Friday, 23 December 2011

Social Media ~ Attract, Convert, Measure ~ PART TWO

This is part two of three in a series of postings dealing with Social Media. This posting will focus on how to Convert web traffic to buying clients.

For those of you that missed “Part One” I would suggest you go back and read that BLOG post so you understand what influences traffic to your website. Then come back and finish reading this post.

Buyers are in control now more than ever, especially consumers coming to you from an online source. There is so much information out there on the internet that our customers are approaching us armed with competitive information and even most are amateur photographers themselves, therefore able to take photos that occasionally rival a professionals. So, not only is there more competition out there, the people we are trying to sell are extremely well prepared before they talk to you.

The keys to converting these types of clients is really quite simple in theory, it just takes a leap of faith from traditional ways of thinking. Just remember the acronym, “RISE", its an acronym for “Respond, Intelligence, Share and Enjoy”

“Rise” above your competition!

Respond – If a potential client contacts you, respond in an efficient and timely manner with more information than they asked for.

You have so many competitors out there that you need to respond as fast as you can with a personalized message. Engage them and maintain a captive audience.

Intelligence – You have to make sure you know just as much about what your competition offers than what you offer. Sounds silly, but it’s true. Information is power and will give you control.

The Chinese General Sun Tsu who wrote the “Art of War” teaches, “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

Share – Prior to the internet, information was scarce. Now, those that are visable on the internet have to share their information and become a trusted member of an online community in order to attract potential clients. If you don't share and offer a lot of information, a competitor is just a click away. Its not like the potential client is driving from store front to store front. They are sitting at home and just have to click on the next photographer to find what they want.

When if comes to social media people do not want to be sold, they just want options. In order to penetrate any social online community you need to be perceived as an expert and just have a strong presence. Remember what I said in part one, “you are in or you are out of social media”!

If you are in, be IN, and participate in the community, share your knowledge and allow the potential clients know you are a trusted source… that comfort level you gain will go a long way in converting the tire kickers into dollars in your jeans.

Think of it this way... why are people on facebook? To reconnect and talk to friends? If you are one of their friends and you are always posting about your products and services and always trying to sell something... well the perception they will have about you on Facebook is probably the same way you feel everytime a pesky telemarketer calls your house at dinner time trying to sell you window cleaning services.

Enjoy – Have fun in your online communities… don’t beat people over the head with your products and services. Just enjoy the communication… send out silly surveys, talk about your family, throw out jokes… let people know the real you.

If you are not enjoying yourself you are not going to do it well. Let’s face it, we are photographers, we prefer to be behind the camera. So while doing this necessary evil, you might as well enjoy yourself. Your engaging personality will come through and people will learn to trust you... then they will buy from you.

In the next post in this trilogy I want to start to discuss something that I just learned… it’s called the “Social Media Money Formula” … this again comes courtesy of Tyler Garns. In addition to that you can also expect to learn how to "Measure" your efforts to see if they are working.

But not only "Measure" success, but I will take a deeper dive and help you really understand what your ROI is. We will be accounting for more than just looking at the money you make, but the time you spend doing certain things.

Talk soon and remember to RISE above your competition!

If you would like more information please contact me below. If you also want to be on my mailing list, please email me and I will put you on the distribution list that goes out 4x a year.

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Enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends.

Kev