With 200+ opportunities for social networking online, what is right for your business? You gain authority and leads, but you might take a closer look at the top five social networking opportunities.
You may find that some of those networks fit perfectly in with what youíre doing, but for the most part, youíll probably focus your efforts into the some of the five big systems we're discussing in this post. My goal is to help you understand what these networks are about and how they might fit in with your marketing plan.
Was launched in 2004 and reported as of the first quarter of 2018, Facebook has 2.19 billion monthly users who are active. Facebook social networking reaches by far a wide audience and age ranges.
Facebook could serve you in two ways:
(1) You create your account page and start networking with people who fit your client or buyer persona.
(2) Facebook offers marketing through ads directed to your well-defined audience. Facebook has become a more visual network of companies and individuals sharing higher numbers of photos and videos. Your ads, then, are visually appealing. In summary, businesses advertise cost-effectively to grow their following and Facebook provides insights and also analytics to help understand the effectiveness of posts.
Having a Facebook group provides you with an interactive network that allows for content sharing, and the commenting system offers a stronger or cohesive connection. Interestingly enough, Facebook is a closed format, more so than networks like Twitter and Pinterest. Still, with a large number of people on Facebook, you can build a strategic presence and monetize that.
Launching in 2006, Twitter now has over 500 million active users and receives over 1.6 billion search queries daily. Twitter also reaches a broad demographic as Facebook does.
Twitterí's uniqueness comes from the 280-character limit on tweet updates. Can you create concise tweets for your business that interest and entertain the users. While you can upload photos to Twitter, the text-based social networking serves some businesses well.
While twitter updates are private, any user can search the content of people they follow. Can you imagine 6000 tweets go into cyberspace every SECOND? That amounts to "200 billion tweets per year." (www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics)
Linkedin, the oldest of these five social networking opportunities, was launched in 2003. By design, the network was for professionals making professional connections. You will find that searching for professionals by the job, skill set, or interests is easy. Linkedin is smaller than Twitter and Facebook, but it is a focused network. With a claim of over 500 million users, the networking professionals can also purview the job market, which has increased since the recent change in ownership to Microsoft Corporation.
Service providers do very well on LinkedIn, but most businesses can benefit from a LinkedIn presence. The site is a source for not only finding employment and clients but also allows like-minded business people to share ideas, advice, connect to work on projects and more through groups.
Google, a relative newcomer in comparison, launched this network in 2010: http://plus.google.com-- Of 2.2 billion users, the active ones amount roughly to 111 million. Google+ attracts an audience with technical minds and offers interesting possible connections with Google's other products, including the search engine.
Google+ allows for the sharing of lengthy content, creating discussions, and sharing photos. And while Google+ does not necessarily reach the average social media user, the strength in Google+ comes from some important sources:
The +1 button - On the network and throughout the web, Google users can show appreciation for content by giving it a +1. The +1 can help grow word-of-mouth audiences, but also have an impact on traffic through search engines.
Google Hangouts - Sophisticated video / audio conferencing software is built into Google, allowing businesses to make more meaningful connections with their audience. Even the President of the United States and other public figures have held their personal Hangouts.
The bottom line is if your audience is on Google+ (it may or may not be), you should explore the possibilities.
Currently, Pinterest is social media popular destination. They officially launched in 2012 and according to Comscore, by January 2012, had 11.7 million users. While on the surface, it seems like they have a tiny audience, it ís a unique network that many business strategists are keeping an eye on and businesses are tapping into the image extravaganza.
This network is the most visual by far, as its focus is on sharing photos (videos can be shared too) of things that interest users. These shares are called pins and allow users to create virtual pinboards in a variety of categories. The site also attracts considerably more men than women, giving you something to consider in your participation.
If your web content tends to be visual or your product photos are visually appealing, there could be a place for you on Pinterest. Like Twitter, Pinterest is a very open network, and you will find that your Pinterest content is readily seen and shared by people who don't directly follow you.
Where you put your focus is where you will succeed. It is always better to do one or two things well, instead of a bunch of tasks haphazardly. If you are just getting started with social media, pick one in which to get your feet wet. If you're already involved, consider if you are putting your attention into the right areas and perhaps make a plan to explore new areas or dig deeper into existing ones.
Your coaching clients are out there, and they are looking for you! In my training as a therapist, counselor, and coach, I've heard this phrase often and always wondered at its veracity.
A dozen years later of online experience and building the Academy for Coaching Parents experiences, I can again state: That potential clients want you is true. Clients are out there whether you are a life coach for parents, health coach for seniors, a dating coach for men in mid-life, or a business coach for creative people.
