What is the Difference Between Relationship Marketing and Lead Generation?

Business owners often enter social media marketing with the expectation that simply showing up and posting about their products and services is enough to convert strangers into customers. They are being told that they ‘need’ to be on social media because that’s the way to market their business and find more people. While this is certainly true, it’s also misleading. 

If you come to social media only to sell, you’ll walk away disappointed in your results. In fact, I’ve had many business owners tell me that social media marketing doesn’t work at all! I know when I hear this that this individual approached social media with a lead generation approach and didn’t take establishing and nurturing relationships into the equation.

When Social Media Marketing Goes Wrong

People have come to believe that you can use social media as JUST a marketing tool to sell your widget, product, or service.  This is false.  Social Media was always intended to be a social experience, meaning you were always to build a relationship through conversation and that these interactions could lead to a business relationship.  

Back when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, it was a connection tool for college students. It is still intended to be a connection tool today.  When people wonder why their $2,500 workshop doesn’t sell on FB, I tell them it is because it isn’t a low-cost widget and people want a bit of foreplay before they purchase something so big.  

To benefit from social media marketing, you must build relationships through consistent posting of value-added content (in other words, content that your target audience actually wants). When you try to sell something on social, offer a low-dollar way to engage with you (an online workshop, an informative, whitepaper, an interesting video or a way to opt-in and get something desirable). Once people opt-in or follow you, then you’ll need to nurture your relationship with them by creating a welcoming environment and posting content that encourages them to respond and engage with you.

Social media marketing is not advertising. It is not now, nor was it ever intended to be, a place where people go to buy stuff. However, with the right connection and relationship, you can, over time, convert your followers into buyers.

Lead Generation

In the days of old, salespeople worked a system called lead generation to drum up new business. You could create or acquire a list of leads and then reach out to those people through visits, cold calls, direct mail, and advertising in an effort to convince them to buy. However, the best salespeople will tell you that high-ticket items like coaching, masterminds, and retreats would require more than a cold call. For higher investments, there was always a need to establish a relationship with a lead by taking them out for dinner or drinks, inviting them to a ball game, playing a round of golf, and other means of wooing leads into becoming customers.

This same process is even more true for social media. You can run some Facebook ads for your $9.99 product to drum up interest and build your list but you will struggle to sell your $500 package to strangers no matter what marketing tool you use. Why? Because your audience doesn’t trust you yet.

Trust is the key to making a buying decision.

And you can’t build trust by spamming your audience with sales posts on social media or in emails. It’s a sure-fire way to get someone to disengage with you, lose trust, and forget you exist.

Relationship Marketing

If you are looking for a quick fix to filling your client list or selling out your program, class, or event – it doesn’t exist. Sorry to disappoint you. Marketing doesn’t work that way and neither does social media.

Relationship marketing is just the modern-day terminology for that old-school sales technique of getting to know your leads better and establishing a connection with people before going for the big ask. If you think of your audience as your own community, then engaging with and nurturing that community is paramount to success. Will there be people in your audience that take years to say yes? Absolutely. Some of them may never pay you a dime. However, they may mention you and what you do to a family member, friend, or co-worker. 

Once you gain attention from your audience and then earn trust, what you want will fall into place.

Is it a struggle each month to create and post social media content for your business? Do you just not have enough time in the day to get it all done? The Social Media Advisor team is experts in helping you stay consistent online! We’ll work with you to create an editorial calendar, messaging, and branded images aligned with your culture and promoting your business so you don’t have to worry about it anymore! Find out more about our Monthly Social Media Support package on our website.

 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How Can You Show Your Customers You Are a Thriving Business During a Pandemic?

During the first few months of the pandemic, many small businesses went quiet. They went quiet because they weren’t quite certain how to show up in a way that was respectful and appropriate for the situation. They were concerned about saying, posting, or doing the wrong thing at a highly sensitive and critical time. As the months passed, many companies pivoted or figured out ways to remain relevant and survive. Not all companies made it through. 

News and the media have flooded our feeds and it’s been difficult to keep track of our favorite bakery, nail salon, brewery, restaurant, life coach, etc. This is especially true for small businesses that haven’t been proactive about consistently posting and engaging with people online. Don’t assume that your customers know that you are still in business. Your die-hards will hunt you down but the rest are trying to get through each day, just like you. The only way your people will keep you top of mind and know that you are still in business is directly related to your commitment to posting online, sending your newsletters, and continuing with your marketing efforts.

If you’ve been quiet but are ready to get back in the game, here’s what we suggest:

  • Update your CRM software or email newsletter database and make sure it is current and then send out an announcement. Let your audience know what you are up to and what you’d like them to do next.
  • Post consistently to your social media channels at least 3x a week. This works best after creating an editorial calendar and marketing strategy. Contact us if you need support getting this set up.
  • Create some custom offers to thank your audience for their loyalty during this trying time to reward them for past business and encourage them to continue working with you, to sign up to work with you or to refer their audience to you.

