How to Amplify Your Relationship Marketing

Thanks to social media and online marketing, we’re all acutely aware of the importance of online branding. There are some great tools out there for small businesses to build a brand that spreads virally across the Internet. But most brands are missing something important: a focus on relationship marketing.

Lead generation is a strategy that focuses on getting new customers, using techniques like email, cold calls, and ads to attract new clients. Relationship marketing works differently. It focuses on building existing relationships between you and your clients so they will come back to you and evolve into brand advocates.

Changing the Focus

Instead of wasting money on print ads and TV commercials, you should focus more on relationship marketing strategies. Relationship marketing means maintaining long-term relationships with your customers so they feel comfortable buying from you over and over again. When done right, it’s a lot cheaper than traditional forms of advertising, and it’s also much more effective because real people are talking about you without having to pay them to do so.

Relationship marketing is all about building trust. No matter what kind of product or service you provide, if your customers can’t trust that they’re getting a high quality product or service at a fair price, they won’t buy from you. So it’s important to build a reputation for quality and value in the marketplace. Once you change the focus from leads and sales, to building relationships – you’ll find that your business not only retains more customers and leads to more referrals, but you’ll find the additional satisfaction that comes with building a loyal fan base as well.

Be Active, Not Passive

The key to relationship marketing is creating connections and making people feel special. When you connect with people on a personal level and help them solve their problems, they will naturally want to do business with you again. This doesn’t happen when you focus all of your energy on completing projects. You have to be intentional about building and nurturing relationships for this to work.

There are a lot of ways to build relationships with your customers. In some cases, it might be as simple as thanking them for their business or offering them suggestions based on their preferences. The point is that you need a strategy for reaching out, staying in touch, and following up with your clients and customers.

Collaboration Over Competition

In our society, we’ve gotten accustomed to competing with each other. We’re encouraged to believe that we have to be better than everyone else in order to succeed. But this mindset can end up costing you in the long run because you may find yourself feeling isolated, stressed out, and overwhelmed.

The truth is that collaboration is a much more effective strategy for marketing your business. In fact, the human brain is hardwired for cooperation. We are social creatures who thrive on connection rather than competition.

Build relationships with the vendors, companies, trade shows, and competitors in your industry. You won’t regret knowing these people when you need them and they’ll all know who to refer when someone needs what you do!

Build Your Community

Create a community. In an age where everyone has an opinion and millions of people are posting their thoughts online, it can be hard to get attention. Create a place online where people can connect, share ideas and provide valuable information. No matter what business you’re in, chances are there’s an online community of people who interact on the same topic or are interested in the same product or service you offer. If there isn’t one, why not create one? Provide valuable information and people will come.

Relationship marketing leads to higher conversion rates: Studies show that businesses who invest in relationship marketing see much higher conversion rates on their email campaigns, social media posts and other online communication efforts. People are more likely to buy from those they know, like and trust so creating relationships with customers helps convince them of your credibility and reliability. You’ll also be able to create better social media content that resonates with followers and boosts engagement on your posts.

Relationship marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there. It will help your business grow, provide you with new leads, and help you make a name for yourself. But it’s not easy to do. If it was, everyone would already be doing it.

The first step is to shift your focus from sales to service. I promise that if you treat your people well, like friends and family, they will be loyal and they will refer you to others. The sales will happen naturally.

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 LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

Top 3 Ways to Cultivate New Business with Social Media Marketing

Top 3 Ways to Cultivate New Business with Social Media Marketing

You’ve probably been told that your business should be on social media but you’ve just not taken the time to figure it out OR you’ve tried your hand at social but just couldn’t get it to work for you. Just know that you’re not alone. Finding new business on social media is very possible but you may need a guide and a cheerleader to show the way and cheer you on!

Here are our top three ways to find new business on social media:

Consistency

Consistency is the most common piece of advice from social media marketing experts and the one small business owners find the most difficult to follow. Because there is not always an immediate benefit to sharing something on social media, it can feel like your efforts aren’t valued and may be a waste of time. However, every new business on social media starts in the same place. You have to earn the right to have an engaged audience by showing up consistently and sharing content that your audience finds valuable. If you only post occasionally, or when you think about it, you are training people that you aren’t dependable or reliable. You aren’t giving them a reason to stick around. Invest in posting consistently for six months in a row. I promise you’ll see a major difference in your results!

Trust

Trust is the #1 reason people choose to work with any small business. Purchasing is an emotional experience. Recent studies have shown that no amount of logic will convince someone to pull out their credit card or sign the dotted line. There is always an emotional reason behind why we purchase anything. Emotions = vulnerability. This is why trust is so key to the conversion process.

Here are some things buyers may consider before buying:

  • Have I heard of this company before?
  • Has anyone recommended this company before?
  • How does their brand make me feel?
  • Do they make a social impact?
  • Are they trustworthy? What sort of reputation do they have?
  • What can I find out about them online?
  • Where can I find out what other buyers think about them?
  • Does their website and social media grab my attention and, if so, does what they share resonate with my values and what I believe in?
  • What am I going to get out of this exchange?
  • Are they going to make it worth my time to pay attention or purchase?
  • Do I trust them? Will they do what they promise? Will this be a good investment for me?

These are just some of the things buyers consider when they are trying to make a purchasing decision. All of them are rooted in trust. The more you show up, the more you share your brand messaging, the more you interact with others online, the more opportunities you have to showcase that you are a trustworthy brand.

Interest

One of the biggest social media marketing mistakes is when a small business talks about what they are interested in without giving any consideration to the interests of their audience. This is why posting too much promotional content is bad news: no one wants to engage with someone who’s clearly only there to get money out of the interaction. While we know that your marketing efforts are about converting followers into customers, it’s essential that what you share is interesting to the audience first and foremost. Otherwise, why should they stick around to see more of your posts? Be interesting, be present, share ideas and information that are valuable to our audience – these are the paths to building the trust necessary for someone to choose to do business with you.

Are you struggling with not knowing how to use social media for your business?  Not sure when to post, how to post, or what #Hashtags even are? Over three months, we will develop a roadmap of exactly how to use social media for your business in our Quarterly Roadmap Sessions.  We will work on ads, reporting, creating posts for higher engagement, and break through the fears and frustrations small businesses experience with social media marketing. Let’s chat.


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 LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media Training, Speaking and Strategy Consultations.

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.

 

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.

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.


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