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.
Each of us, who works online, knows that you build your list of e-mail addresses for successful marketing on the Internet. Your compilation of email addresses is your single, most powerful tool.
You already have the e-mail addresses of the people who may be interested in what you have to offer. Why not sell items that are related to topics in your email messages. The person, who trusted you enough to provide their email automatically, gave you the consent to communicate. The informative tips in this blog discuss how to build your list in successful ways.
Tip Number 1: Blogging is king.
More precisely, regular blog posting is king. Starting a blog can be easy or difficult, depending on how you approach the task. The easy way is to automate your blog as you establish it. WordPress (WP) is one such tool of choice. It works on plug-ins and templates. You create a customized look without the problems using coding.
If you can post a blog entry once a day, then you are doing well. I chose to post a new article every 3rd day. The timing allowed me to market each piece for several days on my social media accounts with the idea of generating leads to build your list.
Tip Number 2: Stay relevant.
Whether you are posting blog entries or sending e-mails to the addresses on your list, you need to stay on topic. If a client sees your facebook post, and then receives an email with useful information on another aspect of the same issue, they can connect the dots between you, the topic, and the varied streams of information.. You then maintain focus on the very subject that got people interested in the first place.
When you move away from the topic of interest, people will start skipping over what you send them. If they lose interest, then next step is marking your messages as spam. To make a transition to a new or ancillary topic, state the reason to move from topic one to topic two Use proper paragraphing can achieve this effect of movement.
Tip Number 3: Make a proper squeeze page.
A squeeze page (no, I don’t know why it is called that!) is a straightforward webpage built with an offer for visitors in exchange for their e-mail addresses. Sometimes the email is a way to access an online course, download a free ebook, or gain access to a membership site.
Examples of squeeze page software are Clickfunnels and Leadpages”
Don’t confuse the squeeze page with a sales page. A squeeze page asks for an email in exchange for information or a gift of sorts. A sales page does sell your services and products that are displayed on the pages along with price points. What you put on a squeeze page is the premise of your service and sales content and headlines.
Tip Number 4: Skip the video on squeeze pages, or people will skip it.
Video works for generating leads, verifying your expertise, and convincing visitors to buy. People who visit your squeeze page and opt-in are the impulsive personality type. They come to the squeeze page to download what you offer. Mostly, they aren’t the patient type, even with high-speed broadband, to watch a video.
By keeping your squeeze pages free of videos, you allow it to load quickly and cleanly. Your visitors get to read the salient points right away, and they will opt-in during that magic moment when they decide they like what you do and represent.
Tip Number 5: No heavyweight effects on your squeeze page
In addition to not putting videos on your squeeze page, also avoid media that consume high bandwidths. I have seen audio files, sparkling glitter, and falling raindrops on websites. The site was pretty, but…
Sounds and music slow down the loading time of the website. Ensure that images are compressed too. Smarter Internet users block media from untrusted sources, so your special effects are just left out, and you do not lose your intended impact.
Tip Number 6: Use video in your posts!
YouTube has made publishing videos a breeze, and it is free, which means you can get a stronger emotional connection with your audience. Facebook Live offers a shorter video opportunity if you have a tribe or group with whom you teach and converse.
For awesome impact, add videos to blog posts. While some people prefer to read, higher numbers of people like to watch and listen. By including a video in your well-written blog posts, you can generate leads from the readers as well as the listeners.
Tip Number 7: Video responses are cool
Use videos in marketing blogs to respond to your clients’ essential questions. Your followers will know that you do care about what they think and ask because you take the time to create and post videos for them. Picking out the questions that matter most is the tricky part. Another tricky part is staying on topic as you discuss questions and answers. You can answer off-topic questions through email. Another way that videos work for you is that answers generate traffic and boost your popularity.
Tip Number 8: RSS is your friend
RSS refers to “Really Simple Syndication.” The idea of using RSS to publish your blog posts is that it can publish your media to any RSS reader who is tuned in and signed up for your feed. When you post a blog entry, video, or an audio podcast, then those who chose to receive RSS data from you will get an update on their RSS readers. It’s like they get a personal notification every time you put something up online.
Tip Number 9: You can substitute audio for video
If you are not confident about your appearance on video or want to keep your online footprint as small as you can, then using audio instead of a video is a perfect solution. The most important advantage of audio over a video is that it consumes less space and is downloaded quickly.
Tip Number 10: SEO
Search Engine Optimization, also called SEO, is a set of procedures that guide you to fix your web pages and their content, so search engines (like Google and Bing) feature it higher among results for relevant searches.
