Lately I’ve been running some marketing experiments with activities on Facebook and LinkedIn to explore what it takes to get leads without paying for them.
This has tuned me into what other people are doing as I discover what feels aligned for me.
I’m connecting with a community of coaches and consultants, so almost everyone is looking for business.
Sometimes it gets pretty sleazy. Doing things like:
- Friending me on Facebook…then immediately inviting me to a coaching conversation
- Asking me to like their Facebook page before they’ve even said hello.
- Commenting about their business on one of my posts. (Very bad form.)
I’m sure these business owners don’t mean to be sleazy or obnoxious. They’re excited about their businesses and eager to help new clients.
(Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.)
The big mistake is making an offer before they know anything about who I am or what I might need.
It leaves me thinking that they don’t care about anything other than making sales for their own business.
Contrast this with my new connections on Facebook who say hello and engage with me…before talking about what they do.
Recently, one coach asked what I do, and inquired deeper. She shared her formula for an “Elevator Pitch” along with insights into the experience she creates for her clients.
Here’s an example of building relationships that lead to clients and partners…
She did an amazing job of making the conversation about me AND demonstrating her expertise.
I felt like she was genuinely interested.
She gave me helpful advice without suggesting that I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Admittedly, I can be a little irritable if someone preaches to me about marketing without being invited, since I’ve been around the marketing block a few times. She avoided that pitfall nicely.
I learned that she specializes in helping people get clients with social media. If I needed help with that, she’d be the first one I would call.
If you want to get leads from social media, you must build relationships first.
I can’t stress that enough!
(That’s really true anywhere, but especially on social media, where people gather to connect and share…not buy and sell.)
I’ve been having a lot of success finding potential clients for my coaching business with a combination of sharing content, comments on others’ posts, connecting and starting conversations.
Here are some tips for getting wedding leads with free activities on Facebook:
#1 – Join Facebook groups where your target couples are active.
These might be local wedding destination sites or planning groups. Read and follow the group guidelines carefully, and make sure you’re allowed to participate as a business.
#2 – Share information that’s interesting to your ideal couples.
- Pictures from your recent weddings
- Ideas for using songs to personalize the event
- Real wedding stories
- Answers to questions about color, theme, entertainment, travel, etc.
DON’T SELL YOURSELF.
If it’s permitted, you may add a sentence at the end such as, “Want to learn more about how to do this for your wedding? PM me and I’d love to help,” but ONLY if it’s permitted by the rules of the group.
#3 – Notice who comments and likes your post in the group, friend them and send them a message, asking a question related to their post or the wedding.
It might look something like this:
Hey, Jane! It was lovely meeting you in the Facebook group.
What’s the most exciting thing about planning your wedding?
#4 – When the bride/groom responds, chat naturally for a bit before making any offer.
Ask them questions and offer suggestions or resources that might be helpful. Once you’ve established a connection, you might extend an offer to help them further.
I specialize in wedding flowers, so talking themes and colors is my jam! Let me know if I can help.
#5 – Keep sharing posts that contribute to the community, making helpful or encouraging comments on other people’s posts in groups and in your feed, and connecting.
If you follow these guidelines with a genuine attempt to connect and help people first, you’ll build relationships with people who need your services.
You’ll become someone they respect and trust, and you’ll (eventually) get business as a result.
What to Expect
Know that it takes time to build these relationships. You have to do a lot of “give” first to earn their trust and the opportunity to talk about yourself.
Notice how much energy the woman in the message example put into communicating with me?
If you’re not willing to do that, you’re better off sticking with paid advertising directed at people who are actively searching for you.
The same principles apply to networking with other wedding pros, by the way. Connect with them as people, be interested and helpful first; then invite them into a conversation about how you might partner together.
How is social media working for your wedding business?
Yours in creative play,
P.S. If you’re interested in creating a simple, aligned marketing strategy for your business, let’s have a virtual coffee and Wild Creation chat to see how I can help.
P.P.S. See what I just did there? Practice what you preach, yo. 🙂