Once upon a time, accounting and tax firms depended on newspaper ads, magazine spots, a well-curated Rolodex of business cards, and good-old-fashioned word of mouth to get new clients. Times have changed, though, haven’t they? In this modern Information Age, people are still using the older methods but with a significantly less rate of return. Today’s billboards and magazine ads are on social media. And these days, networking events are slowly being replaced by social networking on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This week’s guest, Adrian Dayton, is an expert on using social media to network and market as a professional. In this chat between David and Adrian, notice just how powerful social media can be if you’re willing to put in the work and put out new content. Main Points from this Episode:
What is social media?
How to start out on social
Being a Specialist and not a Generalist
What to share
How to make LinkedIn think your content is high quality
When Adrian Dayton brought a new client to his firm just by answering a tweet, he was sure he’d discovered something special, a tool professionals can use to grow their business, attract new clients, and develop a brand that the entire world can see. His superiors weren’t nearly as impressed, however. When Adrian wanted to teach others in the firm to use Twitter to find new clients, he was told that the company was too traditional to do such a thing. In fact, not long after, he was dismissed from the firm. That setback, however disappointing, didn’t detour Adrian. In fact, his enthusiasm only grew as he delved deeper into the world of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Today he’s an expert at helping professionals from a variety of fields establish themselves online in social media. Let’s look at three main topics Adrian covered in his chat with David, points you can start applying right away.
Being a Specialist, not a Generalist
Many professionals hear that they should be on social media, especially LinkedIn because it’s been designed specifically for business, and they create a profile for themselves or their company. When making a profile, however, there is a temptation Adrian suggests you avoid: trying to be everything for everybody. In other words, you should aim to be a Specialist and not a Generalist. What does that mean? If you say in your profile all the small tasks you’re able to do, you’re just muddying the impact of your brand. If you’re an accountant, potential clients will assume that you can do simple tasks that involve payroll or taxes. Listing those things won’t help you as much as you’d think. Instead, what if you highlight only one of two things that you specialize in? Are you an expert in a certain area of taxes? Or do you specialize in helping a certain kind of business? To you have tricks up your sleeve to help make businesses leaner by helping them better manage their money? Whatever you specialize in, proclaim it loudly on social media. It will help you stand out from the crowd.
How to Make LinkedIn Like Your Content
LinkedIn is by far the most important social network for professionals, and making quality content is an amazing way to get noticed on LinkedIn. In fact, right now, organic reach on LinkedIn is very high compared to other social media platforms. Posting articles or videos on LinkedIn is a powerful strategy right now. But LinkedIn won’t automatically promote your posts. The website first assumes your content is low quality and will only show it to a small percentage of people. Good for preventing spam, but bad for getting noticed. So the secret is convincing LinkedIn that your content is high quality. How do you do that? Here are a few pointers Adrian shared:
Post regularly. You can post up to once a workday (or up to 20 times a month) without getting diminishing returns.
Use tags to give your content a relevant category.
Share your content with people that will read and like it (and perhaps share it with others). You can also tag people in the content.
By doing things like these, you can increase the reach of your posts. The more interaction you get, the more LinkedIn will be willing to spread your content.
How to 10x the Return on Your Social Media Efforts
The best way to get the most return on your effort is to post engaging, original content often. Sharing content that others have posted is a great way to increase the amount of content you put out, but it isn’t nearly as effective as putting out your own content. How can you get more original content? Here’s one way. When you’re talking with a client, what questions do they ask you? What concerns do they have, and how do you help them? It’s likely that your other clients have similar questions. Each question-answer combo could become a new piece of content. Simply write down a more thought-out version of the answer you gave your client and post that as an article on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you could choose to record yourself (or get someone to record you) answering questions over lunch or at an event. That can then be broken up into smaller pieces of content. One common objection people have about posting so much content is the amount of time they have to spend posting things to social media. However, there are tools out there that can help you schedule posts ahead of time. That way, you could get all your social media gruntwork done for the week all at once. Some tools, like Hootsuite, are free to use but limited in features. You can also use paid tools like Clearview Social so all your employees can work together to put out scheduled content on various social media platforms. If you want a free copy of Adrian’s book about using Twitter as a professional, send him an email, which you can find in the Resources section above. RELATED LINKS: