Talk of social media in sales is all the rage and everyone is frantically trying to crack the code of how to get clients. But is social media really all that different from other forms of customer acquisition?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be discussing social media and how to use it to get clients. Welcome back, Chris.
Chris: Thank you David. Nice to be here. You know, let’s just get going with social media and using social media to obtain clients. I get this sense that people really seem to see social media as a necessary part of prospecting these days, but there is a whole lot of confusion about it. So, let’s start with this: Is social media really necessary for prospecting or is it all just a lot of hype?
David: Well, that’s quite a decision, right? Is it necessary or is it a lot of hype? I would say it’s probably both in the sense that it can be necessary, it can be very effective for people, but when it’s done improperly, then it really can end up being a lot of hype. One of the things that I see happening, Chris, is that a lot of people think in terms of just sort of pumping out content and putting stuff out there. And the problem with content is, you know, when you even think of the definition of what that is, what is content? It’s something that’s inside of something, right? It could be bad, it could be great, could be somewhere in between. We just don’t know. So, when people take the approach that they’re just going to go out there and they’re going to go on social media and build a presence out there and just sort of be present, then it might not accomplish their objectives. It will certainly get them in front of people, which can be helpful. But unless you actually have some ideas and some goals in place for it, it’s going to be very unlikely to accomplish the objectives they want.
Chris: So, when you look at what content should be, what’s kind of the basic recipe for that? Because I think some people think, well, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to put up a bunch of stuff about why you should buy my product. And then I think you get the other end of the spectrum, like you mentioned, where you’re just putting up stuff that really doesn’t… how’s this really helping?
Schedule a Strategy Session
Chris: So, when you look at it, what's kind of the recipe that you see as being a great starting point?
David: Well, there are a couple of aspects of it just in terms of appearing in social media. So, there's the personal aspect. Are there things that you can put up there that will let people know who you are so they can relate to you as a human being? Now, if you love cats and you're posting cat videos every 10 minutes, then that's going to create an impression of you that might not be consistent with everything that you need to go along with your business persona. Right? So, it's a balancing act. What can I let people know about myself that will let them feel like they know me as a person, but that will not necessarily take away from how they're going to view me as a professional? Starting with that and saying, okay, I want to evaluate what makes sense to put out there from a business standpoint. So, if there is something that lets them know about my expertise, that type of content is often very helpful, and people can also go overboard with that. You can get on social media and you can be providing lots of great ideas, lots of great information. I mean this podcast is sort of an example of that. In this podcast we tackle ideas that people pay for, you know, we provide content that people would actually pay for. And so, it's possible to go overboard and deliver more content to the point where people feel like they don't even need to do business with you because you're giving them so much free stuff. And so, the balance is there. So, if you look at it from the standpoint of the personality, what am I letting them know about myself? Authority, what am I letting them know about what I'm able to do for them and how I'm able to help them? And then from there to the extent there's going to be any sort of pitch, which is what you were talking about, people who go out there all the time, they're just trying to sell stuff. Where's the balance? And so, to the extent that there's a pitch and a lot of cases, it just needs to be about how they can reach out to you, how they can get in touch with you and potentially work together if it makes sense. Because in every audience there's going to be some percentage of the market that's going to be interested in working with you. It's not likely to be all of them. And so, a lot of what we need to do in social media is to present ourselves in a way that is going to be attractive to the types of clients that we want to have. And that is going to repel the types of clients we don't want to have.
Chris: That's exactly what I was thinking as you said that. There's the attraction and the repel isn't there, and we really want you, as somebody who's gonna look at using social media to look at both ends of that spectrum. It's so important to understand that you create that persona and hopefully it's authentic, right?
David: Yeah. And it's rarely completely authentic with most people on social media. I mean, we don't share every aspect of our lives. Most people tend to put their best foot forward. Here's something interesting I did, here's something fun that I did, and to that extent, it always looks like our lives are far more interesting than our day-to-day lives probably are. So, it's sort of a highlights reel and we're saying, okay, this is some of what I'm doing and the parts that are worth sharing, I'll share. I'm not the kind of person who's ever sort of taken a picture of my lunch and shared it, but there are people who do that, right? And....
Chris: Oh, you're really missing out there, David. (laughs)
David: I know, but there are other people who might like that. So, it's different strokes for different folks. But when we look at what's really going to attract clients from the standpoint of wanting to do business with us, the things I think we really need to look at are the authority, the personality, and then mixing in opportunities for them to interact with us.
Chris: Love it. It's a great point. So that brings up the really big question, which is what platforms should I be using?
