Increase your Twitter presence to boost your business. Check out these great tips…

26 Twitter Tips for Beginners You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

by Dominique Jackson

Dominique Jackson is a pro blogger, inbound marketing specialist and Twitter addict. You can follow all his Tweets @djthewriter. The information below is excerpts  from the full article. To view the whole article, visit https://sproutsocial.com/insights/twitter-tips/

Follow These Twitter Tips for Success

While these Twitter tips might be geared towards beginners, brands of all sizes can benefit from them. We’ve seen our fair share of large corporations make cringeworthy mistakes on Twitter from time to time. So it’s never a bad idea to brush up on the basics or stay on top of new trends and tactics.

What are some of your favorite Twitter tips you wish you would’ve known sooner? Leave a comment or send a tweet to keep the conversation going!

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Ideal Length of a Tweet: 71-100 Characters

If you’re thinking to yourself, “71-100 characters is really short,” you’re right. Getting your Tweets down to under 100 characters can be challenging at first, but the positive side is it forces you to be concise. Being succinct and clear is key for Twitter since it moves so quickly. You often only have seconds to catch your audience’s attention.

According to data from Buddy Media, Tweets with 100 characters get 17% higher engagement rates than longer Tweets.

Twitter Maximum Character Lengths

All your Tweets won’t fall within that ideal length, and that’s perfectly fine. But on the other hand, you also have to be careful to avoid going above the maximums. There’s nothing worse than writing out the perfect Tweet, only to realize you’re at 153 characters and have to cut it down.

Here’s a look at the maximum word count and character limits on Twitter:

  • Maximum Tweet length: 280 characters
  • DMs: 10,000 characters
  • Twitter Handle maximum length: 15 characters
  • Twitter profile name maximum length: 20

In order to help users feel a little less restricted, Twitter made changes that allow you to fit more text in a Tweet. The following is not included in the 280 character limit:

  • Handles at the beginning of a reply don’t count toward your 280 characters.
  • DM Deep Links don’t count toward your character limit.
  • Images don’t count toward your 280 characters.

You can save yourself some frustration and avoid making your Tweets too long by using our  Twitter character counter tool.

Trying to craft the perfect Tweet? 

Whether you’re just starting out with a fresh Twitter account or have been tasked with growing an account for an established brand, it’s never a bad idea to learn some new tips and tactics to set yourself up for success.

That’s why we decided to compile a list of some of our favorite Twitter tips for beginners. From avoiding embarrassing Twitter fails to getting engagement or just figuring out what to tweet, we’ve got you covered.

Here are 26 Twitter tips for beginners that you’ll wish you knew sooner:

1. Tweet Early & Often

This tip is particularly important if you’re just getting started with Twitter. In the early stages, you don’t have any baselines as far as how often to tweet or the best times to tweet. And while there are some general guidelines (we’ve even done our own research) the reality is you won’t know the best time to reach your audience until you experiment.

Also, you need to be aware that your followers don’t all check Twitter at the same time. Some people might check in the morning and then not again until later in the evening. In order to get as much reach as possible, try tweeting throughout the day instead of trying to get all your tweets out during business hours.

2. Notice When You’re Over-saturating Your Followers

While you’re sending out all those tweets, you also want to avoid going overboard.

Tweeting every five minutes can be a bit much for your followers. The last thing you want is for your audience to get annoyed with all your tweets and unfollow you to quiet the noise.

It seems like social media character limits are constantly changing, so it can be difficult to keep up. At the same time, knowing the ideal length of a Tweet… may improve the likelihood that people will read or engage with it.

We’ll touch on this a little more in one of the later tips, but a good way to monitor whether or not you’re tweeting too much is to track your engagement.

If you increase your tweet frequency and notice your engagement starts to drop, it could be a sign that you’re annoying your followers.

3. Engage More Than You Broadcast

Somewhere along the line, brands appear to have forgotten that Twitter is a social network, not just a content distribution tool. As a result, Twitter feeds are filled with marketers and brands strictly tweeting links back to their website.

Sure, some larger brands can get away with broadcasting messages all day. But if your aim is to build your audience or use Twitter for something beyond just spreading brand messaging, you have to engage.

