From Hustle to Bustle: Build an engaged audience that’s ready to buy from you!
By: The Digital Mel
Content may be king, but Community is where your customers are at. It’s absolutely vital in these times to maintain a business that can be managed 100% digitally. Not to mention, imagine being able to scale your business and be able to sell your services regardless if you are “in the office” or not(!) Sectioned off into 5 pillars, here are the steps to going from the “hustling” phase to transforming into a Bustling Business.
Pillar 1: BECOME THE HUB In any industry, we want to become that central hub from which our audience derives inspiration, information, and advice. The first thing I recommend to build your network is to create “source-worthy” content such as infographics, ebooks, informative guides — anything
that people can actively use to make their daily lives better. Infographics are my personal favorite because they are easier to go viral. If you run a google search for the term “free infographic template” you will find a plethora of tools available at no cost to customize/create infographics. Just make damn sure you put your social handle in the middle of any visual element you create, so you don’t risk losing credibility down the road.
[⚒️Tool Tip] When creating your source-worthy piece of content, be sure to run your desired headline through the AM Institute to analyze the EMV [Emotional Marketing Value] of your title. (Yah, that’s a thing, it’s been around awhile…) Make sure your headline has an EMV score of over 30%.
Pillar 2: Attract an audience using viral content from industry trendsetters
Once you have that source-worthy content around a hot problem that you have solved in
your industry, the next step is to do a ROUNDUP blog post. According to Successful Blogging, “In a nutshell, a roundup post is a compilation of expert answers to a single question.
Roundup posts are very valuable to readers because they get many expert opinions in one place. The post brings in traffic because many of the experts will share your post with their audiences. You also build relationships with the experts because you’ve featured them on your blog.” When done effectively, this type of post can skyrocket your traffic and result in building a relevant audience.
[⚒️Tool Tip] The magic that makes this successful is in making connections with the influencers that you choose to feature in your post. When you focus on building relationships with these authors and then sharing the valuable content with your network, ask for reciprocation so that your network grows.
Neil Patel has a great post about the anatomy of a RoundUp, and how it can skyrocket traffic
to your site. He starts out with an example of how to make an infographic and also includes examples of how to do SlideShare presentations, guest interviews, among others. The process of creating such a post is a great way to find your unique voice in the industry, and get some great feedback from experts, AND their communities(!)
Pillar 3: Build your network on LinkedIn with low-hanging fruit Now that you’ve got some great source-worthy content up your sleeve, the next logical step would be to up your game on LinkedIn, and (re-)connect with the people who are already in your network. Not just friends and family, but previous colleagues, former bosses, clients, acquaintances, anyone you have spoken with. Let them know via targeted, specific, and personalized messaging (e.g., InMail) what you are doing. This can also be done via email marketing, but my first recommendation is to start on LinkedIn.
[⚒️Tool Tip] The best way to connect with professionals from your past, present and future, is again, to build your following on LinkedIn. One way to connect with a group of people at a time is to sync your contacts to your LinkedIn account via the LinkedIn Contacts Manager. With this tool you can connect with contacts whose contact info you have had, and give you a new opportunity to actually connect with them on this platform — so you can share information with each other, and, even brainstorm a way to work together now, or in the future.
Social Media Examiner summarizes how to use LinkedIn very effectively, and how to build your professional brand on the platform: (Original post can be read here)
“Share articles and write posts relevant to your industry.
Find the right people: LinkedIn recommends reaching out to your connections to give a warm introduction to your second-degree connections, connect with people in the same LinkedIn groups as yourself, and connect with people who have viewed your profile.
Engage with insights: Check the number of views on your posts, profile, and articles. When someone has viewed your profile, why not reach out and connect with them?
Build relationships: Comment, share, and get involved in conversations with your network”
I’ve got a step-by-step article/post on how to build up your audience and uplevel your business on LinkedIn if you’re interested in taking a look at it. But for the sake of continuing this conversation, we’re moving on to the importance of maintaining a clean & up-to-date email list.
[⚒️Tool Tip] It is important to stay in touch with people, and regularly, send out applicable, practical, and revolutionary(!) content to keep your brand top of mind. Even if it’s just once a month, you always want to reach out and educate, inspire, & motivate your audience to do something different. Always be at the forefront of eliciting positive momentum so we can collectively evolve as professionals.
