How To Make Qualified Clients Come To You, 24/7
Most of us agree social media can be a lot of fun. It lets you connect with friends, share pictures, and get lost in silly simulation games.
But as a business tool, is it worth the effort?
No – if you don’t know what you’re doing. Churning out posts and racking up fans, followers, and friends is a huge time-waster if you don’t have a strategy.
But the answer is Yes, absolutely and completely – if you know how effective social media can be when it’s part of an overall plan to promote your services.
I know several people who regularly use social media to land new clients. The interesting thing is that they invest very little time but get remarkable results.
I asked them how they do it. The tip-list I got is long, so I’m only going to cover Twitter and Facebook for now (after all, they’re the most powerful social media tools at present). Read on to learn how you can use social media effectively and efficiently to drive qualified traffic to your website.
8 Goals To Guide Your Social Media Marketing Engine
The number one, mind-altering social media attitude I’ve discovered so far is this:
When it comes to social media, your goal is to be found.
In other words, social media isn’t about reaching out to others. Your goal is to be found by others. Your role is not to pursue clients. Instead, you want them to come to you.
Isn’t that great? Anybody who grimaces at the idea of self-marketing should love this concept. Social media essentially offers you a way to stand up and be noticed without having to approach likely prospects directly.
As if that weren’t good enough, social media also lets you create visibility for your web-writing services 24/7. This means you’ve always got a marketing engine on autopilot all the time, which means you won’t fall into the feast-or-famine habit of so many freelancers when it comes to self-marketing.
Besides getting clients to come to you via a marketing engine that works 24/7, your social media strategy should include these goals:
- Pursue profitable relationships
- Get high SEO rankings on Google
- Build a quality network of contacts
- Provide good content
- Be consistent
- Make your posts viral
Land Clients In 140 Characters Or Less
Twitter can seem pretty silly if you don’t know the basic nuances that make it a marketing behemoth. It enjoyed 1,382% growth in 2009 alone and has over 19 million members.
Twitter offers you fast growth and an unlimited audience. There is no maximum on the number of followers you can have on Twitter. If you can figure out how to make them come, your follow numbers can shoot up into the millions.
(Side note: There is a limit to the number of people you can follow. Once you follow 2,000 people, you can’t have less than a 10% difference between that and the number following you. So, you can’t follow 2,000 people and only have 10 followers of your own. That’s the classic sign of a spammer.)
This brings up a good question. How do you get people to follow you, and why would they even want to?
First and foremost, provide good content. Here’s how you do that:
- Tweet helpful “nuggets” about your industry. For example, “Good teasers grab interest and put your prospect in the right frame of mind to buy.”
- Don’t be dull or overly personal. I see this kind of tweet a lot: “Just walked the dog. Can’t wait for football to start tonight!” Nobody wants to see your tweets about mundane things like what you’re having for lunch or whether you just took a shower. The occasional, personable tweet is harmless and may even build rapport, but your focus should be on actionable, targeted advice and observations related to your industry. Plus, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your personal life personal.
- Retweet interesting posts from others. When you see something of interest that somebody else put out there, retweet (RT) it to your followers. You do your followers a kindness by sharing the tweet, and it’s a considerate gesture to the person you’re retweeting. Down the road, you hope they’ll retweet your posts. (This is how your posts go viral, giving you more exposure to potential followers.) Here’s an example where @WebWriterAWAI retweeted something from me: “RT @MindyMcHorse Open Reality Blog – FREE to non Wealthy Web Writer members! http://ht.ly/2BP1R”
- Offer free stuff. If you have a free report set up on your website, tweet about it. Make it clear that it’s free. It’ll drive people to your website and build your list.
- Interact with @ replies. A lot of people don’t understand that social media is a two-way conversation. When people retweet you, say “thanks.” Here’s an example: “Thanks @WebWriterAWAI for the RT!”
- Use keywords set off by hashtags (#). People do searches on Twitter when they’re looking for key information. Say somebody needs an SEO copywriter. They search that term. Now, let’s pretend you recently tweeted “Increase conversion rates and ROI by paying attention to keyword phrases. #seo #copywriting” Your post will show up in their search.
- Respond to people who tweet direct messages to you. As I said before, social media is a two-way conversation. If a potential client compliments you or asks a question through a Twitter-based direct message, you could be leaving money on the table if you don’t respond.
Here’s how you build your audience with targeted followers:
- Auto-follow people who follow you. For the most part, this is a courtesy. When you follow others, they’ll auto-follow you. Not only does this build your follower numbers, it also keeps your ratios of followers versus those you’re following closer together. Use online tools so you don’t waste your time manually following new connections. Try www.SocialToo.com or www.Tweetlater.com. You can even adjust your settings to un-follow anyone who un-follows you after a few days of being connected (another classic sign of a spammer).
- Use keywords to find people you’d like to follow. If you want clients in the financial industry, target those who tweet using keywords like #financial and #investment.
