Sure, posting on social media is a great way to get your message out, tell your story and create awareness. But, as I've said before, social media should not be your only marketing strategy. Instead, it would be best if you prioritized a few “offline” self-promotion strategies daily. When done consistently, over time, your book of business will expand exponentially.
Here’s a simple plan that should only take you 15 minutes a day:
Each day, aim to connect with (at minimum) three people via email, direct message, text message, phone call or even in a face-to-face conversation. The goal is to deepen your connections through these interactions; therefore, your targets should include people you already know. Be sure your list includes potential clients, as well as acquaintances who might be able to introduce you to potential clients or otherwise enhance your business through collaboration.
When you reach out, focus on sharing who you know, what you know and how you feel. Consider introducing people in your network to each other who might mutually benefit from knowing one another. If you find an interesting article that could be of value to someone on your list, pass it along with a personal note about why you chose to send it their way. Or express your gratitude, extend congratulations or otherwise celebrate someone on your list when the timing is right.
Your immediate goal is to brighten the person’s day on the other end of the interaction and, hopefully, continue to strengthen the relationship over time. Then, when or if the opportunity presents itself, the person might become a client, introduce you to someone who might become a client, or become a great partner for you in your professional pursuits. Remember, these are not “cold calls” or overt “sales conversations.” Sharing is elevated networking that rewards you in the long term by building trust and credibility over time.
2. Strike Up a Conversation
To build the list mentioned above, you will need to strike up a conversation with a new person from time to time. Brainstorm a list of 10 to 20 people that you want to get to know now to share with them later. Again, your list should consist of those who might need what you’re selling as well as colleagues who might help you find clients or opportunities. Choose one person from the list each day and send a message (email, direct message via social or even a letter).
You might not know the people on this list—yet—but by learning about them first, each day, you’ll be able to choose one and craft a message that will resonate and (hopefully) open the door to further communication down the road. Seek to understand more about what motivates them, what they are up to professionally, interests, goals, projects or how you might be an asset before firing off a message. The message should focus on them (not you), contain authentic praise (consider how they’ve impacted or inspired you), and a question that could get the ball rolling in a back-and-forth correspondence.
It may take two to three attempts before you get a response; be sure to space these out over time to avoid being perceived as incessant. Always be respectful of the person’s time and energy in your correspondence and aim to find ways you can add value to their life, as well. Understandably, this daily to-do is a bit more challenging than sharing, but the rewards are worth it as you watch your network expand in directions you may not have foreseen.
You must also make a sales offer every day. Big or small, aim to suggest something of value to your audience at least once a day. Your ask may come naturally during your daily sharing interactions or it could be via social media posts and direct messages, an email marketing campaign, during a free session or trial, or randomly as you happen to be in the right place at the right time. It should not, however, be included in your strike-up-a-conversation daily to-do task.
Making a sales offer to secure paying clients is critical and should remain a high priority. Still, flexing your sales muscle should also include:
- Drawing attention to your free offers
- Asking people to follow you via social media (if used for self-promotion)
- Reminding potential clients to visit your website
Your daily to-do list will take very little time, especially if you activate a system to help you remember with whom you should connect and when. Repeated daily, you'll be surprised how your offline marketing tactics will help you build your network and increase your impact.