The mindset to hold for successful coaching clients is you have a large audience, and they are eagerly anticipating the help only you can provide.
Check the list below to see if you are missing the mark in important areas. Doing so may cause potential clients to turn away for another coach.
Make it Easy for Them
When selling your products and services online, you have to make it easy for your customers to buy. The process sounds easy, but customer connections is in how you organize the information. You might be shocked at how often coaches (and others) miss
- The distinct steps are clear and obvious on your web site or on other social media platforms. The days of reading content are over. Invite visitors to download a syllabus of courses, an ebooks, take a quiz, listen to a free podcast, or watch a video that tells a visitor in three minutes abut the site and provide three options to take the next step. Would they enjoy a blog article, or would they download affirmations to stay calmer?
- The "buy" buttons are not obvious. The primary color for my websites is blue and variant shades. The buttons to link a potential client to the next page or product should stand out - bright green, cherry red, and orange are popular colors that attract attention.
- They don’t make contact information easy to find. This should be obvious to you while it may not be obvious on the website. Most websites have a contact page, which is obvious in the menu on top of the site.Here are a few more ideas: At the end of each blog, have a contact form. It could also serve to sign a new client for blog traffic, as well as to contact you with any questions, no matter how small.
- They don’t provide clear calls to action on their website. By calls to action, it means you provide instructions: click here, download this, go to the posts in children's category, review this book chapter, buy this book. In my reviews of coach's sites, I have seen a leading report on the page. A sample of content and the book cover populate a page. The button reads "Learn More." The button may lead to another page of content, a blog article, and such. The button should be much more precise: Buy this. Download the Ebook now, Read the post sample from the book, and leave a comment ti my questions: Can I email this book to you? Can you see a yes answer is more likely to be forthcoming than just learning more.
- They don’t create easy website navigation so readers can quickly find what they need. In the ideal world, you would list the pages you wanted your clients to visit in order like first, second, third etc.. Too often web builders put the basic pages up and add them to the menu with no specific navigation instruction.
The list goes on, but the bottom line is this: make it easy for your customers to buy from you. Not only will you make more money, but your clients will be singing your praises.
Court the Potential Coaching Clients
Even if your ideal market is established as business owners, you will still create your site navigation for up and coming new clients. While they might not be ready for you yet, and they'll remember you if you treat them well and have organized-easy-to-find content and giveaways.
Some ideas for helping the new coaching clients learn to trust you and your offerings are:
- Low-cost self-study products. Could you offer a short, free course, a video, or an audio file?
- E-books or guides - An ebook that you give away is called a Lead Magnet - an ebook which magnetizes a new to you? Man sure the topic is one that your clients would want to read.
- Email courses - This is a safe bet for those who don't mind leaving their email address, because they can read what they are interested in as well as learn about you also.
- Membership sites and forums should be your business model with new offers, products, or services at regular intervals.
- Facebook groups can serve as memberships also, and you have the option of making your presentations live on Facebook Live.
In every crowded niche, your personality is what sets you a part from every other coach out there. Don't be afraid to shine. Stand out brightly in your image, what you write and how you present your materials. That's how your potential customers will get to know, like and trust you. You cannot stop to worry if your efforts are working. You have to assume that your efforts work, and whether you are shy, non-techie, ora private person, you must shine online and in social media if that is where you are building a business.
- Share personal updates on social media so that potential customers can see the "real" you.
- Post photos of your life outside of business on Instagram and Facebook.
- Take a stand for what you believe in, whether or not it is controversial and unpopular.
- Be available to answer questions and stay on top of the most popular social media that you use.
Do you need to start business planning or take a second look at the steps to success? As a supportive coach or helping professional in business, planning your success requires a clear action plan.
Reasons and Mindset for Thorough Planning
- You will hold yourself accountable, which is the flourishing mindset.
- You will define the steps to the destination.
- You will complete each step or goal and track your progress so you reinforce your enthusiasm and get the resources you need.
Determine Goals Through Visualization
Where will you begin? Start at the result as opposed to the first planning stage. Close your eyes and imagine where you want your business to be in five years? You are assuming that the business is wildly successful and you have the income you desire and more.Then, answer the following questions to fill in the content of your business plan.
- How many and what kind of income streams have you developed?
- How much income did the business achieve the first year? The third year? The fifth-year?
- To how many clients have you sold products, services, or training? What is the overall sum of products or services sold?
