Are you making sales or just collecting fans?

74095-SocialNetsYou might be on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, because everyone says you need an online presence. But, is your online marketing actually getting you bookings, consulting jobs, and sales?

The ultimate goal of online marketing is to get people to hire you and buy your books and products. But, getting that casual fan on social media to become a prospect and then a client is a process. Part of that process involves getting a fan to –

  •  Go to your website
  • Join your mailing list and/or subscribe to your blog
  • And perhaps call or email you for a free consultation.

Only after a period of receiving and reading your marketing messages will a percentage of your then-prospects hire you and buy your products. The “like” or “follow” is the beginning of the process, not the end result.

What’s the difference between online marketing and social media marketing?

A lot of people are confused about these two. Online marketing includes using social media posts, email marketing, your blog and website, search engine optimization, display advertising and the placement of online articles to market you and your business.

Social media marketing is part of online marketing. The goal is to get your content, or posts, shared by the other members of the network with the end goal of getting fans to go to your website. Most business owners do some form of online marketing, but may not be optimizing their social media profiles to generate leads for their business.

Fans are not prospects

The biggest mistake speakers and consultants make in online marketing is to assume that social media fans and connections are the same as prospects. Think back to Facebook pages you’ve liked and people you’ve followed on Twitter. Were you ready then to buy those services or hire that person?

No fan becomes an actual prospect until they join your mailing list. Then you “own” that prospect and can continue marketing your services and products to them. Until that happens, you’re just “renting” that person on social media.

How to start converting your fans to prospects

  • Get a subscription to an email marketing service. A service like Mailchimp, Aweber or Constant Contact will enable you to manage your mailing lists and give your emails a professional look. Google “email marketing services” for a list of services to compare.
  • Give people a reason to join your mailing list. “Join my list” is not an incentive. An “ethical bribe” – a free tip sheet, a report, or a short ebook – will increase your sign ups and act as a marketing piece for your business. (Not sure how to create a free product? See my free class offer at the end of this article.)
  • Develop ongoing content for your social media sites that appeals to your target audience. Don’t just talk about your services or products. Focus on solving problems for your audience and developing relationships with your followers.
  • Market your ethical bribe periodically in your posts. Be sure to include the link to your signup page on your website.
  • Use Google Analytics to see what social media sites are sending traffic to your website. Also track your conversions – how did clients and customers find you?
  • Adjust your plan as needed.