Updated: Nov 13, 2019
This post was written and submitted by Amelia Roberts of Solutions By Amelia
Out here on these internet streets, there seem to be lots of people giving lots of advice about marketing strategies that require a team of 12 full-time staff just to implement.
Because of this, you can easily find yourself trying to run Facebook ads, make your own sales funnel, do Facebook lives every day, all while servicing clients, caring for your family and working a day job. It is easy to see why many small business owners are challenged with selecting what marketing advice to follow.
I feel that it is just plain wrong that after all of your years of experience that you now have to also master all of these things and become a marketing Guru, just to find new clients. This post will invite you to consider a new way to get more traction and with less effort.
As a digital native, I too had to learn how to use social media for more than watching cat videos and posting selfies. As an under-recognized health professional, I chose to invest in learning how to use social media to connect with like-minded people who wanted to hear what I had to say about topics that mattered. From there, I started to build a platform where I could share what I know with others.
Here is how you can do the same:
Review the work you have done.
Pull out points that you have enjoyed.
Find an audience that has a problem that you solve.
When you have those mapped out, you’ll be anchored in knowing what to do to get in front of the right people and not be all over the place with your valuable marketing resources.
Instead of being overwhelmed with all of the latest (and yet sometimes impractical) marketing tactics, you'll be focused on a few targeted actions that will get you in front of the right people in a meaningful way.
Here is an example of a client who was able to get almost 500 leads in under 4 weeks.
My client helps people who need support for content development and social media management. I encouraged her to post something in a group she was a member of along the lines of, “I noticed a lot of conversations around posting on social media, I am just curious, would you be open to receiving help to address your content challenges?”. By her posing that question and offering to provide some value, hundreds of people “raised their hand” asking for her to get in touch with them, and her email list grew rapidly overnight!
Here’s how you can achieve similar results:
First, identify your lead pool.
When it comes to growing your audience, I do not recommend starting from scratch. Instead, I recommend starting from where your best buyers are already gathering and consuming content related to the problem you solve. For the client mentioned in this case study, there was a specific Facebook group where her ideal clients all gathered looking for more information about how to help their business.
When I was searching for WordPress help there was a specific question that I had. Related to that, I found myself in an online WordPress forum reading about solutions. There I noticed somebody who added so much value that I was compelled to reach out to them and hire them on the spot.
You can choose to be an easy-to-find resource by placing yourself in the place where your best buyers are gathering. To do this, identify 20 Facebook groups (or other online/offline communities) that hold your ideal clients*. For instance, a baker, photographer or dress designer may choose to join a facebook group that is lead by a business coach for event planners or folks in the wedding industry.
Go into the group and start offering value. Take notice of what people seem to enjoy and who engages with you. Add the people who engaged with you to a lead list where you continue to pay them special attention.
By being in the group for some time, you will begin to notice common themes and challenges. Make a list with the topics you've noticed that people have questions about.
From there make a document (I suggest using Google docs) that address these issues at a high level. Then load this document into an email collection service such as MailChimp or lead pages so it’s ready to be delivered to the people on your lead list.
Once that’s ready,
Go back to your list of 20 Facebook groups and take a look through the group's post, taking notice of whether or not people are offering value to the group. Choose the groups that are not offering a lot of value so your value-rich post will stand out. Review the Facebook group’s guidelines and see what sort of posts are allowed. If you have any doubt about whether your post will be well-received reach out to the administrator beforehand and say “hey I am somebody who solves a problem that I see coming up in your group, may I offer them a solution to their pain without cost?” or “I'm doing market research and I'd like to ask your members a question related to a problem I noticed, would that be okay”.
There are many ways that you can reach out to Facebook group admins and see how you can partner with them in serving their community.
Once you get the OK from an admin of the group, make your post like the one my client made: “I noticed a lot of conversations around posting on social media, I am just curious, would you be open to receiving help to address your content challenges?”.
This strategy of getting in front of hundreds of new people in a short amount of time can work for other platforms as well.
You can use this method when reaching out to podcast and or youtube hosts. The goal would be to lead with how you can solve a problem that you've observed in a non-competitive way.
Here’s an example:
Take a photographer who serves families that have a budget to hire a private photographer to capture important family events.
In thinking about where their ideal customers gather, it would make sense for them to reach out to a local private school. In doing so, the photographer would offer the private school a free class to their parents on “how to take better pictures of their kids during sporting events”. By doing this the photographer (and the school) gets to share free value with the parents and also advertise their services to their target market.
Think about win-win situations you can create for yourself.
I would love to hear about the collaborations that you come up with.
Reach out to me and share your ideas: amelia at solutionsbyamelia.com
Amelia Roberts is a digital native who officially became a practitioner of online marketing twelve years ago with a role as a virtual assistant. Student loans from nursing school inspired her to put her marketing experience to use and she started offering social media management support to a variety of purpose-driven organizations. Shortly after that, Amelia had the opportunity to become an online community manager for a health literacy association and later dove into social media data analytics with Stanford University’s MedX project. Along the way she saw a need for other health professionals to start disseminating their expertise and make reliable health content easy to find. One thing lead to another and now, as a visibility expert and digital marketing consultant, Amelia helps under-recognized professionals become thought leaders by skipping the maddening Facebook Ads, sales funnels, and algorithm changes. She coaches her clients on how to engage with online collaborative partners such as podcast hosts, bloggers who already have the “know, like, and trust” of thousands of supporters.
Connect with Amelia at www.solutionsbyamelia.com