- What kind of training(s) have you designed? How many courses do you offer? How have you priced these?
- How do you personally interact, coach or advise your customers? How much time does that take in one given week of your schedule?
This phase is complete when you have defined what you want to achieve and how it will be done. You have established the basics. Next, determine what products or services to set up to be ready to market your website or product.
For example, if you are creating an ebook, what are the steps to its creation, writing proofreading, and setting up for sales?
- Define topic.
- Establish the context of the topic.
- Research content and create an outline of the ebook.
- Complete the writing and formatting.
- Find and insert images or types of graphics
The ebook is a good example of your steps to complete any product or service. You follow these steps once you establish any new product and its timeline for completion. Set aside a section of time each day or week and make sure you complete your tasks. If this means setting up a blog on Monday and then writing an article per day the rest of the week, then commit to getting that done.
Implement Your First Marketing Campaign
If you have your site or product set up and ready to promote, the next step is marketing. Get the word out about your great offer. Even if you don’t think your product or site is perfect, don’t worry about it. You’ll probably be tweaking and editing it over time anyway.
Just as you would with a product, plan each step you will follow to instigate your marketing campaign. Be specific about the tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines. For example, if you want to promote your info product, you might need to
- Create a free offer,
- Connect with joint venture partners,
- Write or purchase your sales page copy,
- Get the word out in relevant forums,
- Follow through on any tasks that are crucial to the marketing strategy
Don’t forget to also put your measures in place. Hopefully, you identified how you’ll measure your campaign’s success when you created your marketing plan. If not, figure them out now and keep track on a regular basis so you can tweak your tactics as needed.
For example, if you have more than one giveaway to offer to get people on an email list, check the sign-ups and conversion rates on each one on a daily basis. If one is converting higher than the other, try to figure out why. Then rinse and repeat.
Additional Marketing Strategies
When do you know it’s time to add more marketing strategies to the mix? The marketing is based on the results you are already achieving, along with your timeline and budget constraints. If you are already having great success with one strategy, such as joint ventures, stick with that. If you have extra time on your hands, then go right ahead and start implementing another promotional effort in your arsenal.
At this point in your planning, You should have identified about three strategies when you created your marketing plan. One strategy could include a free giveaway for which people sign up and are added to your email list? Another strategy could be a series of emails that you send to your subscribers about an informative blog article like this one. A third strategy could include other offers like listening to a podcast, selecting clients to interview, or promoting through Facebook ads.
The broader the mix of marketing strategies you have, the more complicated your business will become. Make sure you map out each of your strategies step-by-step to keep track of them. If feasible, outsource as much as possible. If you want to keep your business simple, you’ll have to focus on whichever strategy produces the best results. Leave the rest for marketers who don’t mind a little extra complication in their lives.
You can guarantee the success of your business and marketing plans by putting in place and following detailed action plans. This is where many people fail. They don't get success immediately and decide to try something else. Stick with your plan, reap the rewards, rinse and repeat for ultimate success.
Branding affects you whether or not you know of its' persuasive force to influence your purchasing choices and habits. As a consultant or certified coach for parents or families, how aware are you of creating and using a brand?
Branding is a powerful marketing tool designed to work in concert with conscious and subconscious factors to affect decision making. Branding is impressive in the ability to impact opinion, and the ability has grown with the development of technology.
The best way to understand the power of branding is to review a few examples. You see how an emblem, logo, or picture makes your brain trust or not trust the brand, based on your personal experiences.
This connection between you and the brand image happens when you look at the brand. These brands do what they are supposed to do: You see, and you make a connection.
Branding Basics: What It Is and Who You Are
Many people assume that branding is a more difficult process than it is because we are inundated daily. Branding is so pervasive in our modern society that as consumers, we learn to accept it subconsciously. When we step back and look at the process, we see what a collective force branding has become.
Branding works on the idea that humans are designed to see patterns and to associate those patterns with specific expected results.
Branding takes advantage of this evolutionary predisposition to allow us to associate a business, products, and services, with particular concepts--–a musical note, a shade of color, a shape or a phrase.
The idea is that the business and the concept become welded together in the minds of the general public through repetition. Our brains unconsciously associate the concept with the business.
Branding requires that the business behind the brand know exactly who it is, what it does and who it wants to attract as a customer. It is this steadfast and focused clarity on identity that makes the world’s best brands instantaneously identifiable. The companies with the most potent brands know who they are and know who their customers are. This clarity is what drives the brand and also what makes the brand successful.