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6 Keys to Engage Your Audience and Gain Expert Status
Social media is a key way to reach and engage more people in less time. You no longer have to physically be in front of a person to create a relationship and facilitate a purchase. Coaches today that are utilizing the power of social media are making a huge impact by reaching and changing the lives of more people across the globe. But how have they found this social success?
The foundation of social media success is engaging your audience. By interacting with your fans and followers you foster a relationship with them; they get to know, like and trust you. This means sharing, liking, commenting, mentioning, and messaging. With this interaction, your social media efforts will pay off as you will become known as the go-to coach and the expert in your niche.
Though it takes time to create successful social media engagement, over-planning and procrastinating will get you nowhere fast. You can start one step at a time and ramp up your efforts. By building consistency in your social media marketing you can gain notoriety, expert status and further your coaching success.
Here are 6 key strategies to get you on your way to social success.
Key 1: Your Profile Page
The first step is to optimize your profile page on each social media channel you choose to be active on. It is best to start with one or two that your audience is active on. You need to create a page that welcomes engagement. In addition to the content you share and the interactions you have with your audience, your profile itself will play a major role.
First, your profile should recognizably be you. At a glance, a visitor should understand clearly who you are and what you do. Make it incredibly obvious and specific. Clarity over clever is a golden rule in marketing, especially on social media where people glaze over the details. Use your real name and a real picture of you. For best results, include a picture of your smiling face that is clear and taken at a close enough distance for clarity. Do not use your logo, people want to be coached by a person and not by a company.
Your social media profile will have a bio that allows you to give more details. While the basics of your profile will give an at-a-glance big picture view, this part of your profile will allow you to explain more. Focus on explaining not only what you do but also how your coaching benefits your clients. The more specific you can be the better.
A good way to write your bio is to choose just a few important facts to highlight for your audience. Start off with what you do and how it benefits your clients. Then, cover your three or so greatest achievements or things that make you unique. Try to remember what specific things customers or clients have said about how you have transformed their business, and emphasize them here. You want to sell yourself through this bio, so keep it as factual and relevant as possible.
Be creative and original with your profile page. It should serve the purpose of telling what you do, but it should also stand out from other similar pages. Show your unique personality. A great way to make your profile more unique is to look at other profiles to get ideas on how you can set yourself apart. Try to find something no one else is saying or doing that is appropriate to your profile.
Key 2: Focus on Your Followers
Always keep all of your social media activity focused on your audience, not on yourself. Too many coaches, feeling that their social media presence is about them, fail to engage their audiences because they talk about themselves exclusively. Yes, your social media presence is about you; but it should be framed in such a way that it speaks to your audience.
One way to do this is to always focus on the benefits of your coaching. Do this in your profile and as much as possible in your content and interactions as well.
For example, rather than saying, “I’m a coach,” say, “I find an extra $10,000 of revenue in any business without spending a dime on extra marketing.” Rather than telling your audience the features or technical specs of your coaching or coaching packages, explain how you save them time, money, or hassle.
You also focus on your audience by engaging with them to understand them better. You can do things like:
- Ask questions about your audience’s business, life and goals
- Ask for your audiences’ opinions
- Put a request out for feedback on an idea
- Present a specific problem your audience may face and ask for ideas on solving it
You can also share the content of others and praise them for it. Look for opportunities for sharing content, giving credit for ideas, and congratulating others on their achievements. If you do this, it creates a very real and authentic relationship which makes your audience much more likely to engage with you.
Another advantage of this is that it gets you valuable feedback that allows you to get to know your audience even better.
Key 3: Quality over Quantity
Naturally, the more you post and interact, the more likely you are to engage. But it’s not about how much content you share. Your posting efforts should focus on quality over quantity. A well-done post that’s highly valuable to your audience is worth more than a hundred that don’t offer anything.
What exactly defines quality? For our purposes here, think of quality as the importance or relevance to your audience. “Good” content is content that your audience consumes, enjoys, and talks about. They will interact with content that they feel is relevant or helpful for them.
Generally speaking, quality content is content that’s helpful, solves problems, or answers questions. It’s the information your audience is looking for.
In addition to being helpful, good content can also simply be entertaining. Think of all of the funny videos or cute memes that have come across your social media feed. They certainly didn’t help anyone solve their problems, but they went viral and gained exposure for the brand behind them. They solved the “need” to laugh.
Remember also that “quality” isn’t synonymous with “large” or “substantial.” In fact, short, easy-to-digest content like a single sentence, a short live Facebook video or a quick image that delivers a tip to your core audience can be the perfect vehicle for engagement.
The quality of a piece of content should be measured by the results it achieves. You’ll have certain types of content that do well with your audience. You should always take note of this and try to determine why the content was successful so that you can duplicate the success in the future by creating more content like it. If your audience responds most to live videos then do more live videos. If they respond more to long, details blog posts plan more of those in your social media schedule.
