Ah! Communication. Newsletter, blog, vlog … everybody talks about it, everyone recommends them.
In this era of content marketing, increasing your visibility, sharing ideas and establishing your value to your current and potential clients and your centers of influence are critical for the long-term success of your business.
You know the saying: “Out of sight, out of mind”. Always be visible, be present, but do it efficiently!
I’m the first one who recommends to clients to create a communication strategy in order to grow their business. Yet, by the same token, I also understand that, as a service-based entrepreneur, you already have a lot on your plate, so marketing is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind.
However, the reality is that it’s actually fairly simple to implement a communication strategy when it’s well-structured and properly created.
Here are 10 ways to monetize your communication strategy:
- Start with the end in mind. What’s the ultimate goal you want to achieve? Your goal will direct your communication strategy. A newsletter or a blog is often more appropriate to nurture existing client relationships, whereas social media may open the door to new markets and clients. They are not mutually exclusive, but be aware that the resources needed to create the communication tool and continually feeding it with content are two very different things.
- Choose less communication channels. Businesses, big and small, adopt Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter only to realize that they don’t have the time to do it all. The result: they have a Facebook page that has been inactive for two months, a blog that is four months old and a newsletter that goes out ad hoc.Select two communication channels and commit to them. Choose the ones that will reach your target market and with which you can keep up the frequency required to actually make an impact.
- Evaluate your resources. How much time and resources are you willing to allocate to your communication strategy? Calculate your hourly rate and the time it would take you to develop valuable content, then compare it to communication service providers. You may come to the conclusion that outsourcing some of your communications is a profitable solution allowing you to focus on your business.
- Consistency is key. Allocate specific periods in your agenda to your communication activities. For example, you might block every third Friday afternoon to write your newsletter. Personally, I take that 15 minutes a day to check up on my social media contacts: I review my networks’ activities, post relevant articles of interest and connect with potential new clients or centers of influence.
- Stop selling, start helping. Many businesses focus on selling their products or services. Instead focus on helping your target market. Use a “let me help you” approach. For example, a real estate agent could focus his or her newsletter on how to choose a neighborhood or the new trends in interior design. A web designer could suggest resources to facilitate the sharing of information on social media.You want to provide information that is relevant to your area of expertise and interesting for your readers—this is how you get noticed and remembered.
- Bring your network on board. Leverage your current network to build momentum for your communication strategy. Invite your clients, prospects and centers of influence to subscribe to your newsletter, use tools, such as Snip.ly to grow your social media community or Hootsuite to auto schedule your posts.Include links in your email signature inviting everyone to join you on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, to subscribe to your newsletters and/or to visit your website.
- Keep it simple. People respond to information that is presented in a straightforward matter. Don’t overload your communications with too much text. Use readable fonts, short sentences and two- to three-sentence paragraphs. Whenever possible, use visual elements such as graphics or videos to grab your readers’ attention which will help them retain the information.
- Follow up. Adding more people in your LinkedIn network, more fans on your Facebook page or more subscribers to your newsletter won’t necessarily bring more clients if that’s the only thing you do. Follow up with these leads, learn about their businesses, invite them for coffee, offer them a free sample of your product or offer a free consultation. Move the relationship beyond the simple one-way communication stage.
- Reuse and recycle (sh… this is a tip all the pros use!). You want your target market to see your name over and over again. Recycle your newsletter into social media posts; expand a tweet into a longer blog entry, etc. Consider sending a “year in review” or “articles worth repeating” email early in the summer and near the holiday season. You can save time and money by reusing content and drive home the message to your target market as they read, or re-read, your communications when they have more time to allocate to the subject at hand or maybe when they are in a different frame of mind.
- Measure results. You know how often casinos measure their results to find out if they are making money? Every 20 minutes!
Obviously, I never suggest measuring the results that often. However, you want to implement a system where you can analyze the source of new clients and the topics that generated the most interest and clicks. You will learn more about your clients’ main concerns, and will be able to address these topics during your meetings or business events. You could even organize a seminar to discuss this topic. This is what I did with a client after we noticed that a topic had particularly attracted the attention of readers. The seminar was a great success! In summary: Never underestimate the power of a great communication strategy. Download our action plan, “A simple and effective communication strategy”, and take action now!
Join in the conversation
Now I’d love to hear from you, let me know: What has prevented you from implementing a communication strategy so far? How could you implement one easily for your business right now? What would be your first step?
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Until next time! Stay strong, you never know who you’re inspiring!
More insights and actionable ideas?
PS:. I’d really appreciate your feedback, did you find this useful? Is there a specific topic you’d like me to address? Send me an e-mail to let me know!