Pillar 4: Upgrade the Rolodex and amplify your message to draw in your existing audience
Earlier I mentioned making new contacts. While that’s important, it’s also equally (if not more) important to start with the contacts you already have. If you haven’t already, turn your entire professional Rolodex into a [private!] spreadsheet. [Mine are all on a password
protected Google Spreadsheet in my Drive.] Some people have that software that allows them to scan business cards and add them in to their address book — slick, right? If that’s the case, download that (or whatever you have) to an excel-formatted spreadsheet. Name & organize the tabs on the bottom by industry — add your contacts’ first name, last name, email address to each spreadsheet, we’re going to need this when it comes to organizing your contacts into various “lists” (or categories).
I recommend setting up an account with an email provider [I use MailChimp] most are free for up to a certain threshold of a few hundred email addresses. Upload your most up to date spreadsheet into your email lists so you can manage what content goes to whom. Create an email that has a “catching up” vibe, as well as including responses and/or reactions to recent events.
[⚒️Tool Tip] Remember, to send emails that are purposeful yet intentional about building your relationship with your recipients. Intertwine calls-to-action for people to get in touch with you, either by replying to the email, putting an appointment on your calendar, whatever.
Make sure, that if you do the latter, to include a [free] calendly link to your calendar so people can book an appointment with you — it saves the ‘going back and forth’ on scheduling something.
Finally, be sure to include all of your relevant contact info *with an action item* in the signature via: 1~ Join your exclusive facebook group 2~ Connect on LinkedIn 3~ Book an appointment on your calendar 4~ Get the latest copy of your ebook 5~ Register for your webinar or online event ….the list goes on!
Pillar 5: Build your transformation
To be successful in doing new things, we need to be intentional about what we say and to whom. If you’re wanting different results, then start doing things differently. Stop relying on traditional methods of spraying your brand all over the place and then praying someone calls. You’re better than that.
Once you solidify your network/connections on linkedin and get that email list going, it’s time to band with the like-minded people in your network and provide both of your audiences with valuable content. In other words, leverage other people’s networks. Let’s call it, the “Power of Guests”.
I’d like to think that this is going for the low-hanging fruit: Invite guest blog posts. You know what your audience wants to hear/learn about. Give them that information. Also, give them that same info from another SME’s perspective so that it enriches your audience’s experience with you. Think of it as a win-win situation, do it strategically & often. Guaranteed, if someone does a guest blog post they will share it with their network, which is what we’re aiming for.
Another tool to leverage: Guest Interviews via Video, Live Session, webinar, episode or Podcast…. Or whatever else! The key here, [THIS IS POWERFUL!] is asking your guest to share the following with their networks: 1 — The news that they’re going to be a Guest on your event. 2 — Invite the people in both of your networks via electronic invite of some kind 3 — Follow up with people in your network during and after the event
I hope you read: Exposure, exposure, exposure! On all 3 of those. Obviously, there are
multiple ways to go about all of these scenarios. Hundreds of ways to do hundreds of things, but the point is, to be.social. Because being strategically visible attracts people to your brand, and BUILDS YOUR TRIBE!
[⚒️Tool Tip] Rinse & repeat without giving up — networking and visibility with value, this is how you build your audience.
Besides, as you go through the motions with people in this regard it helps you to build your voice and solidify your presence in the digital marketplace. Practice always makes perfect.
I’m going to conclude this post by saying what I always say: Content is King, because it builds your credibility — but community is where your customers are, and you can’t build a community without providing value. Focus on providing abundance to those you serve, and through the law of attraction that abundance will come back to you in the form of paying clients.
Now more than ever is the time to be focusing on getting your business operations & strategy to be 100% digital.
With forced closures, remote work, and our daily lives now 100% digital, shouldn’t your business be the same?
If I can do 1 thing for you that would enable you to make your business 100% digital, what would that be? Drop me a comment below, or reach out to me directly via my website!
About the Author: Having spent 10 years in various corporate roles selling software, and bringing start-up ideas to life as bonafide business concepts, Melissa has been a Digital Socialite and self-proclaimed #Digitalpreneur since 2010. Watching her Entrepreneur father succeed in the Financial Services industry, she has dedicated her professional career to enabling small businesses to establish their breakthrough in the Digital Marketplace. A tri-lingual, world traveler at heart, Melissa believes in “laptop life” and provides world-class coaching and implementation of online systems to build a lucrative sales network, and successful, ‘6-figures-and-beyond’ business using the tools you already have.
Book your 1:1 strategy session (worth $180/hour!) at no cost to you on her Calendar by clicking on this link: https://calendly.com/thedigitalmel/30min