Ask questions, do Twitter polls or hop in on public conversations.

EXAMPLE:

WalkMe

@WalkMeInc

is just around the corner! What are you most excited about? 😎📱

 

4. Jump on Relevant Trending Topics

Speaking of engaging, a simple way to get started is to join in on trending topics. Take a look at the trending topics on Twitter, which typically have an accompanying hashtags. Then join in on the conversations when it’s relevant.

For instance, plenty of brands and organizations tweet to support causes and movements like Women’s History Month.

EXAMPLE:

MTV

@MTV

Meet @hailevthomas, the 17-year-old CEO and founder of @thehappyorg. HAPPY is a non-profit dedicated to guiding and empowering young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy lifestyle choices.

They included a video with this post.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to participate in conversations about trending topics. Remember, the topic doesn’t have to be directly related to your products and services. It can be something relevant to what your brand stands for or just something funny and quirky that you can create content around.

5. Take Advantage of 280 Characters

In 2017, Twitter made the decision expand it’s character limit from 140 to 280. And while people may have their opinions on whether it was a good or bad idea, the reality is it lets you fit more in each tweet. Don’t take it for granted.

Now, you can take your tweets beyond a couple sentences and expound a little bit and get creative like MoonPie.

EXAMPLE:

MoonPie

@MoonPie

A guide:

BRB: busy retweeting brands
OMG: order more goods!
MIMBF: MoonPie is my best friend
IB4B: I brake for business
LIT: lost in trends
PLMAIDAL: please leave me alone I’m designing a logo
HAHA: hire a huge accountant
ROI: right on, Ian

1,474 people are talking about this

6. Be an Industry Resource

This Twitter tip probably isn’t too far off from you’re currently doing. Content curation has been a staple for many brands’ social content strategy since the early days.

But the reason we’re adding this tip to the list is to encourage you to be more strategic about what you choose to curate.

Instead of automatically tweeting every new post from a blog’s RSS feed, take the time to hand curate the content you share.

7. Use Data to Make Decisions

When you want to make changes to your Twitter strategy, is it just based on your gut instinct? Making important decisions just because you “feel like it” can come back to bite you in the long run.

Instead of doing things on a whim, take a few minutes to look at your Twitter analytics and analyze what’s working and what’s not. Then based on your data, make a plan to get closer to your goals.

For instance, if you look through your analytics and notice that your tweets including a video get 50% more engagement than tweets with just a link, take it as a sign that you should start implementing more videos into your Twitter content strategy.

8. Be Part of The Twitter Community

One point we stress a lot is that Twitter isn’t just a content distribution tool. It’s a social network brands can use to connect with their audience. A part of that is being a part of the community.

Too many brands make the mistake of spending little to no time getting to know the Twitter ecosystem.

One of the best ways to get acclimated and participate in the community is to get involved with some relevant Twitter chats. If you’re curious about whether or not it’s ok to join in on Twitter chats from your brand’s Handle, the answer is yes!

We get plenty of brands chiming in on our weekly #SproutChat and it adds a unique perspective to the conversations.

Sprout Social

@SproutSocial

Q2: Are case studies only for B2B companies?

View image on Twitter

PathFactory@pathfactory
 

A2: Definitely not. I think they are used more formally in B2B but customers in any industry can benefit from seeing how a product or service can help solve pain points in their lives. Case Studies (maybe we should call them Case Stories?) make things more relatable.

 
Graphic templates are easy to set up with the help of all the great design tools out there like Canva or Adobe Spark. Pick one template to be used for quotes and stick with it. If you host a lot of events, create a template specifically for promoting the event.

If you have a company blog, go through your posts. For each post, pick out three quotes that you think will grab someone’s attention and make them want to learn more.

Now use the template to create the matching three quote graphics. Save these graphics in an organized place. Finally, begin scheduling your post several times in the next few months.

The New York Times

@nytimes

Same, honestly. http://nyti.ms/2EPbSOx 

View image on Twitter

The New York Times consistently uses the white text on black background when they pull quotes from their stories. Notice that the font and color combination matches its brand.

As you use more quote graphics, your audience will begin to recognize the graphics as coming from your brand. Also, you can add a small phrase and/or logo in the corner for all of your photos.