- Make your posts 120 characters or less so people can retweet you. This way, you leave room for the retweet mention: “RT @MindyMcHorse” This gets your Twitter handle in front of a larger audience (another way to help make your posts go viral).
Now you know how to put good content out there that builds your numbers. But, how do you do it without wasting time? How do you connect followers to your website and get them in your sales funnel?
- Make sure your website URL appears in your Twitter profile. This means you have to customize your Twitter design background by going into the Settings tab on Twitter. Upload an image that contains your logo, website address, and ideally a call-to-action to visit your site. The URL won’t be clickable, but at least it’ll be visible from your profile.
- Use URL shorteners so you can link your website to your posts. A few good ones are http://bit.ly/ and Hootsuite’s Hootlet. Your post will look like this: “Find out what the writers roadmap to making money online is all about: http://ht.ly/2DzFF.”
Also, know that every tweet you send out into the Twitter world is fully indexable and independent, with its own unique timestamp. Use keywords and keyword phrases enough and your SEO ranking on Google will shoot up.
Land Clients With A Facebook Fan Page
Facebook is currently the largest social network, period. Over half-a-billion active users log on every day for an average of 55 minutes a day. The quote “Eyeballs are monetizable” from social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk really applies here.
So, how do you get your business message out in front of all those eyeballs?
The first step is to get a fan page (often called business pages now). Basically, you want a page that is separate from your personal profile; a place where you can provide industry-specific content to a targeted audience.
Some people argue that community pages or personal profiles are better than having a fan page. I disagree. Community page information doesn’t get indexed on Google, nor does it appear in the news feed most people view. Plus, you’re limited to only 5,000 members for a community page.
With fan pages, you can have unlimited numbers of people who “like” your page (Facebook’s way of describing fans) and your content is indexed on Google. You can even send messages to all of your fans or you can geo-target and gender-target your messages.
Better still, you can customize your fan page content with third-party apps.
To create a Facebook fan page that represents your web-writing business, you have to set up a personal profile. Technically, you could have a business profile, but then you won’t get as many privileges.
If you’re opposed to having too much personal information up there about yourself — don’t put any. There’s no requirement to have pictures or revealing information. In fact, as a safety precaution, you should never publish your birth year. It makes you prime prey for identity theft. Similarly, don’t list your home address and make sure your password is un-crackable.
Once you have a personal profile, select the option to “Create a page.” Next, choose “Brand, product, or organization,” then “Professional service.”
From there, you’ll want to work on the design, content, and promotional strategy of your web-writing services.
For instance, you can design your own fan page picture. Use it as another place to list your web address, call-to-action, or tagline.
Take the time to really fill out the company details and info tab. You want to put as much information there as possible with a full slew of relevant keywords. Include another call-to-action here, such as “Follow me on Twitter” or “Visit my blog.” Your goal is to let people know they’re in the right place, explaining how they join (where to click the “like” button), and what information they’ll get.
From there, your content should include posts from your blog or your website e-letters. Facebook lets you present them in multiple different forms, including notes, videos, and slide shows.
On that note, you can actually import your blog to Facebook using a third-party app (I’ve heard Networked Blogs is good). It’s a neat tool because comments that get posted to your fan page automatically post to your personal profile page as well. Other apps let you add an email opt-in box, start discussion topics, promote your other networks, or create interactive content.
You’re In The Driver’s Seat When You Make The Most Of These Opportunities
Overall, social media gives you unprecedented opportunity to build your reputation and grow your audience, in turn growing your client base. Both Twitter and Facebook are excellent marketing media when used correctly.
- They let you make the most of keywords to boost your Google rankings.
- They make it easy to network with potential clients, peers, joint venture partners, collaborators, and industry executives, putting you in front of likely prospects and well-qualified clients.
- They let you consistently link back to your website where you control the medium at all times, giving you a 24/7 way to pitch your services.
As a web writer, your clients expect you to be accessible. Monitor your reputation constantly and post memorable, helpful information you’d be proud to read ten years from now.
Of course, none of this strategy is any good if you don’t have a website. To be honest, setting up a business website that trumpets your web-writing skills is a pretty big hurdle — for new and seasoned web writers alike.
Fortunately, all that can change in just four days. The Wealthy Web Writer’s own Rebecca Matter is hosting what many of us will soon call “the single most-effective business energizing event” of our lives.
Starting Monday, September 27th, Rebecca will be hosting a training program titled Your ‘Freelance Website in Four Days’ Express Webinar Series.
Whether you’re a beginning freelancer or an established web writer, you’ll benefit tremendously from the targeted content presented. Rebecca and her expert guests will unveil special copy approaches crucial to effective freelance websites of all kinds, from B2B to design to SEO specialists.
I can guarantee, if this webinar had been around when I first tackled my website, I would have jumped at it. It certainly would have saved me months of mistakes, confusion, and frustration!
The bonuses alone make the webinar worth ten times its cost. If you’re finally ready to start the client-attraction engines available for your own web-writing business, you’ll definitely want to sign up today.
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