Are You Boosting Your Home-based Business With Social Media?
I began my being a business owner through owning my own direct sales / home-based business. Unless I told people where to go buy online directly, no one was coming to my PRW – Personal Retail Website. I had a problem. I was an Online Business with no customers! I quickly needed to learn how to attract customers to my business website and then from there direct them to my business purchasing page. I learned how to boost my sales with social media.
I have doubled the fans on my Facebook and increased the engagement nearly double as well. Just with some simple techniques that you will need in order to create opportunities to meet new prospects and customers. This kind of interaction is what you need! I have also been able to:
- Generate my own leads
- Build a website to bring looking customers for a place to shop
- And share about my story and success tips on my blog in order to make a solid relationship
As I began my home-based business, I wanted to reach out to other businesses to offer them incentive gift options. I had been out around town networking, but still needed to find a way to meet an untapped pool of people online. I felt Facebook was a waste of time initially, because everybody from their dog and cat and baby sister were only chatting about ordinary things. But I invested in writing or posting about positive things for people to offer others – how to appreciate your employees, how to send a kind word of praise, how to give gifts for those who are never happy. People responded to this. In time, those that I met in town were saying “I’ve heard of you!” and then they were open to what I had to offer!
After a year or so, I was being asked how I was able to do what I got on my social media, and how can they do the same thing!? Friends were telling me to go into business teaching and managing business’ social media! So I did. All because of the effect of my using social media for business. I had created an awareness of what I could offer to help their businesses – either with social media or with gift incentives! I am driven to help other small business owners learn how to grow their business and to create positive influences in their communities.
The techniques listed here are of my techniques to handling a direct sales business or any home-based business online. You will still need to remain compliant to corporate branding rules and regulations. Because of those rules and regulations many people feel trapped and not able to use social media. Not true. Being social isn’t regulated! All I do is compliment other’s accomplishments, offer positive words of encouragement, offer money saving or money making ideas and tips, but most of all create friends online and offline! I am never far from my computer or smartphone for touching base with my social media friends!
Everyone likes to belong! Perhaps you have a group of downline people that you need to meet with on a regular basis. But they are too far away to come to a meeting in town. And you know that meeting together is invaluable to their feeling of belonging-ness and feeling of being of value to the team. Why not create a private Facebook group – add each new member to your “tribe”. Share tips and encouragement.
Show and Tell time!
You can also share one product each week. Educate your downline and your social media audience. Tell them about the benefits and how this product is different from the competitors. You can also ask your previous customers to share about your products and how much it has helped them. This can build credibility.
Share success stories.
If you are using twitter, try talking up an event or job well done. Share with your group or with your friends the value of being in a business of your own. Be enthusiastic and excited. People are attracted to success! Share about what you are doing in your own life. Are you attending a special meeting where you get to travel to a great city location? Share what is was like! Did you have a successful day in prospecting potential clients? How did you do that? You have donwline eager to learn. Are you seeing how your business is changing people’s lives? Share a story about that. If owning a business of your own has changed your life share how. You are living a dream!
Be Graphically Interesting.
One thing social media really loves is pictures, graphics or images that motivate or encourage. But more importantly, pictures that show you doing your business looking happy and interacting with people can be an excellent way for you to share your business or view products. People will see themselves doing what you are doing. More importantly, using pictures attracts SEO spiders that will grab the images and promote you in the world of social media. This might get you higher in the Google search rankings, and possibly on the first page! And this is exactly what you want to do!
By sharing about yourself and about the people you meet, you are showing to other people that you are human and real. People relate to people who are real or believable. Remember they are seeing if they can fit into YOUR shoes for themselves! People do not do business with a logo or company name. They can’t relate themselves to that. Because of this, it would be important for you to put a close up smiling picture of yourself looking very approachable, as your Facebook profile picture or in any social media profile. Using a cartoon character or a picture of your favorite pet will not draw anyone to you.
Trademarking or Branding Yourself.
On your Facebook business page you will want to identify yourself with the brand company that you represent. You want to leverage their name. Use it! It will give you more credibility. However, using trademarked names are usually heavily regulated, except to say that you are a ” Mary Kay” representative or the local NUTRILITE representative. So what do you say in your ABOUT section of your Facebook page? Brand yourself uniquely as YOU, who acts as a rep from “such and such company”.
For example you can say: Hi, I am Cheryl Gnad, owner of Out of the Box Gifts, representing incentives and gift products from Amway; helping you find the perfect gift for the hard to buy for employee, friend, or family member!”
Keywords and SEO.
You will want to use the keywords that people world use if they are searching for you in a Google search. For instance, if you are a Mary Kay representative you will want to use the words – beauty, cosmetics, skincare, or fragrances. You will want to say that you are the Mary Kay rep in your city and then name that city. This way those keywords will be searched out and will bring up your name, then you become a good contact for a future customer.
For example: Out of the Box Gifts of Wichita, Ks, the area representative of Amway, providing products in beauty, health, home, and lifestyle! All at the convenience of easy online shopping! Open for business online world-wide and at home at www.shopOutoftheBox.biz!
Be the go-to person. Make relationships.
What you want to do social media is to attract people to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn sites in order to make a relationship with you. People are more inclined to buy from someone that they know rather than someone they have no relationship with. By engaging with them on social media you are making that relationship. If you are able to make yourself into an expert in the field of your interests or niche, you will be the go-to person when their need arises. Use social media as your platform to share great ideas, tips and how to’s in order to become their expert. Remember, your content needs to have value TO THEM, not you.
Do not sell! … What?
Selling a product, like saying ” buy this now for 30% off”, every other time you post on your Facebook page will be annoying and bothersome to your followers. So refrain from selling and do it only one time in 10. The other nine times, provide information that has great value to your followers or potential clients. You won’t scare them off this way.
I have a client or customer! What do I do?
Congratulations! You’ve done it, a customer has responded to you on Facebook! Perhaps they posted a comment and they want more information. What should you do? Most online businesses like Mary Kay, Amway, or any other direct sales requires you to make a real relationship with this person. They want you to make contact with this person via e-mail, telephone call or chat. In other words, take it offline! It isn’t time to be a website if your corporate company regulates how you grow your business with inviting them to see your business plan or to share its products. Now’s the time to make a real friend or a potential business partner or customer. A word of caution. Any conversation done in the open of your social media platforms can be construed as being spam. Also, sending out private messages through Facebook or twitter, can also be seen as spam. And you can be shut down and lose all of your list of potential customers, by Facebook, Twitter or even your corporate parent company. Follow all spam rules! Please do not spam!
You may wish to read “Sell Like a Drug Dealer with Social Media“, as your next step on how to sell online!
Cheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter@SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.