David: Well, it's really going to depend on where your clients are. So, there's no one size fits all solution here. Obviously at the moment Facebook is huge because it makes it easier to reach a lot of the people that you might want to reach. You can advertise to them or you can reach them directly through messenger or you can post stuff and you can reply to things that they're posting on their walls. So, Facebook is very accessible and so many people are on it that it seems to be the go-to source, the first place to go. A lot of people, particularly in the B2B space, are reaching out to people through LinkedIn because of course LinkedIn is really perceived as more of a business platform. People tend to engage in more business type conversation there. Whereas on Facebook, sometimes people don't like the idea of having a lot of business stuff on Facebook. So, depending on your client base you really want to go where your clients are and that way it's really no different than any other type of marketing or networking that we might be doing because it's all about being where our prospects and clients are.
Chris: I think it's a really great point, looking at business to consumer being more Facebook oriented but not necessarily only business to consumer. And the same for LinkedIn, although LinkedIn I do think of being is more B2B.
David: Yeah, and then of course there's Twitter as well and some people are on Twitter. Another way that I view this, Chris, is it's like whatever your prospects and client’s preferences are. Some people like to communicate on the phone, some people like to communicate via text or email. We each have our preferred methods of communication. It's similar with social media. Some people prefer to interact on Facebook, some on LinkedIn, some on Twitter. And so, depending on who you're targeting, you may have to go different places to get to different people.
Chris: And that's really good point too because you, I think neither of us would suggest for a second that oh just go, go tackle all three of them at the same time.
David: Right. And I mean many of us have accounts on all three, but it is often challenging to maintain an interesting presence on all platforms at all times. And so, what we really need to do is to focus our attention on the areas that we think are going to provide us with the very best return at the time that we're doing it.
Chris: So, let's talk a little bit about Facebook because there is a tremendous amount that can be done from an advertising standpoint. Do you think it makes sense for your listeners to be spending money on Facebook ads?
David: It could make sense for them to do that. And a good way to determine that is to say, “Okay, on the stuff I'm not spending money on, is anyone interested in that? Is anyone looking at the stuff that I'm not spending money on?” So, if I'm posting things on social media that are designed to position myself as the authority or get people engaged, or interested in talking with me, are they responding to that? Are you getting likes? Are you getting shares? Are you getting replies or getting feedback? And if the answer to that question is yes, then advertising could effectively amplify that. If what you're currently putting out is not getting any response at all, then it's very unlikely that spending money and boosting those posts is going to get either results you're looking for. So, it's going to be a combination. And we had talked in a previous episode about the MVPs of Marketing and Sales, and I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but when you think about that, this really applies to social media. What is the message that I'm communicating? Which combination of marketing vehicles, meaning the social media platforms, am I going to use to communicate my message and who are the people or prospects that I'm going to be reaching? So, all of that applies just as much on social media. So, when we look at that, and we try to identify who are the people that we would like to reach, we want to take all of those things into consideration.
Chris: And it really goes right back to the basics, doesn't it? Like you were talking about, MVPs. What's the message, what's the vehicle and who's the prospect? And having that basic foundation in place really can help you to make good decisions, solid decisions about where to turn in terms of social media.
David: Yes, absolutely. Also, I need to toss something in here because I think this is kind of relevant. Whenever I'm doing any sort of podcast or whenever I'm talking to an audience about anything, I like to talk to them about things that I actually know about and I actually understand, and I actually practice. So, one of the things I need to, as a disclaimer, say I was off of Facebook from a personal standpoint for over two years. About two years ago, I just couldn't take it. It was just all the political stuff and all the intrigue, and it just got to be too much and I'm like, I need to step away from this. So, I actually stepped away from my personal Facebook profile for a year where I literally didn't even log into it. But I didn't want to lose all my data, so I ended up logging back in and then just not participating for a while. But during that time, I did maintain our business accounts. I did continue to post information that would be helpful to our readers and listeners, so I did keep that side of it up, but I really stepped away from the personal side. Now, within the last couple of weeks, I've started dipping my toe back in on the personal side and I'm doing that for a couple of reasons. One of them is that so many of our prospects and clients are on Facebook and are friends of mine on Facebook that I don't want to just walk away from that. There's something to be said for the interaction there and I find that worthwhile. Also, when I'm able to manage things, in terms of being on there, because one of the things that I struggle with as many people do is that once you get on there, it's hard to get off, right? You're looking at stuff. I think I posted something a couple of years ago that said, one of the reasons that I needed to step away from Facebook was that the page never ends, and I lack the discipline to stop scrolling. You just keep going, and you're looking at stuff. You go on there to do something that's supposed to take five minutes and an hour later you realize that your morning is blown. So, I just want to make that point, because I don't consider myself to be a personal Facebook expert. But we have been able to utilize Facebook in a way that's allowed us to identify the types of prospects we want, interact with some of those prospects and clients, and actually create business relationships through it. So, I want to be very clear about my expertise and my areas where I'm not an expert.
