The average American spends nearly half a day staring at a screen. When you think about how many of those hours are spent online, it makes you realize how important online media marketing is. If you think that marketing your product is enough, though, you’re thinking too small. Your expertise and experience are valuable marketing tools for engagement of followers, and engagement is what turns clients into customers. Selling a product is a dead end, solving problems and educating people opens a world of possibilities.
It’s not about the sale, it’s about the relationship.
Americans browse the internet for a variety of reasons: entertainment, boredom, socialization, work. But one of the most common reasons people use the internet is to figure something out or solve a problem. In fact, studies have shown that over 50% of Americans who have internet access get their answers from the internet. People are looking for reliable sources that can help them with their problems, answer their questions, and teach them how to do things they don’t know how to do.
How can you use the internet to create relationships instead of selling?
Offer free advice. Host a free seminar every month addressing a key issue your clients typically have that relates to your expertise. Use social media to invite your followers and get them hyped about attending! You don’t have to prep a sales pitch or set up a table with samples, just address common concerns in a creative and fresh way. This is a great way to market your business because there is little to no cost for hosting, but it brings people in and allows them to engage with the faces behind your product. (It also allows you to see who you’re key demographic is!
Go live. Sites like Facebook and Instagram have a “live” option where you can film yourself. Followers can hop on and see what you are doing in real time. They can even interact by asking questions or liking throughout the video. This is an excellent way to invite your followers along for the ride. You could host a live Q&A or give a tour of the office. Host an interview with employees and remember, the questions don’t have to be related to your product or service. In fact, make it personal and ask about favorite coffee shops, what they’re binging right now on Netflix, etc. Or hop on live and give a tutorial on how to install, use, or clean your product. Engage the visual learners!
Get creative. Have a contest. Get your regulars to design your next t-shirt. Have a chili cookoff. Host a trivia night.
Be real. One of the best ways to develop the relationship you have with your clients is to invite them into your life outside of work. Post pics of your Christmas tree, the pumpkin your kids painted, the puppy your kids begged you to buy. Give them an opportunity to ask you something non-related to your product/service! You may receive comments like: “Love that rug, where did you get it?!” or “My car looks like that too. #becausekids” This kind of interaction is so valuable to your business! Because it means they are connecting and living life with you! The more real you are with them, the more likely they are to turn to you the next time they need their lawn mowed or their migraines treated or their daughter represented in court. Because customers are people too, and at the end of the day when they have needs, they don’t want a salesperson, they want a person.