I received over 60 questions (to date) and was moved by the frustration so many online entrepreneurs expressed about how to get their message heard and seen in the cacophony of the Web.
11% of the questions were a variation on the question of “how to find your ideal client on social media sites.”
Many people wanted to know how to find “the right audience, fast” or how to “find new people” or how to “build a passionate community.”
Excellent questions. I want to be clear though, I’m not going to tell you that it’s a fast and easy process to build an audience of your ideal clients. They are not waiting together in a group, hoping you’ll find them. They are not hanging out in one place.
And, once you find them, what do you do?
There are some things you can do to get the ball rolling…
How to Find Your Ideal Client on Social Media
1. Mindset. First and foremost, remember that building your business is an ongoing adventure. It evolves; it morphs; finding and building your audience is an important part of your daily activities. It doesn’t end. For an entrepreneur, author, consultant, coach or other professionals, it means you are always marketing and social networking sites can be the best way for you to reach your target audience.
You (or someone on your behalf) needs to do the work consistently and constantly. You are marketing your business. There is no Fast and Easy Button (sorry!).
2. Research. What do you know about your ideal client? What are their hopes and dreams? What are their biggest obstacles? Do you know where they spend their time online?
With over 1 billion users, you may think they are all on Facebook, but maybe that isn’t true for your specific client. Knowing the demographics for your ideal client is helpful so you can use a site like Quantcast to check the social networks and find the best match.
The tip in the video below is obvious, yet often overlooked… (I made the video five years ago and it’s just as relevant today)
Once you have a picture of your ideal client and you know where they spend most of their time online, then you can create a strategic plan to reach them.
3. Foundation. Without a foundation for your online presence, anything you do on social networks won’t be well optimized. After all, you are a guest on the social networks – you don’t own or control them. You must have a blog site as your home base so you can move ideal clients from the social network to your online property.
Once your blog site is ready to receive visitors and is optimized to convert ideal visitors to ideal leads, then you move to the social networks. Read the 5 Essential Elements for Your Visibility Plan (about midway through the article).
4. Plan. Haphazard activity on social networks will get you haphazard results. You’re committed to marketing your business. You’ve done your research and know some demographic details about your ideal audience. Your blogsite is optimized.
What’s your plan?Haphazard activity on social networks will get you haphazard results.Click To Tweet
5. Engage. You’ve done your research and you’ve got your foundational pieces ready to receive. Hopefully, you’re not sick to death of the the words “engage” and “engagement” because this is the part you absolutely cannot skip if you hope to find and attract the right audience.
Your content is at the heart of it all. The articles you post on your blog and the microcontent you post and share on social networks begins the process of establishing your expertise, your tone, and your passion around your message. This is where most people give up. “It’s takes too much time” or “I don’t have enough time” are two common complaints. Yet, going back to #1, I invite you to remember this is your business we’re talking about. Do you want it to be successful?
Every single successful entrepreneur I know, and observe, is passionate about getting their message out. They are committed to doing whatever it takes to create the content aimed at their ideal client so they can eventually serve that client.
Complaining about lack of time indicates that maybe you’re not ready to build a successful business, yet. This may sound harsh to you, but I hear it all the time. You’ve got to be willing to work (mindset) for it and that requires a steady stream content in one form or another. Not once a month, but every single day.
Content = text, images, video, audio; long and short; live and recorded; original and curated from other peoples’ content (OPC)
If you’re stumped about what content to create, review this infographic from Copyblogger.
Before people flock to your business, you’ve got to go to them and there are hundreds of ways to do that. Start on your blog, then move out to the social networks you’ve identified when you did the demographic research in step #2. More on this in future posts.
Content is just part of the engagement equation. Not only do you have to engage the attention of your audience, you need to engage directly, person to person. Answer their questions. Ask them questions. Share their content. Have a conversation. The more you interact, the faster you move the “know, like and trust” factor forward.
Creating content and interacting with your audience takes time. No way around it.
If you want “fast” then go straight to video. [pullquote]Video is truly one of the fastest ways to make a connection with your audience.[/pullquote] Audio works well too, so consider launching a podcast and/or live Hangouts on Google+ to accelerate your visibility.
6. Communities and Groups. In addition to using video to connect, I strongly suggest joining and starting your own community on Google+ and/or group on Facebook and/or group on LinkedIn. Of course this depends on what you discover during the research phase.
When you host your own groups you can fine tune your message and invite or open to folks who are interested in a specific topic that is your expertise. For example, I have a group on LinkedIn focused on creating visibility for authors and entrepreneurs. It’s been a great way to meet new people, network, share info, learn new things, and yes, attract new clients.
7. Invite. As your audience grows, then, it’s natural to start extending invitations to get your freebies, join you on Hangouts or webinars, and make offers for your products and services. This can only be successful if you have built relationships by engaging on a regular basis, and offered consistent value with your content.
Easy, peasy, right? When you’re in the marketing flow, this will be a constant cycle and you’ll be working on multiple steps at any given time. It becomes natural and your activities will help you find your ideal client over and over again.
Where are you in this system? What steps do you need to add to your daily habits in order to find more of your ideal clients?
Post your comments below or contact me to find out how we can work together to get more visibility so you can find your ideal clients.