While the branding is clearly marked on the photo, a good template will subtly nudge the reader into noticing the phrase.

10. Automate When It Makes Sense

There’s a good and bad side to social media automation. It can be an extremely helpful way to be more productive, or turn your Twitter account into a complete chatbot that nobody wants to deal with. The key to using Twitter automation well is to be selective about what and how you automate.

Some good examples of Twitter automation would be:

  • Scheduling tweets in advance instead of manually tweeting everything
  • Using a social media management tool to automatically tag incoming Tweets that contain a certain hashtag
  • Using Twitter chatbots to streamline your customer service workflow

On the flip side, some bad examples of Twitter automation are:

  • Sending automatic DM’s to new followers spamming them with links
  • Relying solely on automated tweets to handle customer complaints

As a general rule of thumb, try to automate time consuming tasks that don’t necessarily require too much manual work.

11. Don’t Copy What Other Brands Are Doing

When you’re in the early stages of Twitter and building up your brand, it’s common to do a little bit of competitive analysis to see what’s working for your competitors. However, the problem kicks in when instead of being inspired by what others are doing, you completely copy their entire strategy.

For instance, after hearing all the praise Wendy’s received for their witty and sassy replies, you might be motivated to take on a similar persona. But if that’s not your brand’s personality, you shouldn’t feel obligated to completely change your strategy to match the current trend.

12. Use Retweet With Comment

It has become pretty common practice to Retweet people or brands when you want to share something interesting someone else tweeted. However, you can take things a little further and layer on engagement by using retweet with comment instead.

retweet with comment

The difference is you’re able to add commentary onto the retweet instead of just re-sharing what someone else tweeted. That way it’s a bit more personalized and adds additional value for your audience.

Twitter Management Learn More Banner

13. Optimize Your Blog Post Titles in Tweets

On a similar note, when you’re tweeting an article, you don’t have to just use the blog post’s title for your tweet. Vary it up and personalize it for your followers.

For instance, let’s say we wanted to share this Fast Company article.

fast company article

A lot of marketers might just use the article title for the copy in their tweet, like this.

original tweet copy

The problem is most of the people sharing this article will likely use the same exact headline.

fastcompany tweets

So instead, we can personalize the copy to stand out.

customized tweet copy

You know your audience. Craft your tweets to appeal to what they’re most likely to respond to.

14. Stop Measuring Success by Follower Count

This next Twitter tip is less of a tactic and more of a general best practice. In the early days of Twitter before we had access to all the data and analytics tools we have today, one of the most common ways brands measured success was by follower count. The assumption was if you were getting more followers, your strategy was working.

But it’s 2018 and we’re past the days of basing all our efforts on the goal of getting 100K Twitter followers. Instead, you can set goals that connect to your larger business objectives. And there are plenty of metrics to track your progress.

These days, brands measure success by:

  • Engagement growth
  • Brand sentiment on Twitter
  • Customer response time
  • Leads generated

Start by thinking of what your brand hopes to accomplish on Twitter. Then set goals around that and decide what metrics you’ll use to measure your progress.

15. Don’t Neglect Twitter Video

In a world of dwindling organic engagement across pretty much every social network, brands are constantly looking for ways to reach their audience without paying for ads. One of the best strategies to achieve that is to use Twitter video.

In fact, 82% of Twitter users watch video content on the platform. And it’s best to share native video than tweeting YouTube videos. According to Twitter’s data, native Twitter videos drive 2.5 times replies, 2.8 times retweets and 1.9 times likes compared to third-party videos.

Home Depot is a brand that’s well known for their video marketing efforts, and they’ve used videos to drive organic engagement in a pay-to-play world.

The Home Depot

@HomeDepot

Together, we made 2017 our best year yet. Take a look at what we accomplished last year.

Embedded video

118 people are talking about this

If you’re looking for ways to boost your engagement, start sharing more videos on Twitter.

Related Article
A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Twitter Video

Twitter is one of the most established social media platforms available to businesses today, which has created a lot of Read More …

16. Know When to Take Conversations Private

One of the most popular uses of Twitter for brands is customer service. That makes sense, seeing as how social media is consumers’ top choice for customer care today.

peoples top choice for customer care

But when you’re using Twitter for customer care, it’s important to know when to take the conversation off of your Twitter feed and into DM or email support.

