It always makes me sad when creative entrepreneurs shrink from social media. At the top of every entrepreneur's daily task list is the requirement that they make the cash register ring. Social media is one way to make that happen, yet many creatives do not embrace it — even when it's clear that if they did, they would enjoy more sales.
From Follower to Family is a way of thinking about the sales process from a non-salesy perspective. I am sharing it in the hopes that it will help creative entrepreneurs everywhere understand how social media can be used to attract followers who eventually become not only customers, but also family.
Step 1: Attract New Followers
The first step is to use social media to attract new followers. This means setting up social media accounts that show you and your product or service in the best light possible. Use the accounts to attract people. Smile. Share things that the people you want to attract will be interested in hearing. Once they accept your invitation, invite them to comment and share along with you.
This is no different from what you do in your physical life. When you go to a party where you think you'll meet people who can help you enjoy life more, what do you do? You smile and say things that you think will interest them. It's the same thing. Just use technology to do it.
Step 2: Be a Friend to Your Followers
Once you have someone's attention, you have the privilege of nurturing that seed of a relationship into something bigger. When it comes to selling your products online, this means serving, as any friend would serve. Be helpful. Be encouraging. Be informative. Be useful.
This is no different from what you do in your physical life. Once you've met someone nice at a party, and you see that the person is also nice, and perhaps even like-minded, what is one thing you begin to do? You begin to share resources that could be helpful to them. Perhaps they need a bank loan and you met the local bank vice president at a chamber meeting last week. Or maybe they need to send a gift to a friend, and you have just the perfect product in your line. It's the same thing you do in your physical life. You just use technology to do it — and do it consistently using the social media outlets that your perfect buyers tend to use the most.
Step 3: Embrace Your Friends as Family
Once you have attracted someone and proven yourself to be a helpful friend, you may then have the honor of becoming like a part of their family. If someone appreciates that you have helped them solve a problem or meet a need or want in their lives, they will treat you like you are a part of their lives. You will become like family to them.
Do you make the *only* hair pomade that has ever made it easy to comb through their daughter's hair? You are part of the family. Do you make candles that help them relax and have a romantic evening with their spouse? You are part of the family. Did you provide a consultation or publish a blog post that helped them have a breakthrough experience in their business? You are part of the family.
As you become part of their family, they also become part of yours.
And thus, your tribe is born and begins to grow.
Once they are part of the family, it's not really a “customer” relationship anymore. It's a life relationship, and this is fertile ground for miracles.
Social Media Tools are More Than Sales Tools
I marvel at how amazing social media tools are. They are so much more than sales tools. Social media tools are also personal development and life enhancement tool — ones that also happen to boost sales.
It's a mindset shift, I know. I hope you'll give it a try, and let me know what results you see over time.
Best and Success!