Growth is not an option for the successful small business.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about being authentic and true to yourself while selling online. Thinking about authenticity and overcoming doubt, pushing through to be the most amazing entrepreneur ever always makes me feel warm and happy…BUT what are the next steps?
You’re being amazing and real and authentic and true to yourself. And nothing is happening. You’re doing all the things, but you’re still struggling to make your business GROW.
Let’s dig in to this a little bit more.
Authenticity is a Two-Way Street
Growth should flow naturally out of authenticity, but sometimes it needs a little nudge. Maybe a bit of fertilizer 😉… For the online entrepreneur, small business owner, or consultant, this means going beyond being real and authentic yourself to opening the doors for your tribe to be real and authentic WITH you.
This means that for every time you open your soul to your followers, you give them the chance to open up to you. Don’t just share what’s going on in your life – ask what they are struggling with right now. This is gold. When you allow your followers to share their real-life issues, you’ll get a sneak peek into what makes them tick.
You’ll learn what they need.
And you’ll learn what you can do to help them.
Here are some great ways to spark growth in your engagement:
1. Understanding Their Needs
Respond to comments and questions, and notice what people engage with the most. This will give you some insight into what your particular audience wants. Interact with them when they show interest in what you’re sharing and provide a platform for them to share their stories with you.
2. Produce Valuable Content
Valuable content can be defined in many ways, but ultimately, it’s content that brings value to your clients’ lives. Don’t post stuff just to post. Be thoughtful and strategic about what you are sharing, always keeping in mind what you know about your followers and their struggles and needs.
3. Talk Back to Your Followers
No, don’t be sassy. Just engage! Respond to them, answer their questions. Ask for their feedback and give feedback when it’s appropriate. Don’t leave them hanging. You want to be their hero, and sometimes, they want to be your hero too! Let them know that you’re listening to them and keep posting more of the things they enjoy interacting on.
4. Provide Benefits
There is SO much going on across every social media channel that most people won’t engage at first unless you literally bribe them too. They want to know what’s in it for them. Show them you’re serious about wanting them to engage with you by giving away something for free. If you’re in direct sales, this means giving away some of your product, and perhaps a coupon. If your business is online, then give away your services or a discount code. This draws people in, building trust and proving your value to them.
5. Follow Back
This is a big deal. Don’t expect everyone to follow you and buy from you if you aren’t willing to reciprocate! Business online is all about relationships and about give and take. Build friendships and soon you’ll have a network of clients and potential referrals that will just keep growing!
Your Business Won’t Grow if You Don’t Water It
Just like a garden, your business needs nutrients and water to grow! Get to know your clients and followers, understand what they need, and then begin to provide solutions for those needs. Getting into the habit of providing high-quality content that your clients want and need is a huge step toward creating a sustainable business model.
Don’t Stop Growing Yourself
Make sure you surround yourself with a support group that will provide help and support when you need it. I’d love to invite you to join me in the #ThinkSocial Society, a community where like-minded entrepreneurs can learn and grow together! I’d love to hear your story and help you grow your online business.