Can’t afford to pay for advertising, use social selling techniques which creates a pool of customers without spending a penny.
Not too sure if social selling is right for you? Sales representatives who leverage social selling see a 31% higher ROI compared to those who stick to traditional selling methods.
Does the thought of selling on social media feels unnatural to you? I feel you. When I started an online business, I didn’t have any money to spend on advertising, so I had to go on social media to get clients. Without clients, my business was nothing but a hobby.
Inside this guide is everything you need to know to start utilizing social selling in your business.
What is social selling?
Social selling is defined by Salesforce as a lead generation technique where salespeople directly interact with their prospects on social media platforms.
In practice, what this means for you is that you can interact with people on social media that you’ve identified as your ideal customer.
Social selling mistakes to avoid at all costs
There are so many mistakes that even top salespeople are making on social media. This is why you’re probably put off from selling. You don’t want to be seen as a sleazy car salesman pushing the prospect for that deal.
Here are examples of social selling mistakes being made on a daily basis.
- Blasting a post and then running
- Asking for a sale before you even establish trust
- Not doing your research on the prospect before pitching
- Sharing irrelevant content
- Failure in getting relevant sales training
- No system in place
By not making any of these mistakes you can nail your selling techniques, create content that helps with the sales process, and build a great reputation as an expert on social media.
Benefits of social selling for your business
Many freelancers still rely on the old method of cold calling to get clients. However now, clients are on social media and you can talk with them. Even better you can build a relationship with them before any selling even takes place.
With social media, the emphasis is on socializing. So natural conversations take place on topics that are of interest to all people taking part in the conversation.
These natural conversations lead to natural dialogues where you learn how exactly you can help a company. Plus, as the other person in the conversation likes you they are more open to hearing your solution. Thus you’ll have a higher conversion rate in your sales process using social selling.
There are many benefits of social selling for your business including increased brand visibility and sales. Though there are many other benefits including:
- Positions you as a thought leader
- Builds a personal brand
- Improves rapport with the buyer and shortens the sales cycle
Using social selling in your business, it can increase your brand. So even if you don’t get every customer, you can build a great reputation on social media.
As we discovered, social selling is a strategy using social media platforms. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to sell your product or service. Selling products by connecting and engaging directly with prospects.
But to do social selling right, you need to understand the golden rule of selling on social media.
Setting yourself up for success
Before you take the plunge into social selling, you need to lay the foundations.
Identify the results that your core service gives your clients
Before you create a social selling strategy, first things first. What is the core product you are selling? As a freelancer, your core product is the big high ticket service that you give your clients.
Whether that is website design, writing content or being their number 1 PA. You have to identify what your core service is.
OK, that might sound easy enough. But truly start to think about the results you are giving the clients. What experience will you also be providing
Focus on the big results and this will drive your whole social selling strategy. It will depict what content you create to spread that message. Also, it will focus on what keywords and language you are using.
Get clear or who your ideal client is
Your ideal client is also known as a client avatar. In simple terms, a client avatar is a picture of who your ideal client is. The ideal client that you would absolutely love to work with time and time again.
When you understand your client avatar and their
You can create social media posts that will tap into these feelings by using specific keywords.
But beware, you could spend ages creating content for a social media platform. But if you are not on the right platform, you will get little to no return on the time you invest on your social selling strategy.
Define which is the best social media platform you should be using
Which social media platform are you going to use to attract clients to you? Well, the question should really be, where are your clients most active right now on social media?
Where are your clients most active right now?
You don’t ever want to waste your time on platforms where they are like once a week, month or year. They’ll never really notice you.
Get noticed and be on the platforms that they are always on, even whilst at work. To discover this you want to go back to your client avatar. This is why you want to go in-depth into who your client avatar is and part of that is discovering where they hang out online.
Create a messaging strategy that attracts sales not repels
Your messaging strategy in your social selling strategy is what will really make or break your whole strategy. So you need to get this right. There are 6 rules that you must follow in creating an engaging social selling strategy.
- Be Authentic
- Give Your Own Unique Perspective
- Your Message Must Match The Tone Of Language On The Platform
- Use Visuals
- Add Engagement
- Be Timely
Never ever do a messaging strategy where you’ll be annoying people and seen a spammer. This is what you don’t want so follow the 6 rules and you’ll attract sales instead of being a repellent.
When you’re creating a messaging strategy, you want to create one that converts. This is why PipeDrive have created 9 email templates that you can customize for your freelance business in generating sales.
PipeDrive is a customer relationship management software (created by salespeople) for businesses of any size. Therefore, you know that these 9 email templates will help you to nurture relationships with leads and close sales.
Keep reading to learn how you can turn cold leads into red hot buyers for your freelance business.
Turn any cold lead into a red hot buyer
Before we start, you need to understand the different temperatures of a lead. This is essential for you to understand as it frames how you approach your leads and turn cold leads into red hot buyers.
Cold leads (Awareness)
At the start you’ve got your cold leads. Cold leads are people who don’t know you at all. They’ve not interacted with you before or even seen one of your posts.
