How to reach more customers
Some days the noise online just drives me crazy.
The constant movement of my Facebook feed, do I want to see the recent updates on Instagram or the top stories or heeeyyyy, what was that image that came across my Pinterest page? Did I pin that already?
This is what social media has turned us into – a bunch of grown-ups with social ADD.
But then some days, I just take a step back and listen to the noise. I use my time online reading the comments, posts and watching videos. I don’t think about how I’m going to respond. I just listen to what others are saying.
The Lost Art of Listening
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Think about that for a minute.
Let it sit in your head for a full 60 seconds. Don’t think about what you have to do later today or someone you forgot to call. Just be quiet for a minute and think about the words you just read.
When I relate that quote to social media, it makes me think about this:
People will forget what you’ve posted, they’ll forget what event you tweeted about but they will never forget the person who made them feel important because you heard what they had to say.
They’ll remember the ones who really listened to them.
How to really engage online by listening
We all know how to listen when people are standing right next to us. I don’t have to tell you to put your phone down and put your stuff away. And when you’re really listening, you do your best to look them in the eye.
This is the kind of thing I have to remind my son Jake to do.
I’m on daily with my “put down your phone and look at me when I’m talking to you” conversation with him. But he’s a 13 year old teenager with 13 year old boy thoughts moving quickly through that head of his.
Alright you get this point a heck of a lot more than Jake does.
So other than reading posts and replying to comments when someone asks a questions, how do we show people that you’re listening to them online? How can you really engage with more customers online?
1. Stick with what you know
You can’t be everything to everyone. When you believe in something, it shows. And people will come to you expecting to learn about what you know.
Think about my site and why you’re here.
You didn’t come here because I’m listing the top WordPress plugins or how to use Google Adword campaigns.
You’re here because I’m a small business owner like you. I live in a world full of client projects, teaching workshops and trying to fit conference calls in between the times I need to make dinner and deal with baseball practice.
And I get how important social media marketing is for us entrepreneurs. It gives us just as much opportunity to reach new customers as those great big companies online.
I think we even have the advantage over the corporate folks as we can react quicker, we’re in the daily trenches and we know our business better than a team of marketing people who may not even live in the same city.
I get all that and I love trying to teach you new ways to fit social marketing into your crazy busy day. I get excited learning about the different ways people use social media.
And then when I can pull it all together – new ways to use social media combined with the information about how you can reach your community to get the right messages heard by the people who want to buy your stuff – it’s like “winner winner, chicken dinner time!”
In my blog posts, my Social Media Productivity Planner and in my Social Media Conversations newsletter, I get to tell you everything I’ve heard when I’m listening online.
So I stick to what I believe in that helps small business owners.
Think about how you can share what you’ve heard online. Show people what you’re listening to and how they can benefit from you sticking to what you know and love.
2. Say what everyone is thinking
I have my moments when I can be a rather blunt person.
Some days, it’s to my detriment but most of the time, my straight forward way of talking gets people thinking. I may not tell you what you want to hear but I’ll always tell you what you need to hear.
I’m never mean spirited about how I say things. There’s just some days that stuff comes out of my mouth when it probably should have been a thought bubble.
That’s just me and the way I am.
What would happen if you took a risk and talked about the things that others were commenting about? What if you had the answers to the problems people were complaining about in that Facebook post that got 100 shares and over 150 comments?
Maybe the solution is something your business does and you know you can fix their problems. What if you said the words that everyone was thinking but didn’t turn it into a big hard sell moment?
And then you create blog posts to give them the steps they need.
Then take it a step further and developed an online program to help them work through their problems. I mean a cool affordable program that would give them creative prompts to get them to think about how they can resolve these issues.
You know you can help because you listened.
3. Show you care
The reality of listening online is this: People won’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.
This is why it’s so important in this world of constant online noise to learn how to talk less and listen more.
I see you – Take a look at this passage from The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter Senge:
Among the tribes of northern Natal in South Africa, the most common greeting, equivalent to “hello” in English, is the expression: “sawu bona.” It literally means, “I see you.” If you are a member of the tribe, you might reply by saying “sikhona” or “I am here.” The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It’s as if, when you see me, you bring me into existence.”
Think about how you can spend some time every week listening. And then show your community that you’re not just trying to sell them something. You’re saying, “I see you AND hear you because you are here.”
Looking for more ways to engage with customers online?
Imagine feeling confident because you’ve made real connections with the right people who know what you do and how you can help them. You know how to show up in your online spaces, sharing content that creates a sense of community with your customers.
Marketing on social media doesn’t overwhelm you anymore. You easily slip in and out of marketing in your social sites every week while still having time to build your business.
Do you feel like this?
- I don’t have anything to say that people want to hear.
- I’m uncomfortable seeing myself on video.
- I’m not one of those people who can just put myself out there and share. I don’t even comment in Facebook groups – I’m more a lurker!
I get it. I totally do.
I went on a journey of change. I wanted to learn how to have a better plan to be more visible and to create more meaningful connections.
And I pulled it all together – I mean ALL of it – the challenges I created for myself, my journal prompts, the whole thing! Then I turned all my notes, journal entries and results into a program called The Connect to More Customers Online Challenge.
The steps in The Connect to More Customers Online is 6 weeks of action-packed content, group support and accountability that will help you learn how to show up in your online space. You’ll develop meaningful connections that lead to deeper relationships and create easy sales conversations.
When you work through the actionable steps in this unique 6 week journey, you’ll not only know where and how to focus your valuable time but you’ll get connected to the right people who want to buy your products and programs.
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