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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
For a lot of Americans (and others through out the world), the business landscape is shifting — again. Gone are the days of staying in the house and relying on a combination of delivery services to get what you need. Now we’re on the cusp of a brave new, but not quite “normal,” world.
The question becomes: What can you do as a service practitioner to best get the word out and expand your reach to a wider audience in this new environment? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Social media 3.0
Personally, I don’t think connecting via social and posting content is ever going to go out of style for service practitioners. Between Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you just can’t reasonably expect to expand your reach without being on at least one or two of these platforms. But with that said, in the post-pandemic world, you really have to build a relationship with folks before asking them for anything. Hard stop.
This was always the case to a lesser extent, but over the past 12 months, so many people jumped on social and just starting pitching stuff that, unless you have some type of legitimate relationship/familiarity beforehand, it’s really going to be tough to be successful.
The good news is that you can facilitate that by:
- Posting on a regular basis so people can get familiar with your work.
- Asking them about their business via personal message and who you might be able to potentially introduce them to.
- Sharing some of their content as you see fit, then following up with a personal message to get the conversation started,
- Commenting on some of their content, then following up with a personal message.
These are some of the same things that have always been around, but you have to be super intentional about it, because so many people are barraging your prospects that you really need to stand out from the crowd.
Virtual = the new physical?
I’m talking about speaking opportunities, and this is an area I’m personally investing more into, because now it’s much easier to get yourself a virtual speaking engagement for just about anything. As an example, I’m soon delivering a presentation to a group of folks in Georgia (I live in North Carolina) about the “mindset of success.” I met my original contact through a virtual BNI Meeting in Atlanta, and we scheduled a virtual one-to-one a week later. Five weeks after that, and I’m speaking to his group of about 30 folks.
Now, where that goes exactly is anyone’s guess (although I’ll probably pick up a couple of clients out of it), but the point is that would have never happened before the pandemic hit, simply because I wouldn’t have been in Atlanta for the meeting.
Virtual speaking opportunities are likely here to stay, and as a result, I’d highly recommend reaching out to your network and seeing if they have any folks who they know who are already meeting and wouldn’t mind having a speaker on your topic come in.
Build and leverage a Facebook group
This can be a tricky one, because some folks might say they’ve already gone down this road and it hasn’t worked. Totally get that. But in the meantime, try using your Facebook group as a hub where you point anyone and everyone you can to it as a vehicle for generating interest calls.
For example, you might have a content video that talks about XYZ, and at the end your call to action might be, “And as you guys know, we have our free FB Group called ‘ABC,’ and it’s all about what you can do to quickly expand your reach, impact more lives and get your message out to a wider audience. Just go to xyz.com for a link and I’ll see you over there.”
See that? Quick, easy and not pushy. But the $65,000 question becomes: Once you get people into your group, how does that translate into paying clients? Easy. You can run a little five-day challenge where you walk people through some “quick hitters” that allow them to get a straightforward win in an area of importance to them.
As an example, I have a challenge that talks about “5 Straight Forward Ways to Get Your Message Out to a Wider Audience” that’s been very successful for me in the past. And before you say that everyone is doing challenges, let me just say this: As long as you get the right people in your group and you provide good content, that solves a problem they’re facing, you’re still in good shape.
You can also run some FB Lives inside your group with a call to action relating to the upcoming challenge or even just inviting them to book a discovery call straight up. The point is, you want to consistently driving people to your group, then provide some value-add content, and if you include a solid call to action at the end (e.g., book a call, join me on a webinar, download this item), you’ll very quickly separate the orange from the peel and have a group of potential clients you can build a relationship with.
Pandemic or no pandemic, we’re not going back to “business as usual.” However, there is an opportunity to take some of the business lessons learned over the past 12 months and continue to apply them going forward, so that when we really do get back to “normal,” our businesses won’t miss a beat.
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