Key 4: Be Positive
Always stay positive in all of your communications on social media. This is important because one negative comment or statement could blow apart your entire brand image. Brands (this means YOU) must be consistent to be successful.
Most people have a pretty good sense of what it means to “be positive,” but here are some guidelines to follow.
- Don’t say negative things about individuals or companies
- Focus on helping other people
- Emphasize positive emotions like delight and joy, not negative ones like fear or anger
- Think before you post. Is there any way that your wording could be taken the wrong way?
- Use emoticons, exclamation marks, and emojis to show that you’re smiling or laughing behind the computer screen
- Consider the effect that your writing could have on the people who read it
- Give credit and congratulations to others on their achievements
- Find positive role models and watch the way they interact with their audiences.
Key 5: Your Authentic Voice
It is always best to be yourself on social media. Trying to keep up an alternate persona or grandiose public lifestyle is not necessary or suggested to attract a following on social media. People like to follow and engage with real people. You will find your success skyrocket by being authentically you.
Avoid Using Language That Is Stiff, Overly Formal, or Textbook-like. The tone used on social media is casual and friendly, like a friend talking to a friend over email. You should adopt this type of tone.
Avoid using a great deal of jargon or technical language.
Do Not Try To Be Someone You’re Not.
Look at your social media activity and ask yourself, “Is this how I would act normally?” Don’t try to act like more or less than you are. Being yourself is what clients want in a coach.
Authenticity is important for this is how you create a true relationship with people online, and in person. For example, if you can admit to a failing of yours, clients will see this in themselves and it will make you more relatable.
Do Not Be Overly Promotional.
Naturally, you’re here to promote your business. But on social media, you have to do it in a roundabout way. If you sound like a used car salesman, this isn’t going to come across as “authentic” to anyone.
Instead of promoting, focus on helping people. Create a space on social media where people can get to know you. You want to be their go-to resource of information, help, and entertainment. They will come and buy from you when they’re ready to.
If you’re unsure about how to be authentic and follow the above guidelines, spend some time looking at successful brands you like on social media. You’ll see that their posts are light in tone and friendly. You’ll see how their personalities come through. Most of all, you’ll notice that no one is bombarding you with endless promotional deals and offers.
Key 6: Create Great Content
To successfully engage your audience on social media, you need a constant stream of great content. This is content that’s useful, valuable, and fun for your audience. One challenge coaches face is how to keep that stream flowing.
Creating vs. Curating Content
Coaches don’t create all their own original content on social media. In addition to creating content, you also curate content. This means finding articles, videos, and other types of content and sharing it with your audience, adding your own original comments or spin to it.
You can strike a balance between content creation and curation. When you create your social media calendar include both.
Be a Good Follower
A great way to find content to share is to follow good media sources. You can follow them on the same social media platform or other places such as other social media platforms, blog subscriptions, email newsletters, websites, and so on.
Find media sources that consistently publish great stuff. Identify “influencers” in your niche or industry and follow them. These are individuals who are thought-leaders or experts. They’re usually the first to hit upon new ideas. Follow a number of influencers and include their work in your content sharing.
Other good media sources include those that present up-to-date and high-quality material. You can also seek out obscure news sources that your audience may not be acquainted with, such as a website that appeals to a highly targeted niche.
You can also follow media sources that are not completely related to your niche. A business coach, for instance, might report on economics or the real estate market. The key is to demonstrate how this is relevant to your readers; for example, changes in the real estate markets effect how much disposable income average consumers have to spend.
Managing Your Content
Be organized about your content and create an “ideas list.” Brainstorm ideas for pieces you can create and add ideas when you think of them. Keeping a list like this makes it easy to sit down and write. You’ll have ideas ready to go. Try using Evernote, cloud-based notes or you could even email yourself your ideas.
Finally, pay attention to how your content performs. This will reveal to you the particular tastes of your audience and help you find and create more content they will love.
Social Media Is a Learning Process
These are the six keys to social media success, but there’s more to engaging your audience on social media and these tips will give you a good start. No one can become successful at social media without learning about their target audience through trial and error. This means that you have to get out there and post and interact, then see what works and what doesn’t.
The most important thing is not to be afraid to get out there and be active on social media – you have to show up consistently. You can’t figure out the perfect social media engagement plan in your head, it requires action. Consistency doesn’t mean being on social media 24/7. A healthy mix of pre-scheduled content and scheduling out two 15 minute times a day to show up and engage with your followers is a good start.
And remember that engagement is the key to creating relationships with your audience and building the likability and trust we all strive for with our clients.
About Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and coaches bridge the gaps, with no BS techniques, to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Her formula for success includes Mindset first, Skills second followed by Systemization to keep you rolling toward your goals in life and business.
Marketing + Digital Strategist, Business Coach, CEO, Designer, Army Veteran, Author, Speaker + Health Coach
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