27th September 2014
So far progress has been steady and it is quite a novelty concept to me as the business coach gives me homework to do each week. Last week I was asked to make a list of every prospective client that hadn’t proceeded forward. I did so and out of my own curiosity, I checked their websites. Except for one that had recently re-designed their website for desktop, tablet and mobile use, regularly updated their site and engaged in social media, had been pretty much left for dead: Some had not been updated since 2011, others had created a Facebook page, written 2 updates and then given up.
That is a shame because they are missing out on sharing their information with others, engaging with what could be potential customers and associates. All of this being vital stuff for any business. Also if people want to find out more about your company, product or service, a 3 year old post announcing your company’s now set up on Facebook is hardly a good sign!
The thing is, a lot has changed since 2011: For a start, there is way more competition out there, Google have got smarter at detecting websites that provide regular and useful advice (and filtering out the ones that can’t be bothered), and according to Google, mobile search may overtake desktop search by next year.
Even I have fallen under this category: I half-heartedly set myself up on Twitter and Facebook a few years ago, but its only really in the last 6 months that I’ve taken the time to set up a decent Company profile and now regularly take the time to share and converse on both. I’m still a long way off seeing any visible results, but the local community know that I’m out there and some of my customers have asked me more about the building work currently taking place on my new office.
In fact, here is a rundown of the best excuses I have heard and my answer to them:
No one expects you to spend all day chatting on social media or writing up your latest blog post. But by allocating a small amount of time (about 1-2 hours) each day or week is time well spent. Even better if you opt for a time when you are at your most productive.
You can also use tools to save time. For example wouldn’t it make sense if you use a social network platform, such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to save you having to visit every social networking site you currently use? If you work late at night, you can also schedule posts and updates for the following day when people are more likely to read it.
For the larger task of re-designing your website or re-writing your web content, use your allocated time in steps, so for example write up your home page content during one session and maybe your services pages for the next. Or just outsource it altogether (Just saying!) 🙂
This mainly falls under the category of social media, but can be useful for web content. Offer advice, give tips, answer questions that other people in your community are asking. Give a top 5 list of the most useful tools that you use, share other people’s posts if they inspire you/ anger you/find amusing/find intriguing. Find a couple of online resources and share their stuff for the same reason. Give reviews, tag people, converse with them, share related news articles, the list is endless.
Or you could engage your followers to do the legwork on your behalf: For example hold a competition/prize draw like and share your post or hold a photo competition based around your product or service.
Not everyone is going to hang on to your every word. If no one responds then don’t sweat it. Retweet or reshare your post at least once more, but if not then just try again. Take the time to interact with your followers online, engage with them. Keep going and…
It may not result in a sale or a conversion straightaway, but sharing your expertise in the long-term lays the foundation for people to recognise you as an expert and in turn will contact you when they need your product/services. Also Google recognise your expertise and will duly reward you.
So what of my ex-prospect list? Well, my homework this week is to get in touch with them and let them know that I can still help them and demonstrate how I have helped others. Normally I would be sceptical, but frankly, I can’t wait.
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