Photo: Natee Meepian (Shutterstock)
Whether you are content to keep your sideline job on the side or want to turn it into your full-time job, you need clients and a strategy. And you know where the customers are: Scroll on Instagram and send TikToks to your friends TikToks. But how do you get their attention on social media?
Think about how you as a customer use social media
You’re not just a business owner or a prostitute; You are also a social media user and a customer yourself! What do you look for in the social media posts from brands and companies? Think about how you are already using social media and how you are experiencing your time scrolling through the apps.
Katherine Young, owner of the breakfast restaurant Mr. Bagel Westbrook with her husband, as well as the Modern Chandler Candle Co.She shared her social media strategy with Lifehacker: “We didn’t found Mister Bagel. We bought it. Although it had all of the standard social media accounts, the previous owner basically didn’t do anything with it. So really, one of the first things I did was get the word out of new ownership online, and that’s where our social media followers came from. “
Young looked at the existing social media accounts for their new business from the perspective of a customer and social media user and immediately realized that they needed to be reworked. So she invested the time and energy promoting the business online in a way that she would love looking for a new location for a bagel.
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Focus on authenticity and simplicity on social media
You may feel the urge to be a little front on social media and be buttoned up about yourself and your business, but remember that customers like to see that you are authentic. Because of this, some companies hire influencers to promote their business through influencers’ social media channels: seeing real people use a product is really helpful – and fun, for a potential customer. Focus more on sincerity than on the most beautiful, well-composed recording.
“My social strategy is authenticity and simplicity,” said Young. “I don’t have time to curate a fake persona, and I’m pretty much ‘what you see is what you get.’ Every time I try to have a grid aesthetic I find something I really want to post that doesn’t go with it and I end up posting it anyway. I even think my customers respect that and like that about me. I am exactly what you see and I do not pretend to be anything else. “
You have interests and a personality so show them off and give people a reason to support you, not just your product. Likewise, your prospects and customers have interests and personalities, so work on getting to know them.
Joseph Heller, CEO and founder of Delivered, said: “As a solo preneur, your main asset is your passion, your personality and your understanding of your customer. Unfortunately, having a website is a very static approach to selling online that doesn’t allow you to highlight these important benefits. In fact, you are at a disadvantage because your larger competitors can do a much better job of driving traffic to a website or having a website with a better experience. However, on social media, especially on Facebook Live, you have the advantage of speaking directly to your customers and interacting with them in a way that a larger competitor cannot keep up with. “
He added that, in his opinion, the biggest mistake small business owners make is not knowing who their customers “really” are: “We encourage our customers to focus on their target customers and have seen almost all of our customers succeed Revenue by selling in their specific niche, ”he said of Supplied, a wholesale marketplace where solo preneurs can choose from products with no minimum order quantity.
He recommends using Facebook Live to communicate with existing and future customers in the most authentic way possible, but play around with different platforms to see where your target audience spends most of their time.
Don’t forget about the social part of social media
Social media is just that: social. You can’t just post a picture of your product in your story and call it a day. If you leave the “social” out of social media, the “hype” remains from your sideline.
“Don’t be afraid to slip into direct messages from people you want to work with, or don’t be afraid to speak to the people who write or post the messages,” said Young. “If someone marks one of our bagels in their story, I don’t just post it again. I thank you for your business or comment on the picture. And I can’t tell you how many business contacts I made out of conversation, friendliness or just myself. I’m not afraid of letting the people behind the profile see and that has always worked in my favor. “
While she owns the stationary bagel shop, her candle company has no physical headquarters. All of their advertising and sales take place online, but Young points out that all of their wholesale accounts found Modern Chandler Candle Co. through social media. Thanks to social media, Young’s candles are available in other business owners’ shop windows.
“Social media is my main way of communicating with candle customers, so I certainly see upward trends when I post certain things,” she said. “For example, I made bespoke candles for a bachelorette party and when I posted them two brides got in touch and I booked two more bachelorette parties and a wedding for this summer.”
You may not see great engagement or incoming orders right away, but having a strong social media presence will help you in the long run by giving potential customers something to look at as they make their buying decisions. You know the old adage: you have to spend money to make money, so promote an Instagram or Facebook post here or there. Consider paying an influencer to pose with your products. Run a discount special for anyone who links to your social media or follows your account at checkout.
But whatever you do, never stop posting.
“My biggest tip is not to give up,” said Heller. “All of our customers who stick with online sales and are actively looking for knowledge and support can at least supplement their income, many can make it their full-time job.”