The other day, a friend reached out to me and asked this simple question: “What are the major mistakes you see entrepreneurs making in their social media marketing, and what should they be doing instead?”
When I look back at all of the mistakes I’ve made in business and marketing and add my observations from working with over 57,000 business owners and entrepreneurs in nearly every country in the world, it dawned on me.
Social media marketing success boils down to three simple steps.
The secret: Don’t start with social media! Instead, focus on the resources you already have. Most entrepreneurs who start with social media wind up overwhelmed, frustrated and broke — until they fully grasp a concept taught to military snipers: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.”
Here are the three key steps to becoming a social media marketing machine:
1. Market: Know your ideal buying customer.
In reality, most people on social media are tire-kickers and clickers, not buyers, and you can’t buy a house or pay for your child’s college tuition with likes or followers. If I were given the choice of an email list of 100 paying customers who’d spent $5,000 or more versus 1 million Instagram or Facebook followers who’d never taken any action, I’d take the email list. Instead of reaching wide and broad to the general public, find audiences of buyers to start conversations with. For example, if you provide professional services, coaching or software services to businesses, I’d focus on Salesforce or HubSpot enthusiasts. That’s an audience of proven buyers.
My ideal buying customer is “business owners who are currently generating revenue and want to increase their income by two times or more, want to build a powerful personal or business brand and platform, have a history of investing in their personal and professional growth, and understand the value in investing in experienced advice.” My podcast is targeted specifically to several high-level business groups I belong to, and, based on experience, I know if a business owner listens to four or more episodes of my show, they’re engaged.
Action Step 1: Who is your ideal buying customer? What social media channels or podcasts do they pay attention to?
2. Messaging: Know what messaging creates fast buying or decision-making behavior.
In business, it doesn’t matter if you have 1 million likes or followers on social media if you can’t incentivize a viewer to join your mailing list or invest in your product or service. For example, a message that drives someone to take action for my ideal buying customer is targeted toward simplifying their life and business, creating more impact and income, and gaining more freedom and time off to spend with their family. I direct clients to my website for free downloads of my most recent book and a short video. I can place this message in my podcast or on social when promoting my podcast.
Action Step 2: What message could you share right now that would grab the attention of your ideal buying customer and incentivize them to share their contact information with you or start a conversation?
3. Offer: Create a high-end offer that is two to five times more expensive than anything you currently offer and appeals to your top 2% to 20%.
You will find that your top 20%, and especially your top 2%, of clients, are often the people who will just buy whatever the highest-priced program or product is because they feel like they deserve the best, and they’ll invest in the best, and they feel they’re going to get results that are going to be better. And in my experience, multiplying the value of an offer is psychologically very profound for them.
As an added bonus, when you determine who your top 2% are and you create a message that appeals to those people, that is how you attract the best possible clients and customers.
One of the highest-value offerings any business can provide is an experience. For example, I have a service offering that is an opportunity to work directly with me one-on-one on the beach in California.
I believe that creating amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially when they’re networking with high-level, high-quality people, has an extremely high perceived value. Any business anywhere in the world can create an experience, event or high-level product that people will pay a massive premium for — from something as simple as a chance to go behind the scenes and get a photograph to something as elaborate as a luxury weekend mastermind event with an on-call chef and master sommelier.
Say, for example, you’re a software company. Put together a live event. It might be a $500 or $1,000 ticket to come, but it’d be a great way to network and meet other members and a way for you to teach and educate your client or customer, build community, build an ecosystem and create relationships. For $2,000, you get a VIP ticket that includes dinner with the founders, and for $10,000, you’ll also get to meet with the core developers and communicate a specific feature that you’d love to see added.
People will pay for a bucket-list or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Action Step 3: What premium-priced product or service can you offer your ideal buying customer today that provides significant value, complements your “superpower,” is easy to deliver, requires little overhead, and is easy for a customer to say yes to?
If you know all three steps, you’re golden!
They really are that straightforward. Simplicity always wins. Remember: Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
To summarize, every business owner I’ve ever advised knows they leave a tremendous volume of opportunities and revenue on the table. Instead of going out to a cold audience on social media, focus on existing customers, referrals and a warm audience. They love hearing “what’s new and exciting” when it’s packaged and messaged properly. Once you’ve tested your message and offer and proven it works, it’s relatively easy to bring that marketing message to social media channels and grow the business by following the three-step social marketing machine.