We all hear a lot about social media and we all know that it can be a time suck for small business owners. We have all done it. We sit down to check email, then we hop into Facebook. When we look up, several hours are gone. Poof. Well, last week, we decided to use Facebook for something much better. We spent an hour prospecting in Facebook and I think it will launch our high-school senior portrait business without any large quantity printing or mailing expenses. We created a list of past high school senior clients who had younger siblings. Through Facebook, we were able to identify which ones are juniors so we could send personal notes to stir up some business. My studio manager is having a baby in a few weeks so while we want business, we didn’t want to have a flood of business in the next two months that we aren’t setup to handle. This tactic is allowing us to keep cash flow coming in and focus on clients who already know (and hopefully) love us.
Instead of taking the shotgun approach to building your business, spend an hour asap to reach within your current community to reconnect and stir up some business. Here are a few steps to get you on the right path.
– Cull through your database and find people who you haven’t seen or heard from lately. Your largest asset is your database so you should be familiar with those people on your database and continue a relationship with them. Because you aren’t a behemoth business, you have the advantage of knowing and having a relationship with everyone on your database.
– Make a list of 10 people you want to reconnect with. These can be people who haven’t been in or people you haven’t run into in a long time. If you maintain an ongoing friendship with your clients, when they have a need, they will remember you.
– Get in Facebook with the goal of finding out what these 10 people are up to. Start by friending them if you aren’t friends. Over time, you want to be friends in Facebook with all of your clients so you can cross paths and connect with them. Remember, Facebook isn’t just for having fire sales, it is about connecting with people.
– Once you are friends, read through their posts. Find out what is happening in their lives and find a way to intersect with their lives. For example, comment on their posts now and then. If you see something huge happening in their life, comment and then follow up with a personal note that you are thrilled that you are reconnecting after a long time. Don’t be afraid to say you have missed them and would love to catch back up.
If you hop into Facebook with the intent of connecting or reconnecting with current clients (and give yourself a time deadline to hang out there), you will find the benefits of social media. Don’t let it kill your day but instead, let it give your business some momentum. For a weekly jolt of Monday Marketing Momentum and more small business marketing ideas each week, be sure to subscribe to this joyblog.