I have the privilege of spending a great deal of time with solo-preneurs and small business owners. I love their passion and enthusiasm, and I love their hard work ethic. If there’s one issue I see over and over in their marketing, it’s the distinct lack of “culture”. Now that’s a nice, trendy word, but what, exactly, does it mean in a business sense?
Culture is the Experience
When your ideal, target customer comes to your social media, what are they going to find? A long list of company sponsored images and hype about the latest sale? Excited invitations to join your business or hire you? Tales of your amazing success?
Or are they going to find a place where they feel welcome. A place where you have gone ahead and prepared a path about the things that are important to your CLIENT or your PROSPECT. Truthfully, it might have very little to do with your actual business, but it will have a great deal to do with the things your perfect clients all have in common. Your social media should feel like it was custom designed for the perfect person you want to attract into your business. It’s the culture that creates the community that leads to evangelists that make the sale.
Creating the Culture
Step 1 – Who Are You?
There are two steps to creating culture. The first is to really know yourself and what it is that fires all your rockets. Why are you in the business you’re in? What attracted you? What is it that makes you jump out of bed in the morning eager to get started? What is it about what you do that energizes you to put in all the extra hours an entrepreneur needs to invest in order to make their business work?
Then go deeper. What is it that motivates you at all? If you removed your actual business from the equation, what is it that gets you excited about life? Maybe you are jazzed by finding ways to make money appear, seemingly, from thin air, and you love the big challenges of making that happen. Maybe you’re a fighter for the underdog, and your business is a perfect platform. Maybe you are passionate about the high you get after a workout or a green smoothie, and you would continue this lifestyle with or without a business attached to it. What is it that really motivates you deep down inside?
I believe God planted a passion deep inside us for something specific, and when we’re in a place where we can exercise or live out that passion, we find an unending source of energy an inspiration. We can keep going long after the lights go out, and while we’re tired, we are deeply, deeply satisfied. This is where you and your business need to live.
When I started working through these questions I realized that the word that gets me excited is the word “potential”. I can be sitting quietly minding my own business, and then someone will come along and tell me their life is off course. They really want to do “something” but they don’t know how or what. Once that happens my brain and body kick into overdrive, and I have to whip out my tablet, open my Evernote, and start taking notes, writing ideas, drawing diagrams, and designing a plan to make things work. Before you know it you have 10 steps to success all laid out with links, resources, and explanation. It’s like an addiction. I can’t help myself. And I’m usually really good at it.
This is what I love about HotSpot Social Media – I get to do this all day, and every client is a new adventure!
Step 2 – Who is Your Client?
So many business owners don’t take the time to really understand their ideal clients. They think everyone will love their product, service, or opportunity, and they sell to a general crowd. However, if you can really understand that perfect client, and if you know exactly what rocks their socks you can create an online presence that makes them feel like you’re calling their name; like you’ve been waiting just for them, all along.
You first of all need to know the demographics of your market – age, race, education, location, gender, etc. Then you need to go deeper and wider. Here’s an exercise that will help you do that:
- What does my ideal client do in addition to whatever it is they do when they need my products or services? For example, I, personally, need to know what my target market is doing when they’re not running their business.
- Are they hanging out with their family?
- Traveling the world?
- Rescuing puppies?
- What does my target market read?
- Do they read fashion magazines?
- National Geographic?
- Do they read books, and if so, what kinds?
- What do they wear?
- Are they in business attire most of the time?
- Are they fans of places like Lululemon?
- Are they experts at thrift stores and second hand?
- What do they eat?
- Are they health conscious?
- Fast-food junkies?
- Where do they live?
- Are they in one area or are they global?
- Do they live in large mansions
- Do they RV 6 months of the year?
- What do they listen to?
- Audio books?
- What do they watch?
- Do they go to the movies?
- What pages on Facebook do they avidly follow?
If you’re not sure go to a handful of your very favourite clients and ask them these questions, or simply spy on them on social media. You can learn a lot about people just by reading their feeds! Get as much detail as possible, and find out as many places as you can where these answers overlap. If other questions occur to you or if answers spark other ideas, write these down and include them in your research.
Ok now that you have this information you need to go to Facebook and seek out the pages that serve these various needs and passions of your clients. For instance, let’s say you’re a fitness instructor and your target market seems to love hip-hop music, smoothies, casual clothing, Timothy Ferriss. and Game of Thrones
Here’s what you do next:
- Find out who the most popular hip-hop artists are
- Research blenders, protein powders and smoothie recipes
- Find out who supplies casual clothing
- Track down Timothy Ferriss’ online hangouts
- Check out Game of Thrones
Once you know this information you need to go to and “like” those Facebook pages, sign up for newsletters from these businesses or people, read their blogs and get a feel for the culture of these groups. What kind of language do they use? What sorts of posts do they share? What are the themes that keep cropping up?
Finally, once you get a good feel for this you need to ask yourself how your product or service can fit into this culture without jarring, and while maintaining a social feel
Start creating non-promotional posts that speak to this culture in a way that does not clash with who you are. Test these on your FB page and see what kinds of things get a reaction. Use their favourite verbs and expressions, but make sure they’re ones you would also likely use as well.
What you’re doing here is using this information to create a place where your ideal client would feel comfortable and at home while still being your authentic self. You want to invite them into the living room of your onine presence and have a real conversation with them. The key here is to not try to become someone you’re not for the sake of the sale. Find places where the two of you meet in a truly authentic way. Create a culture on your page that makes them look out for you. They need to want what you offer even if they never buy. If they love you, they’ll share your page with friends and family who are also like them, and those ones probably will buy!
Does this make sense to you? If you have questions or concerns, please post them in the comments and let’s see if we can work together to move you and your business forward! I’d love to help!