When you approach cold leads, start with a gentle approach where you introduce yourself and get to learn about your lead. In no way do you offer something to buy. They don’t know who you are, let alone like or trust you to go and buy something from you however compelling your offer is.
Warm leads (Consideration)
Warm leads are prospective clients who are happily engaging with your social media content and talking with you about how you can help them.
Approach warm leads with the desire to help them with a quick instant fix to their problem by offering your expertise or small low-cost service. What you’re aiming to do is build trust between you and the prospect.
In the client’s eyes, they are starting to see you as an expert in your niche but not sure if they should invest in your core service. By offering advice or a small low-cost service, you build that trust.
Hot leads (Decision)
After you’ve helped your warm lead with a low-cost service or some advice and the client is still happy at this point, then you’re in a great position. In a position of having a red hot lead.
Now you have your hot lead, you can go in and show your prospective client your core offer. Whatever you do, don’t go into a message with a buy this offer.
Show the prospective client how your core offer can help them solve their big problem and get the result that they want. Always remember that the prospective client just cares about their problem and the result they’re seeking.
Give your prospective clients a clear picture of the big results that your core offer gives. As they already like and trust you, you’ve got a higher chance of closing the sale.
Keep track of your leads
As a freelancer, you’ll have multiple leads at any one time and at different stages of the sales process. Therefore, it’s important to have a system of keeping track of your leads.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software was developed for the purpose of tracking leads whatever size business you have. With CRM software you can see how your relationship is progressing with a lead. Also, CRM software shows what content you should be given as to what stage they are at.
As you can see from the above graphic, the content you will give your ideal clients change depending on where they are in the funnel.
The purpose of having a funnel to get clients as it builds upon the know, like, and trust factor. You’ve probably heard of this phrase
People only buy from people they trust
Always keep in mind that you are using your social media platform to create awareness of yourself. From there you want to get them to like you and ultimately trust you.
Golden rule of selling on social media
Before you jump in and start messaging prospects on LinkedIn or Instagram, you need to come at the right approach. When you don’t start with the right approach you can come across badly. So learn the golden rule of selling so you take the right approach.
The right approach to sell on social media is to be focused on the customer’s needs rather than your desire for a sale.
This approach is often called being customer-centric. By being customer-centric, you’re putting customers at the center of all sales and business activities.
People buy from people and when you remember this simple point it’s a lot easier to connect with your customer. Connect on a human level, put the customer at the center, and then sell your products or services to them.
Prospecting for B2B customers on LinkedIn made easy
LinkedIn is the platform to be on if you’re needing B2B sales. According to Hootsuite, 4 out of 5 people on LinkedIn can make buying decisions.
To get started using LinkedIn, follow these simple steps
- Create a profile that puts you as the authority in your niche
- Write a memorable headline that says exactly what you do and the big benefit you give
- Take a professional picture because you want to be taken seriously from the first impression
These 3 points are just how to get started with LinkedIn, but this isn’t just what you need. You also need to learn how to do prospecting correctly’ Prospect correctly so you don’t leave a bad taste in people’s mouths after you pitch.
Also, read here the 5 strategies to get freelance clients on LinkedIn.
Start prospecting, by using the search function. Search for your ideal client who are second-degree connections. Now check out their profile.
More specifically look at their recent activity. On the recent activity, you want to make yourself known and leave a thoughtful comment on their post. Then you connect with the prospect.
Make sure that whilst you’re looking at the connections profile that they’re a good fit for what you want in a client.
If the prospect accepts the connection request, then further the conversation started when you made a comment. Follow this up by getting to know the prospect and their business.
By doing this you’re not instantly going into the sales pitch but starting a relationship. A relationship that’s got a solid foundation and allows you to make your pitch naturally.
Stopping you from looking like a sleazy car salesman but a professional.
Get B2C customers on Facebook without paying a penny in ads
70% of B2C marketers surveyed have got customers through Facebook. So if you’ve got a product or service that is in the B2C niche, start taking a look at Facebook as the place to be selling on.
To start selling on Facebook (without paying for ads), then use the pages and groups features.
Create a Facebook page for your business and share content that’s engaging and valuable to your ideal customer. But don’t just stop with just your own page.
Go to Facebook pages of indirect competitors and leave thoughtful comments on their posts using your page as the person who made the comment. This will expand your reach quicker and attract your target market to your page.
With Facebook groups, you have 2 options.
- Create your own
- Join Facebook groups with your target market in
Personally, I prefer the second option as it’s a lot quicker than trying to create a group and making it grow.
When you do join a Facebook group, make sure that it has your target market in and be a regular participant in the group.
Don’t bother just sitting silent and being called a lurker. Instead, you want to switch on the notifications to all and respond to posts. You want to be seen and get known inside the community.
Get known and build trust with the other group members so you can sell your product or service later on.
In A Nutshell,
Implementing social selling into your business improves your reputation and gets clients without coming across as a sleazy car salesman.