How to get more followers and clients

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Getting more eyes on your content can make or break your business and in the world we live and work in, the most efficient, time-effective way to get your company ‘out there’ is to embrace cyberspace.

You may offer the most amazing, comprehensive service on the market, but if nobody finds out about it, it doesn’t really matter.

That’s where building a following comes into play; ultimately, the people who retweet, like or respond to your messaging are the people that broaden your reach, refer potential clients and even become clients themselves.

Content creation and social sharing

Adding a blog page to your website is the best way to start sharing your own content. It’s an extremely effective way of establishing yourself as an expert in the eyes of potential clients, and highlights the benefits of working with you.

A blog is an extremely flexible platform, and will enable you to share everything from written tutorials and articles, to videos, presentations, audio recordings and infographics. This hub of niche content will also provide you with content for use on social media.

According to the Wolters Kluwer Social Media Survey, 77% of accountants use social media, so if you’re not yet online, you could be falling far behind the competition.

Linkedin is currently the most popular social platform for professional services companies, due to its strength is in B2B marketing. The Pulse section is essentially a blogging platform, and would provide the opportunity to repurpose all of your blog content, reaching a wider audience, and helping you to become a thought leader in your area. The Groups function also makes it easy to find potential competitors, collaborators and clients.

Twitter has become increasingly beneficial for those businesses hoping to interact directly with potential clients. Additionally, Twitter provides an excellent customer service interface, enabling existing clients to get in touch with you almost instantly, which in turn establishes your business as being easy to work with.

Both of these platforms are also perfect for sharing the content you’ve created for your blog.

The prep work

The cornerstone of an effective marketing campaign, whether online or off, is the prep. This is the area worth investing your time in, if you want to make the implementation manageable, efficient and speedy. Take a moment to map out your target market. Be as specific as you can.

Do you prefer to work with one man band operations or large corporations? Freelancers? Franchisers? Online entrepreneurs? Nonprofits? Narrowing it down does not mean you have to exclude other potential clients, it’s just going to help us develop a more targeted approach – you don’t want to be wasting your time and energy posting to every single social platform.

Find out where your ideal customers are hanging out. Can’t seem to find them? Ask your existing clients about their favourite platforms.

Attracting followers, fans and clients

Essentially, the rules online are the same as off. Be nice. Be polite. Be present. Be useful.

Take the time to provide excellent service to your clients. This puts you in a better position to ask them for feedback once the work is complete, and feedback is invaluable:

  • it helps you refine your business offerings
  • it makes your client feel listened to (and consequently more valued, and more likely to recommend you to others)
  • it provides you with testimonials (endorsements from previous clients are an extremely effective way of attracting new customers)

Promote good behaviour online

Follow the 1:4 rule when sharing content online – for every one piece of your own content you share, share four from other sources. This helps you to establish your business as a knowledge base in your niche. It also makes the humans behind those other sources more likely to share your stuff with their audiences.

Concerned you don’t have time to find great content to share?

  • follow websites in your niche through Feedly
  • set up Google Alerts using keywords that relate to your business
  • retweet/share a few of the links that appear in your feeds
  • use an automation suite such as Buffer to schedule your updates all in one go

Make it easy for people to follow you. Don’t make it difficult for people to find your updates, because unless they’re stalking you already, they just won’t bother.

Here are a few tips to make your social media accounts super visible:

  • include your handles on your business cards, and any other marketing collateral you produce
  • if you’re giving a talk, presentation or seminar, add your details at the end of the slide pack
  • make sure you have clear links to your social platforms in the header or sidebar of your website
  • add your details to your email footer
  • ask existing clients, family and friends to follow you – you never know who they might know, or if they need your services themselves

Saving yourself some time

As a solopreneur, I’m all about learning to work smarter, and use my time as effectively as possible.

First of all, decide on your boundaries. It’s so easy to get stuck in a social media pit. If you decide you want to spend 15 minutes a day on Twitter, set yourself a timer. Disable your notifications. Make it easy for yourself to stick to your own rules.

My next tip is all about creating less and promoting more. There are two main benefits of this; firstly, you’re helping yourself create high quality content rather than lots of stuff that’s “just okay”. Secondly, you’re getting much more bang for your buck.

Sign up for IFTTT and automate the sharing part. So say you’ve written an article for your website – as soon as you’ve hit publish IFTTT could share it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or any other platform you happen to be on. You could then have those updates sent straight to a Google Doc, to be shared again through Buffer at a later date.

You also want to look at ways of repurposing the same piece of content.

That article you’ve written for your website could become an infographic for Pinterest, a Pulse post on Linkedin, or a presentation on Slideshare.

Here are a few more ideas on limiting your time investment:

  • Set up an autoresponder in your email account, then disable the notifications to all your devices. Use that automatic response as a platform to share some links to your recent content. Do the same with the answering service on your phone.Bulk process. If you’re in the flow, write five articles for your website, that you can schedule over the next five weeks. Or, draft fifty tweets that will fill your pipeline for the next month.
  • Outsource the bits you’re not feeling great about.. If you’re not enthusiastic about something, doing it will feel like a chore. Paying someone to write your copy or manage your social media will free you up to do the thing you’re best at – fee earning.

So we’ve talked about:

  • defining your target market, and where to find them
  • how to come up with shareable content
  • how to build up your following effectively
  • how to stop wasting time

Are you ready to find yourself some new clients?

Jo Gifford mentors solopreneurs to tell their business story online and to work in smarter, creative ways on

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