Why haven't you decided to ride the wave of social networking? Some small business owners I've talked to give these reasons for not jumping into social networking:
- It's too complicated.
- It takes too much time.
- There's no way to track the return on investment
- You can't get new clients from social networking
Social networking does not need to be complicated or take hours and hours each day. So how can you use social networking responsibly and effectively? Remember - no one wants to be inundated with offers of your costly services all day long. When I start getting a dozen messages everyday from the same people over and over again offering their expensive services, I quickly tire of that and don't want to hear from them anymore.
However, I do appreciate receiving valuable and interesting information, tips, quotes, etc. So start small. I suggest taking these steps in this order:
- Post tips your prospects can use
- Offer a free report or gift to those who sign up for your newsletter
- Put together a free or low-cost teleseminar to build your list and promote it
Remember, social networking needs to be about building relationships - not primarily about self-promotion. So balance is needed when using social networking as a marketing strategy.
A virtual assistant can help you get started in social networking and assist in maintaining your profile. Save time by having your virtual assistant update your social sites on a regular basis. There are tools, such as TweetLater.com, that can be used to schedule Tweets in advance so you're not spending every minute of the day on Twitter.
If you're not using social networking to market your business, you're missing out on a big piece of the puzzle. Remember that it may take seeing your information 8-20 times before a prospect picks up the phone to call you or contacts you through your website. So let's get busy and start networking!
For over 25 years Sue Canfield, Virtual Office Administrator and Owner of Awesome Assistant, has helped small business owners with administrative tasks. Since 2005 she has worked with over 30 clients to help them grow their businesses, specifically by using online marketing strategies such as email newsletters, blogs, articles, and social networking. Her mission is to partner with her clients to work together to create and implement strategies to promote their businesses. For more information about how she can help your business, visit http://www.AwesomeAssistant.info.