Twitter is a great place to get the initial contact, but when it’s time to dig into the details, move the conversation to a more private channel. It’ll help protect sensitive customer information, avoid having conversations from irate customers on your Twitter feed and give you the opportunity to get more details on the situation.

Delta does a great job of taking initial complaints through Twitter, but then taking the conversation to DM to dive deeper into the situation.

Jeremy Henry@Jeremy_Henry_JH

Made it to connecting flight at MSP. However, Delta already gave my seat to another passenger. Delta is on fire today.

Delta

@Delta

Please follow/DM your confirmation number so that I may take a look. Thank you. *ATJ

In order to provide your customers with a seamless transition from Twitter to a deeper level of customer support, you can use a social media management tool like Sprout with built-in Zendesk integration.

That way, if you need to escalate a customer complaint from Twitter to another department or rep, none of the context from the original conversation gets lost.

Conversation history in sprout

17. Get Organized With Twitter Lists

Twitter lists allow you to organize accounts of interest into groups. For instance, you might have a list for influencers you want to engage with, or people who follow you that are customers.

twitter lists

One of the biggest challenges of Twitter is the mass amount of information thrown at you at a single time. As soon as you log into the app you’re staring at hundreds, if not thousands of tweets from various accounts with little to no structure. That can be overwhelming to say the least.

When you organize everyone into lists, you can start to create a workflow. For instance, you might check your “Customers” Twitter list first, then your “Influencers” list next.

So instead of seeing the latest tweets from everyone you follow, you have mini-streams you can prioritize.

18. Use Twitter Search to Find Your Target Customers

Twitter is a goldmine for sourcing new leads. Think about it. People use Twitter to voice their opinions, issues and pain points about everything going on in their life.

By doing a couple quick searches, you can discover tons of people speaking about issues your products and services can help solve.

For instance, let’s say you have a chain of Reiki studios that offer migraine relief services. You could do a Twitter search to find people complaining about headaches. Here are a couple results from a search we did with just the term “headache:”

headache twitter search

These would be great leads for the Reiki chain. From here, you could offer some quick tips on how to relieve a headache and direct them to your website for more information.

This simple and actionable Twitter tip can result in new leads and even customer for your business.

19. Respond When People @Mention You

One of consumer’s biggest pet peeves on social media is when brands ignore them. In fact, 15% of consumers will unfollow a brand if they don’t receive a reply.

actions that make people unfollow a brand on social

If you’re a larger brand that receives hundreds or thousands of incoming tweets a day, you might not be able to reply to every single mention. But you should be sure to prioritize mentions from customers, media mentions and other high priority tweets.

And the quicker you can respond, the better. Our data showed that customers expect a response from brands on social within four hours, yet most brands average a 10 hour response time.

peoples wait time expectations vs brand response time

20. Assume Everything You Tweet is Permanent

We’ve all heard the stories of PR nightmares from brands tweeting inappropriate content or giving rude response to customer complaints.

One of the easiest ways to avoid these types of situations is to tweet with the assumption that someone is going to see it. And if the tweet is something you don’t want to be public, or goes against what your brand stands for, don’t share it.

Even if you leave a tweet up for two minutes and delete it, there’s always the chance that someone took a screenshot and will share it across the web.

Long story short, tweet responsibly.

21. Sneak a Second Link in Your Bio

Here’s another Twitter tip that can help you get more traffic or leads. Did you know that in addition to the main “Website” link you get in your profile, you can also put a link in your bio as well?

put multiple links in twitter links in bio

There are plenty of ways to use this to your advantage. For instance, you might have one link go to your company blog, while the other goes to the home page. Or one might go to a campaign-specific landing page while the other is for your newsletter.

And as a bonus tip, if your brand has multiple Twitter handles, you can include them in your bio as well so people can quickly navigate to them.

22. Don’t Feed the Trolls

While Twitter can be a great platform to connect with your audience, provide customer support and network, it also has its fair share of trolls.

Twitter trolls are accounts who will try to bait or attack your brand for no real reason or cause, outside of just wanting to get your attention.