In practice, SEO is complicated because the rules change over time. Is it worth your time to learn and complete SEO for your site? Or, are you the type of business person who hires a support person to create SEO for your website? Unless you have a fast learning curve, hiring this task out might better serve your goals. At least, once I learned all about SEO, I did hire another person to complete my sites and I learned best practices also.
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.
How can you, a coach or consultant, form a connection with your target audience? One that makes them feel fierce loyalty to you where they spread good word of mouth and help you achieve your goals.
What Your Branding Is and Isn’t
Other seasoned marketers will teach you technical strategies like video marketing, blogging, podcasting and more. They’re great at teaching the technical steps and talking about how your content can help you with search engine optimization (SEO).
However, these technical steps are not what attraction brand marketing is about. Anyone can release a video. Anyone can slap content on a blog or website. And anyone can record an audio file.
You are a special person to be able to embrace the concept of branding for yourself, a true leader who isn’t afraid to command the clout you need online to draw the very best clients. You can leverage the attraction brand marketing system to draw people to you, not drive them to you.
What does attraction branding mean? Branding to attract clients is not hype and not hard selling. Attraction means you present yourself online--as a brand--in a way that has people clamoring for more from you.
You make them addicted to you over time. They love your personality. They love your insight, and they love how real you are with them. Branding with an attraction element helps make you visible to those wouldn’t otherwise find your site online.
Word of mouth is a powerful thing. When there’s a buzz created about you specifically – people flock to you like moths attracted to a light. They feel warmth and comfort in your message, and people respond to that and want to be around it.
Live Your Tag Line
A tagline is a kind of brand motto. When ACPI was formed, two pilot groups produced two different tags lines for ACPI to test.
- Take on the role of a lifetime.
- Make a difference
ACPI still uses both in different marketing venues, and since we chose those taglines, I have noticed other online businesses copy them. That means ACPI did its homework successfully.
What is your branding about? What do you want to be known for? Do you want to be the marketer who:
- …has a sympathetic nature?
- …is very blunt and honest with people?
- …over-delivers in value?
- …carefully scrutinizes everything before you recommend it?
Whatever you want people to think about you is what your brand’s tagline should be created around. Many marketers use a simple, “To your success” closing tagline at the end of every email and blog post.
This is generic marketing, and it does work. Yet, how much better would it be if you could come up with something that people remembered and associated with you?
What businesses are you drawn to? Think of those who you yourself are attracted to in the world of online business. What drew you to them. What elements are they using to capture people’s interest and turn them into loyal fans!
To make money online as a parent-family coach or an ACPI Trainer, you need to market your business online. The following marketing tips and ideas will guide your marketing efforts.
- When you decide who you want to work with, keep narrowing down your ideal client to a specific niche or group. Don’t send a marketing message to a general group. Specifically target the demographic you want to work with.
Narrow it down like this example: Dads....of teens....preparing to graduate from high school....who need a Core Temperament Inventory.....to consider career choices.
2. Talk about your business everywhere. Network with prospective clients. Give speeches at conferences. Clearly articulate your value when talking about your business in a video presentation for online viewing.
3. Write about your business in blog posts, newsletters, magazines and newspapers. A case study presents your strengths in helping a client. You could also discuss group coaching and when and how you offer services. Sell value! Send out a press release when you add a new service or you are just starting your business.
4. Be active on social media. Participate by answering questions, providing helpful information and being authentic. Over the last three years and the changes made to social media offering, Facebook still remain primary. Facebook also bought Instagram, and placing an ad on both sites bring traffic to you and your web site.
5. Create a professional looking website. Include your services, testimonials and an about you page as well as the home page.
6. While I do not advocate free sessions, you will notice in reading blogs that it is a popular way to meet new possible clients. Give away a free coaching session and see which prospective clients go on to purchase a bigger package.
7. Build a strong client list. Keep in contact with them, asking for referrals and testimonials.
8. Send out a regular newsletter and update your blog regularly.
9. Comment on other blogs and social media channels with relevant information. These types of connections, formed through social media, are reciprocated when you support others and ask for the same.
10. Get interviewed by a well-known person in your niche. Promote your coaching services during the interview.
11. Create YouTube videos with helpful information. Include links to your coaching services.
12. Include a link to your website on everything, including your email signature.
Marketing is a necessity in any business for making money online. It is how clients will find you.
The Next Step
Making money online with your coaching business can be done in many ways. It’s about how you package yourself as an expert, the marketing plan you create to get the word out about your services and the different types of services and products you offer. Your next step is to decide on your market, plan out your marketing, determine how you are going to make money, and begin attracting clients.