Statistically speaking, social media has proven to be a powerful tool for landing new clients and servicing existing ones. Whether it’s getting the attention of a reporter who then does a feature on a client through a facebook post, getting a friend request from a stranger claiming he wants to hire you, or just trolling through your LinkedIn page and profile views and following up with an intro email, using social media accounts to land new clients and service existing ones can be very profitable.
I’ve gotten several new clients this way, mostly through my LinkedIn. The first was a Miami company owner who sent a connect request explaining he’d like to hire me to get his name up on search engines. His email was courteous and to the point. “You don’t know me but I am interested in hiring you. I’m impressed with your accomplishments.” He gave his phone number and asked me to call him. I Googled him. The company was legit. After we exchanged a few emails discussing his pr needs, I further checked out his company and sent him my phone number. He sent a retainer that day. More requests came.
Soon after, I quickly realized I could increase my new client contacts by following a few simple social media guidelines:
- Always present yourself professionally, even in your personal social media accounts- you NEVER know who will view your profile
- Monitor to see who is checking your profile- check their legitimacy, then send an intro email
- Update and maintain your accounts and sites frequently
- Strengthen your network by asking others to refer you to their clients and contacts
- Increase visitors and contacts by including your your social media sites in your email signature, website, advertisements, and on business cards
- LinkedIn is proven to be a top producer of new client introductions, give those viewing your profile a clear idea of your specializations and keep it updated as your career progresses
- Ask for recommendations from your past and current clients
- Cross-connect your blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts and have successes and updates and posts appear simultaneously when possible to reach maximum contacts and followers
- Create a buzz of curiousity by viewing LinkedIn profiles of clients that you would like to work for; they will see that you have viewed their profiles and perhaps view yours, finding that you are just who they are looking for
- Get freelance work by sending intro messages to those in similar professions and industries
- Post on-going client successes to show you are capable of producing results
- Follow and friend your media and pr contacts and keep them informed of client story, photo and pr opportunities
- Offer social-media directed incentives to lure new clients
- Offer rewards/services to existing clients and social media contacts for referrals who become new clients
In any profession, there’s a certain grain of trust you put out there when you post your name, picture, address, phone number and website. In PR, relating to the public is your first nature, and you want to think the best of those who contact you; you hold a certain level of confidence that you are wise enough to know a scam artist from a legitimate job offer. I follow a few simple guidelines before I reply to people who find me through my social media sites:
- Google the potential client’s name
- Research the company and website blogs, social media sites, customer feedback, etc.
- If you’re still not sure, ‘secret-shop’ the company to get a sense of their professionalism, customer service and follow-up with a simple phone call
- Check with the Better Business Bureau, public records, criminal search sites, and returns on their phone number and email addresses through search sites
- Over a course of a few days, visit their social media sites for a feel for who they are and how they communicate with others
- Read recommendations from other clients or customers on LinkedIn, and posts on Twitter and Facebook
- Check their past experience, qualifications, abilities, and accomplishments
- If you still have doubts, ask them for a few references
Are these tips helpful? Are there any others you’d like to add? Please comment on this post and share with others!
Sherry Gavanditti has been a PR/media specialist for the past 30 years and currently works for various clients, including Menorah Park Campus, the largest premier nursing care facility in Ohio. In addition to serving a vast array of clients’ PR and design needs, additional experience includes working with the Associated Press, Crain’s Cleveland Business, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and various other daily, weeky and monthly magazines and newspapers. Contact her on Twitter.
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