You might be wondering why we’re even putting this tip on the list since it seems like common knowledge. However, the difficulty comes into play when you need to differentiate between a legitimate customer complaint and a troll. The difference isn’t always so clear.

If you’re in doubt about whether a customer complaint is legit or a troll, the best approach is to reply professionally and wait for their response.

Trolls Example Don't Be Afraid

23. Make it Easy for People to Get in Touch

As we mentioned earlier, customers often look to Twitter as a customer support channel. Make things easier for them by being easy to get in touch with.

Warby Parker does a great job by including their official handle for customer support in their bio. They also enabled the ability for anyone to message them, regardless of whether or not Warby Parker follows you.

warby parker twitter

The more difficult it is for customers to contact you, the more frustrated they’ll be by the time they actually speak to a representative. And the last thing you want is to get branded as the company that provides poor customer service. It’ll push away potential customers.

24. Don’t Spam People

We touched on this a bit in the tip about automation, but we really want to reinforce this. Do not be the brand that goes around spamming as many users as humanly possible.

Most of the spam on Twitter is self-promotional unsolicited messages like this automated DM.

spam dm

You might be thinking, “how is that spam? They’re offering value.”

When the recipient has no idea who you are, isn’t looking for your service and has never had any contact with your brand before, their first interaction shouldn’t be your attempt to push your products or services, even if it’s a “deal.”

If you’re curious of whether or not what you’re doing qualifies as spam, read through Twitter’s guidelines.

25. Create a Branded Hashtag

Want to get some user-generated content on Twitter? Start by creating your own branded hashtag.

Branded hashtags give you and your audience a way to easily see all the tweets related to your brand even if they don’t include your Twitter handle. They’re also great for tracking tweets around specific campaigns. For instance, Netflix often has hashtags for its original content. These branded hashtags make it easy to track conversations about new or upcoming shows and movies.

Rotten Tomatoes

@RottenTomatoes

Our first look at Netflix’s reboot – premiering April 13

Embedded video

345 people are talking about this
To take things to the next level, combine branded hashtags with your social media analytics tool to gather data on sentiment analysis, reach, impressions and more.
Sprout brand keywords search

26. Spend More Than 2 Seconds on Your Copy

Since a tweet is so short, it’s easy to write it and just send it out into the world. However, taking a few seconds to double check your spelling and tone can save you from embarrassing mishaps.

Sometimes a seemingly innocent tweet can be misinterpreted simply because of a typo or the way it was worded.

Content downloaded by T. Defoe on 3-13-2020 from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/twitter-tips/

What are the Best and Easiest ways to get New Sales?

# 1 and 2 below tend to be best and easiest regardless of the business type. The other methods will vary based on the type and budget of the business.

1) Current Clients – As long as you have provided them with good service, they already know you, trust you, like you, and are happy with what you provide. When there is a new opportunity for them to buy from you again, they likely will.

2) Referrals – People who receive a recommendation from someone they know and trust about a particular product and/or service provider, will be much more open to connecting with the referred provider and to buying from them. – Joining Exclusive Business Referral Groups has been shown to exponentially increase new sales for Solopreneurs and Small Businesses. – GTApreneurs has taken Referral Groups to a whole new level with a Business Coaching and teamwork format for meetings and a unique and exclusive, “Suggestive Referring” mechanism.

3) In-person Networking events – These could be business specific events or social events. The more people you talk with and let them know about what you offer for your business, the more new sales you are likely to get. *Keep in mind that you need to follow-up with the people you meet or they will likely forget about you and your business offerings. This means sending an email or phone calls within 48 hour of meeting them and if they agree, adding them to your email marketing list. GTApreneurs hosts great networking events where you can pitch your business to the group, talk one on one with other entrepreneurs, enjoy food and beverages and have fun.

4) Website with high SEO – Websites are essential for businesses today. A website gives your business legitimacy and shows that you are serious about your business. Having your site rank high in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or others, can be very effective at attracting new clients, but, it can be costly. Talk to several Digital Marketing Specialists about how they can help you and their rates before making a decision to pay for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), then evaluate after a few months if it is bringing in the amount of new prospects to create the income you want and compare that to the cost of keeping up a monthly SEO plan. 