Chris: Well and I think it's important to understand that you've got to find a balance with any of the social media platforms. If you're going to be on there, you have to understand that you can end up going down the rabbit hole really easily and really taking the time to make sure that before you start working with Facebook or working on LinkedIn that you've got a plan. Right?
David: Yeah, exactly.
Chris: And when we've got that, then I think it has the ability to be far more effective. Also, it's important to keep in mind that if you're going to put yourself and your business on Facebook, that's very different than putting yourself personally on. As a matter of fact, you have to create a different type of a page and it requires that you have a personal page, but it's not required that you do a lot personally and that you share everything with everyone. I have a friend of mine who just absolutely does not have anything business related on his personal account and he works with a company that's got a business account and he does not let those two cross and it can be done. It takes some time, but definitely worth looking at how you want to be perceived on any of these platforms and having a bit of a plan to do it.
David: Agreed. Yes.
Chris: Okay. Let's talk about a review of the action steps that you think our listeners should be taking if they want to use social media platforms.
Using Social Media to Get Clients
- Start with Intention. Use social media to attract the type of clients you want to have. Don't get dragged down the social media rabbit hole. Instead, lead others into YOUR world.
- Identify the Platforms where your best prospects are likely to be. Reach out to them there.
- Communicate First from a Personal Standpoint so they can feel like they know you. Second from an Authority Standpoint so they can recognize your expertise and want to work with you and Third from a Connection Standpoint so they know how to reach out to you to continue the conversation.
David: Okay. When we're talking about using social media to attract clients, which is really the topic of this conversation, the first thing that you need to recognize is that if you want to do that, that needs to be your intention, right? You need to go into this with the idea of if I'm going to use it to attract clients, then what are the steps I need to take to make that happen? Because there's a big difference between logging in and just getting pulled in, and going in there with intent and deciding what you're going to do. One of the things I said at a live training session, I had done a live training a year or two ago about the topic of making sales and getting customers through social media and I raised the issue that going onto social media can be like going down a rabbit hole. And my point that I was making to that audience and then I would like to make today is that your goal is not to go down the rabbit hole. Your goal is to pull the people into your world. It's not to get dragged into everybody else's world unless it's something that you actually want to do. So the first step in making this work is recognizing that if you're there to attract and get clients that you go in with that intention, because then you'll be much more likely to take the actions you need to inside to make that happen. Second thing is you're going to identify the platforms where your clients and prospects are most likely to be. And then you're going to want to engage with them in those areas. And then the third thing is to think in terms of the different aspects of what you need to communicate first from a personal standpoint that you're putting stuff out there that allows them to feel like they're getting to know you. You're putting information out there that builds your authority, that's the next point. And that they can look at you and say, okay, this person knows what they're talking about. Seems like the kind of person I might like to want to work with. And then the third aspect of that would be to make sure that you're putting out occasional content that allows them to get in touch with you, because that's where the relationships are going to happen and that's where the potential sales are going to be made.
Chris: It's a lot to consider and it has the ability (social media) to really help you to attract good solid clients. But having a good solid plan, understanding your MVP of message, vehicle and prospect all is critically important as you approach this. That is a great summary of where we should be with social media. Let's talk about what's coming up in our next podcast, David.
David: Okay. In our next podcast, we'll be talking about creating customers versus just making sales, two rather different things.
Chris: I like it. And David, if somebody wants a quick meeting with one of your people, what's the process?
David: Okay. If anybody's looking to increase their sales, improve their profit margins, and grow their business, they'd like to schedule a complimentary strategy session. They can go to topsecrets.com/call and we would be happy to go over which aspects of the market they're interested in dominating, who do they need to reach and how do they need to reach them? And we can have that conversation at their convenience.
Chris: Love it. Hey, thank you so much David, and we will see you on the next podcast.
David: Thanks, Chris.
If you're tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, be sure to check out my latest web presentation entitled Programming Clients to Choose You. Who are your very best prospects currently programmed to buy from? Is it you or someone else? If you want it to be, you, visit topsecrets.com/choose and register for the free presentation now. That's topsecrets.com/choose.