Social media is about conversation. You must speak out to promote your business. But many small business people feel awkward talking about their business to the world. This two-part series helps you find your voice to speak about your business. In part 1, you learn the causes for your awkwardness. In this article, you learn how to find the most powerful things you can say about your business.
- Before You Start: You have a business you want to promote through social media.
- Learning level: 1 | Social Media Basics
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Self-Promotional Strategic Thinking
Here’s a strategy to help you break down your products and services to talk about them from your customer’s perspective.
- Make a list of the things you deliver. When you make a client delivery, what do they have to show for it? Is it a tangible product (a meal, a piece of clothing, a resume, a website, etc.), or is it an intangible product (a change in the way the client thinks or acts, peace of mind, etc.)? Or is it a combination of both types? Do this for every product and service you offer.
- Review your delivery item list. Is your delivery list the size of Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe inventory, or do you specialize in just a few things? Neither one is right or wrong, it’s just one aspect of your business. It’s something you should know and understand about your business.
- Clump your delivery items into solution sets. This is especially important if you have a lot of delivery items. Are they logical groups that you deliver together? The key here is not to group them by their characteristics but to cluster them they way a client might order them as a group. For example, rather than group together french fries and onion rings (as side options), group together a burger, fries and a drink (the way people order them). If you are graphic designer, you might group together a logo, business cards, and letterhead combination as an identity kit solution set.
- Write a list of reasons why a client might ask you for each solution set. Put yourself in the client’s shoes, and figure out what situation drives the client to need your solution set. If your customers are consumers, why do they want or need your products and services? If you customers are other businesses, what business challenges do they face that you can solve? Really be creative here because this is where you start to connect to your potential clients.
- Turn the list of reasons into a list of client problems that you can solve. Again, put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. Imagine a potential client sitting at her desk (on on her couch) with problems swirling in her head. Talk about her problem the way way she would talk about it.
- Summarize what you do from the list of client problems that you solve. At the core, every small business or freelancer is a problem solver. That’s right. If you customer didn’t have a problem, they wouldn’t need your products and services. They might hang out with you over coffee, they might tweet and email and Facebook you, but that’s not the same as doing business with you. Your clients have a problem that causes them pain, and they are paying you to make it go away.
- Publicize what you do to the world. Update your website, all of your social media sites, and your business cards with your updated business services description. Create your new elevator pitch. And prepare for the avalanche of new clients.
What are you waiting for? There are new customers who need your products and services today!
Your turn: What tips can you share about self-promotion? How did you learn to talk effectively about your business? Share your insights here.