Growing a Business Online with Messaging, Engagement, & Perspective
Without a doubt, one of the most popular dilemmas I experience when helping small businesses grow their businesses online is the notion that my clients believe they don’t know what to say in their communication online. Or as we say in the business: messaging.
This is a chronic issue. And if you’re feeling it, you’re not alone.
But I also believe you're underestimating yourself and most likely over thinking it. You have plenty to talk about and a lot to say about your business!
I'm willing to bet that all that's going on is a little overthinking, which is rooted in performance anxiety and analysis paralysis.
First, we need to get you to reframe your thinking, then we need to get you to narrow in on the type of content that supports your business and speaks to your ideal clients.
Below are a few tips to help you approach creating content, allow you to reframe your perspective, and help you build authentic engagement as you continue to position yourself and grow your business online.
Every piece of content has a goal behind it
Each piece of content you share or write should relate to your business. Be deliberate about the content you share and write, ensure it relates or ties back to your business in some way.
Resist the urge to share content that doesn't have a goal for your business behind it.
Posting a selfie? Great! What's the goal behind it? How does the copy tie into your business and help your potential clients?
You can literally post anything you want as long as you tie it back to your goals.
Social media is addictive because of the immediate interaction it offers. Refrain from seeking this type of engagement by sharing content haphazardly. This is not only a waste of time but it can really muddy your message if you're not clear in why and what you are posting and the goals behind it. This goes for writing a blog post or a newsletter too.
Pro-tip: Create an editorial calendar or a document where you can brain dump ideas, so you always have a reserve of ideas and content to pull from and be inspired by.
Be ruthless about how you represent your business online through your content. Refine and determine what you share and speak about and why. This will not only make your life easier, but it will help you position yourself so you’re known for what you do.
You only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention online nowadays. Don't waste that opportunity on content that doesn't represent what you offer in business.
Think of your spaces online as a salesroom floor
As you continue to expand your brand reach, cultivate an atmosphere of welcome.
Think of your social accounts, blog, newsletter, etc. as a virtual sales floor.
If someone were to walk into your place of business, and they said something you wouldn't ignore them!
Be warm. Let people know you hear them. Invite them in.
Regardless of where we are with technology, businesses will forever be built on relationships.
Speaking of technology, it also behooves you on social media to get in there and engage with comments due to the fact that all platforms now have algorithms. When activity (likes, comments, shares) start to happen algorithms acknowledge this by pushing that piece of content in front of more people, giving it more reach.
Not only does engaging spread goodwill for your business, it literally helps you get more eyes on your content, and in turn on your business.
Understand who you're speaking to online
Where most people get flustered around what and how to speak in their messaging is they make the mistake of being too broad. They envision they're speaking to everyone.
The best thing you can do for your business is to narrow in on the ONLY people you want to help and should be speaking to: your ideal clients.
Forget everyone else.
There are so many ways to figure out who your ideal client is, but I would encourage you to look close to home. Look at your current and past clients and identify from that group who your absolutely ideal client is. Create a list of 3-5 people, and reach out to them and ask if you can interview them about where they were before they hired you and where they are now.
Focus on what they were struggling with before they worked with you and the results they achieved from your time together. By doing this you'll get marketing gold to use in your content! This exercise will help enormously when thinking of content you should be creating.
Rinse & repeat!
As your business continues to grow online, your content and audience may change. Don't get complacent. Keep an eye on what works and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to try new things. Stay curious, and continue to get outside of your comfort zone.
You absolutely know what to post, you just need to get clear and narrow in what works best for your business and the people you support and serve. You can do this!
Editor’s note: This post was originally written in May of 2017, it has been edited and updated for clarity and to ensure its no longer outdated.