Out of sight, out of mind is very real when it comes to running a small business. Do your brand a favor and start getting back out there. Your audience needs you to show up and show them the way.


Having a strategy in place for your social media postings will be key in developing relationships, staying relevant, and knowing how / what to post so you don’t run out of content.  By signing up for Quarterly Roadmap sessions, we will also cover the best ways to use ads and you’ll learn how to read reports so you aren’t wasting a ton of money. Instead, you’ll be strategic about your spending so you see results for your efforts. Contact The Social Media Advisor today to get started!

 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Commit to Relationship Marketing This Year

Often small businesses owners put a lot of time, attention, and focus on meeting and building relationships with new people. They don’t spend nearly enough of that energy on relationship building or retention with connections they’ve already made. 

If you want to encourage brand loyalty and stay top of mind with your current network, you’ll need a plan for that. While some people are natural connectors, it’s simple to let valuable relationship-building efforts slip through the cracks in the daily hustle of running a company.

Follow-Up Strategy

Wherever you go out and represent your brand in public, it’s likely you will meet people and establish connections. Whether it’s a cold lead, a warm prospect, a member of your target audience, or a potential collaboration partner – it’s essential that you follow up with the people you meet to stay top of mind and begin building that professional relationship. Common follow-up strategies include:

  • Bring a sharpie with you to jot down notes on the back of the business card of the individual.
  • Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to organize your contacts and notes.
  • Create a follow-up schedule and use a spreadsheet or software to keep you on track.
  • Create a sequence of actions that ensures you touch base with each person several times. This could look like an email, a handwritten card, a phone call, or an invitation to another event. 

Building Relationships

People want to be seen and heard. Do your clients know that you ‘get them’ and that you are in their corner – rooting and cheering for them? Honestly, there are probably plenty of companies that provide similar services to yours. This means that building loyalty is important for client retention. 

Do your clients hear from you on a monthly basis via email, zoom meetings, and handwritten notes or gifts? If not, what plan do you have to keep communication open between you and your clients and to nurture the relationship you are building with them? Your marketing and business strategy is essential but so is developing a plan for client retention and nurturing your leads.

Getting to Know People

A one-size-fits-all strategy rarely works as well as business owners would like. Yes, it is simpler and less time-consuming to create a client appreciation or retention strategy for everyone on your list. However, to really make an impact with your people you need to get personal. A personal touch will go much further, and inspire more loyalty, than a non-personalized approach.

One way to personalize your efforts is to uncover your client’s love language. Why? While some people respond well to gifts, other people don’t care anything at all about receiving gifts. The same could be said of the other languages of love including words of affirmation, quality time, or acts of service. While the love languages were designed to improve romantic relationships, it’s not too large of a leap to envision how they can apply to the relationships you are creating and nurturing with your business. To find out more about the five love languages, visit this website.

Looking for a new networking group to meet people and try out your new follow-up plan? Expand your professional network and build authentic connections in a community of like-minded women.  Join us for our WEBOs Lunch and WEBOs After Hours Networking events. Open to all women entrepreneurs and business owners.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

The Current Pivot to Online Networking

If networking was a part of the marketing strategy for your small business before 2020, you’ve seen big pivots and shifts this past year as connectors scramble to keep meetings happening and maintain their relevance during a pandemic. While it’s true that online networking looks quite a bit different than connecting in-person, months of testing, creative ideas, and innovation from caring and charismatic leaders have shown us that not only do online events work – but they have their own benefits and rewards. 

Finding the Right Networking Group

If you haven’t dipped a toe into networking yet, now is a great time to start. What better way to try out new groups than from the convenience of your computer or smartphone? We encourage networkers – old and new – to visit a variety of groups that are hosting online events to see what synergies may develop. 

Follow-Up Strategy

Just like with in-person networking, it’s more effective to have a follow-up strategy devised before you attend any new meetings to ensure that you are maximizing the connections you make online and nurturing those leads into actual relationships. Make it a point to set one-to-one appointments during these meetings with both potential collaborative partners AND any individuals that fit your ideal client avatar. A goal of even one meeting with someone new can lead to great things. Having a plan and being consistent are the keys to a successful follow-up strategy.

Make Connection Easy

Everyone is busy. Make connecting with new leads and partners easy by setting up a process for future connection. Create a Zoom account and offer to host a get to know each other meeting. Make it easy for them to schedule by setting up an online scheduling tool. 

Our advice is that you make the focus of that first one-to-one meeting relationship building, collaboration, asking deeper questions, and getting to know one another. Save the sales pitch to use after a relationship has been established and nurtured (unless they ask the right questions, of course!). The goal is to make new connections, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and explore opportunities that benefit everyone.

Looking for new groups? WEBO Network provides Professional Development Trainings, Masterminds and connection building opportunities on a regular basis, in a safe, virtual environment. I’m proud to lead the Southeast Denver chapter and would love the opportunity to introduce us to some fantastic women entrepreneurs and business owners!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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