Building a portfolio of lucrative clients doesn’t require mass amounts of time spent at networking events, thousands of hours wasted cold calling or dozens of unrequited elevator pitches. Believe it or not, growing your client list can actually be achieved right from your desk via social media. So what’s the secret? Well, it takes some research, brainstorming and a little bit of perspective. Here are three steps to turn your social media friends into tangible, profitable clients.
1. Stalk them - on the internet
Well, don’t stand outside of their house with a boom box. Instead do your research and understand all aspects of your prospective client’s business including their competitors, services, customers, locations, and any seasonal changes that may affect their business. In this day and age, no one meets their clients at Rotary anymore. Nowadays you can use social media to do a complete SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) on your contacts digitally to determine how you can best serve them. You can find this information with a simple search on various social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Yelp. Of course don’t forget global search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Also, if you missed our previous article “Do You ‘Like’ Your Clients?” make sure to friend them as well. This is an important step not only for your market research, but also to secure their interest. According to a recent study, “64% of consumers have made a purchase decision based on social content.”
2. Show your expertise and value
Completing this brief background research will give you a unique perspective, enabling you to bring new ideas and solutions to the table. To provide a more in-depth industry analysis, you can try financial software like Finagraph to compare industry averages, pinpoint weak spots and provide an ongoing plan for improvement.
The key here is to show them KPIs (key performance indicators) that truly affect their business, in a way they can understand. This positions you as the trusted advisor on their specific business, while inspiring your clients to try new tactics that have proven to work for others in the same industry. After you’ve laid all of your cards on the table, ask them what they think about your solutions, their competition and the opportunities that lie ahead.
3. Establish a next step
Once you’ve swept them off their feet with your enhanced analytics and nonchalant approach, you’ve got to provide an action item in order to secure them as clients. Try generating curiosity by stating, “I’ve got some other great ideas for your business, if you have time later we can get together again and discuss them.” Or if you’re using a software program with recurring updates, you can schedule a meeting to review those metrics on an ongoing basis.
Another great way to keep their interest is to provide a special introductory offer for them, such as a free business health review. Just be sure to walk away from the conversation with a similar understanding of how their needs correlate with your services.
Soon enough, they will go from connections to clients.