5) Social Media direct messaging – This can be very effective. I regularly get and send messages on Facebook and LinkedIn. They are great for both telling people what you do and MORE IMPORTANTLY for asking for phone or video appointments where you can get to know each other and your businesses better.

6) Social Media posts – These are good for building your brand. They remind people about what you offer. They can lead to people contacting you about your business. But, don’t rely on them exclusively for your advertising. With so many service providers and so many people promoting their businesses online, just posting and expecting a flood of people to continuously knock at your proverbially door, is not likely to happen, unless you are Apple, McDonald’s or another billion dollar international company who have virtually bottomless pockets and can blast information about their new products both organically and through paid advertising on social media as often as they want to.

7) Cold Calling – This can only be done to business owners without their prior permission. You need to have prior permission before calling people you don’t know to solicit business. If you are a B2B business, an initial phone call coupled with a follow-up email can be effective, but, it takes courage and well prepared scripts to get started. Once you’ve nailed your script and your used to making the calls, this would be a good prospecting method to use at least once a week.

9) Door Knocking – Going door to door, whether it be to residential homes or businesses, this is the most challenging way to get new clients. It takes a lot of courage, pre-knocking practice, time and energy to do; but, it has been shown to be an effective prospecting method for many different businesses like Real Estate Agents, Financial Advisors and others.

8) Paid Ads – These tend to be more effective, I’ve found for product-based businesses than relationship-based businesses, and they can be very expensive.

hashtagBusinessCoaching hashtagNetworkingEventsToronto hashtagReferralGroups

Advice, Support and Referrals to Grow Your Business

Important to remember… but, it’s also important to put your efforts into the best things that will take your business to the next level. Putting lots of effort into things that are not going to work is just frustrating and a waste of time and money. If what you have been doing hasn’t been working, ask others for advice and modify your approach or processes to get your business engine running smoother and getting you more miles per gallon. Consider a GTApreneurs Exclusive Referral Group where you can meet regularly with a group of entrepreneurs who will be happy to give you suggestions on how to generate more income. You will feel supported and gain new clients as well, both from other group members and through the referrals they send you. For more information, visit https://gtapreneurs.com/business-referral-groups/

The Elevator Pitch

What is it?

It’s a short 30-60 second presentation you give to others, typically about your business, although it can be used for other purposes as well.

It comes from the concept that most people are willing to give you about 30-60 seconds of their attention to listen to what you have to say before either wanting to talk, their minds wander or they start thinking of ways to leave the conversation.

Depending on a few factors, that might be the time it takes to ride in an elevator.

What is the purpose of the Elevator Pitch?

To inform your listener about your business and spark their curiosity so they want to learn more about you.

The goal is to make a good impression on a prospect, not just with the information you relayed, but by the emotional connection that may have been established as well.

That way, the prospect is more likely to respond to your follow-up phone call, email or private social message.

Pay attention to how long you are talking at one go. Leave out some details so the prospect can ask you some follow-up questions.

Talking for too long at one go, as most of us have at some point, creates a situation I call a “Black Hole one-sided conversation.” It’s one-sided because there is only one person talking; there is no back and forth as their should be in a healthy conversation. It’s a black hole because it keeps going and going with no clue as to when it will end.

What are the main components of an Elevator Pitch?

1) Your name and company name, if you have one

2) Your Professional Title

3) Your Target Market (TM)

4) What you do for your clients

Stay tuned for more tips about how to create and deliver an effective Elevator Pitch.

Author – Tammy Defoe, GTApreneurs

January 14, 2020

Get the Most for your Advertising Buck!

