This is my son Cameron. A bouncy, bright, unapologetically happy, little 3 year old. Who recently decided he wanted to go crabbing. Brimful of confidence, he also declared that he would catch 10 crabs! Being clueless about just how to go about this, I immediately reached for my laptop and did a google search. I needed a plan of attack!
Choosing the Right Bait
One article suggested using bread. So, a bit of stale loaf was quickly attached to a line. Before I could say ‘wait until you get your wellies on', my eager son ran down the beach, jumped into the first rockpool he could find, and lobbed a soggy lump of bread at the unsuspecting crabs lurking there. They scattered to hide under the nearest clump of seaweed, and a very disgruntled 3 year old came back to find me.
So I did a bit more research. Amazing what you can learn about crabs when you look into it! (Did you know they actually have 10 legs and not 8?! Two are hidden under their shell) But I did learn that the best place to find spider crabs is in the water at the end of a pier or jetty. And that the perfect bait to use is a piece of bacon, placed inside a small net bag, and attached to the line. Armed with this new information, and shouting excitedly, off ran Cameron towards the end of the pier and eagerly chucked his bag of bacon into the water.
Did he catch a crab? Nope. Time to re-evaluate our approach. We knew where the crabs would be, and what would attract them…..but they still weren't biting. So what was wrong?
A Change in Tack
Well, Cameron was undeterred. He kept going back with more bacon. But this time we showed him how to gently lower the bag down to the bottom of the sea. He would sit patiently with his line…….and then he caught his first crab! In went more bacon, and he caught another. And another! Now there was no stopping him. Mum and Dad were roped in with extra lines and more bacon, and soon his little bucket contained 10 crabs! Mission accomplished.
What Can This Teach Us About Using Social Media?
So what has this little story got to do with social media? Well, it made me realise just where many business owners go wrong in their approach to using social media. If you are busily putting out content, but are frustrated by your lack of connection with your clients or engagement with your posts, then just like Cameron, it might be time for a change of approach:
1. Have a Plan
Keep your end goal in mind. What do you actually want to achieve by using social media in your coaching business? Is it to build a community of lovely clients? Increase your visibility as a coach or author? You must decide and set yourself some goals.
2. Fish in The Right Pools
How well do you know your ideal customer? Where are they most likely to hang out online….and are you using the right social networks to reach them? (If you're not sure, check out my article on Which Social Network Should You Use)
3. Use the Right Bait
Do your research. What are your ideal customers most interested in? What content and topics will hook them so you can engage with them and reel them in?
4. Don't Sell, Sell, Sell!
Don't rush in like a 3 year old with a lump of bread! If you constantly post about your business and what you have to offer, chances are that your customers will run for the hills. People use social media to keep in touch. To connect with friends, and to learn about new things. They do not want to be sold to. So don't jump into their rockpool with your sales message!
5. Scale Up – Use Facebook Ads
Sometimes a simple change in approach can make all the difference. When things aren't working to plan, review what you are doing and see if you are perhaps fishing in the wrong rockpools, or using the wrong bait. Do your research, and try something new.
Have you found a particular approach that really works for you in using social media in your business? I'd love to hear about it.