When you are considering how to promote your business, consider the following factors:

  1. What is your TARGET MARKET? (i.e. Who are the people or businesses who are most likely to buy your products and/or services). If you try to promote to anyone and everyone, you will waste a lot of time and money and get much lower results than if you narrow down your audience.
  2. Is takes an AVERAGE of 5-7 TIMES or a person to see, hear or otherwise experience something that educates them and reminds them about your business before they DECIDE TO either BUY your products and/or services or to take action to investigate the product or service more thoroughly, such as booking an appointment to speak about the details more or to take a tour of your facility if you have one.
  3. For RELATIONSHIP-BASED BUSINESSES, it is not enough to rely on passive advertising methods to generate the kind of revenue you want from your business. PASSIVE ADVERTISING, such as having a Linkedin profile/LinkedIn company page, a Facebook business page, print media, a website, social media ads and other social media profiles in not enough. They are very important though, so people can look you and your business up if they want to learn more about you and see if you are a legitimate business, and to at least be a bit aware of your business and what you offer.
    1. SOCIAL MEDIA ADS – Do they work? They may or may not. I have found that they work best for product sales rather than service sales, except in certain cases. If the service is for an event hosted by a well-known presenter, such as Tony Robins or Kevin O’Leary for example, you will probably get more traction. But, for smaller, less known service businesses it might not be worth the money. If you are just starting out in your business, I do not recommend paying any money for social media ads, like Google, Facebook or others. They can be very expensive and your advertising dollars can get eaten up very quickly.
  4. For these types of businesses, it is especially important that you have PERSONAL CONNECTIONS with your target market, as the feeling of having more of an emotional connection with a service provider is more likely to tip the scales towards them wanting to become a bit more invested with you and what you offer.
  5. What kind of personal connections am I talking about?
    1. The old-fashioned phone call
    2. Personalized emails or messages on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media platforms which allow for direct interaction between the service provider and their prospects and clients
    3. In-person meetings, such as networking events and coffee, meal appointments or office appointments
    4. Phone or video call appointments
    5. Referrals.
  6. The #1 most inexpensive and least time consuming way to generate new business is through REFERRALS. Half the battle when it comes to selling anything is having people who are already interested in buying someone’s products and/services, as they don’t need to be educated on the type of products and/or services you provide and why it would be beneficial for them to buy it. They already want it and are looking for someone they can trust to give it to them and when they learn that someone they know or have been acquainted with tells them that they know someone who is a great service provider and who could help them out, most of the work has been done for you, you just need to bring them over the finish line.
  7. NETWORKING EVENTS Attending these is the second least time-consuming way to make these personalized connections is by attending  At these kinds of events, everyone is open to listening to what you have to say about your business. Everyone is of course there to also share with others what they do for their business, but, they know that they need to be open to others as well.
    1. The GREAT THING about Networking Events is that you can personally connect with a LARGE group of people in a VERY SHORT period of time. Of course, you still need to follow up as a one-time meeting doesn’t typically result in a new client immediately. But, you’ve made a very important connection with them which may increase the likelihood for further communications. They see you in person that you are a REAL person with a REAL business and they get a sense of your personality and authenticity.
    2. Not all networking events are created equal though! There are numerous networking events out there, all with slightly different formats and costs.
    3. When you are looking at the available events, look at the details of what will be happening at the events, the potential benefits to you and your business and the cost.
    4. NOTE: Most “FREE event’s are NOT FREE! Most often, events that are listed as “FREE” require that you PURCHASE food and/or beverages at the establishment where the event will be taking place. Restaurants, pubs, and event centres have to make money and they can’t allow patrons to take up space in their venue and not make any money from it. Every table and chair in a restaurant or pub is worth a certain dollar amount to the restaurant, and if you are paying them anything, they are losing money.
    5. Consider this, the average price for an appetizer at a restaurant, is around $9.00. You get a beverage with that for another $4.00 and you are at, $13.00. When you add on HST, that’s $13.00 + 13% = $14.69. When you add on a tip it comes to $14.69 + 15% = $17.00. If you order a full meal, the lowest price is likely around $15.00, plus a beverage at $4.00 = $19.00 + tax and tip = $24.69. In other words, FREE events might not actually be FREE!
    6. Then there are events that you pay a fee for. Consider this, what will you get for your money? What is the structure of the events and how do they differ from the free events? Do they provide FOOD and BEVERAGES? If they do, then consider the cost of the event with the food and beverages that you will get and the other features. It might be worth it to pay for the paid event if you will be getting MORE at than would might get at the “free” events.
  8. Next, there are PERSONAL EMAILS/SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES. These also work great, but, you may have to wait until the person checks their email account or social media pages to see your message and then they have to find it enough of a priority to read and reply to your message. Even then, if you have a wait a bit, it’s ok, just go for volume. Increase the number of messages you send.
    1. What you say in your message is critical, and it would be best to keep it short. To be most effective, make your goal to get an agreement to further contact with the person, not to sell them on the spot. If you do this right, you might get a phone appointment, a coffee appointment or an offer to let you send them some more information by email. If you get any of those agreements, consider it a VICTORY, and feel confident that you are on the way to potentially making a sale in the future. If you are not getting very many responses to your messages, consider revising your message, and see if it gets a better response. Ask others for their opinions.
    2. If your business provides a service that is not as well known or which might be perceived as not necessary, relevant or needed, this method might not be the best, as prospects will likely need more education about your services before they consider having any individual connection with you.
  9. PHONE CALLS – There are pros and cons of phone calls. First, it works better for some businesses than others. Second, the person might not be available to take your call. Third, it can take some extra emotional courage to call up someone you don’t know or don’t know well to have a conversation about what you can offer them.
    1. Will it work for your business? It will first depend on the type of business you have, but, more importantly what you say during the phone call. Most people don’t like to be called randomly by sales people.
    2. I recommend taking a more subtle approach. Call someone and let them know your name and what you do and ask if they would be interested in having you send them some and email information about a particular topic. You can also tell them that you are not interested in “spamming” them and that they can opt out of receiving any more emails from you at any time. At first, they might be skeptical, but, if you don’t ask them for a sale, you just offer to send them some information and how it might benefit them and they agree, you just got your foot into the proverbial door. Take it slow, one step at a time and it could lead to a sale in the future and/or a referral.
  10. EXCLUSIVE REFERRAL GROUPS – These types of groups have been proven to be EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE at generating new business for members. They do require a significant UPFRONT INVESTMENT; however, most people who join find that they are worth it. They tend to make money money off of the new clients

BUSINESS NETWORKING STRATEGY #1

*Determine If You Have a Relationship-Based Business That Would Benefit From Attending a Networking Event.

These are the types of business owners who typically attend networking events.

FINANCIAL/LEGAL

  • Accountant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Financial Advisor/CFP/Mutual Funds/Segregated Funds
  • Insurance Agent – Life/Health
  • Investments Advisor – Stocks/bonds
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Bank Representatives or other business lending businesses
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Lawyer – Family law
  • Lawyer – Litigation
  • Lawyer – Other/Legal Service
  • Paralegal
  • Lawyer – Real Estate (Occasional)
  • Lawyer – Corporate law (Occasional)
  • Lawyer – Estate Planning (Occasional)
  • Lawyer – Immigration (Occasional)
  • Lawyer – Personal Injury (Occasional)

B2B

  • Digital Marketing/Website design and hosting
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Business Coach/Consultant
  • Software development/programming
  • Other IT solutions
  • Promotional Products/Printers

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS

  • Life/Wellness/Spiritual/Intuitive Coach
  • Nutritionist/Nutritional Supplements
  • Fitness Trainer/Yoga
  • Physical Therapist (Occasional)
  • Acupuncturist (Occasional)
  • Chiropractor (Occasional)

HOME IMPROVEMENT

  • General Contractor/Handyman (Occasional)
  • Interior Designer/Staging

PERSONAL PRODUCTS

  • Make-up/Skincare
  • Essential oils/Aromatherapy
  • Jewelry

BEAUTY/ARTS/LEISURE

  • Travel Agent
  • Videographer
  • Photographer (Occasional)
  • Sport/Rec facility (Occasional)
  • Telecom – phone/internet/TV (Occasional)

These types of business owners would benefit from attending networking events:

HEALTH & WELLNESS

  • Homeopath
  • Massage Therapist
  • Naturopathic Doctor
  • Osteopath
  • Physiotherapist
  • Wellness spa owner
  • Hypnotherapist

HOME IMPROVEMENT

  • Roofing company
  • Electrical contractor
  • Plumbing contractor
  • Eaves and Windows cleaning
  • Landscaping/Trees

PERSONAL PRODUCTS

  • Homemade Candles
  • Homemade Soaps
  • Homemade Furniture