This is a question I was asked recently. This plumber, let's call him Tim, calls himself “computer illiterate”. He said he knows he should be using this social media stuff, but doesn't have a clue where to start.
I totally understand where he's coming from, and so do a lot of landscapers, painters, carpenters, accountants, electricians, and attorneys. If you fall into this category, I want to give you a strategy that will get you started and may be all you need to keep your online marketing going.
Here's what you do.
1. Create a WordPress blog. Write short posts, two paragraphs, about anything and everything that relates to your industry and your specialty.
Tim could write about “How to Choose a Water Heater”, “What to Look For in a Plumber” or “How to Fix a Leaky Sink.” Tim can even hire someone to write these articles for him. There are plenty of freelance writers available in his town or on the internet. He can find a friend, relative or college student to write for him. He might even have an employee who wouldn't mind writing a few short posts.
2. Create a Facebook account and fan page
It won't take Tim long to create a Facebook account and start learning how to use it. He can spend just a few minutes a day inviting people to be his friend. He should invite people in his city because that's where his work is done and he should talk to people in his geographical location. Tim can also create a fan page which will be just about his plumbing business. This will allow him to keep his business posts here on the fan page, and use his profile for more personal conversations.
3. Import your blog to your Facebook Fan page.
Facebook makes it easy to import your blog to a Notes tab on your fan page. Once you do, your blog posts will automatically appear on your fan page when you post in WordPress. This is so automatic that sometimes I forget it's happening. Readers of Tim's fan page will be able to see what Tim is all about and what expertise he has in his industry.
These three steps create a good solid social media strategy that won't take much of Tim's time. And he can delegate most of it to others.
Now let's walk through how this strategy brings Tim more work and income. Let's say I wake up and find my water heater has q uit working. The last time I called a plumber was 2006 and I don't remember who I called. I dread having to dig through all of my old check stubs to find the last plumber I used.
Then I remember, Hey, there's a “friend” on my Facebook who is a plumber. I've seen him mention his work and I checked out his fan page and saw his blog articles. He seems to know what he's talking about. I will ask him who I should call.
I send Tim a message on Facebook. He tells me the geographical area he covers and gives me his phone number. He also tells me he can help me find someone if I'm not in his area. I see I AM in his area! I ask myself, what do I know about his guy? Should I be calling him? I recall he has talked about his son on Facebook, so I know he's a father. I know he owns a boat because he posts pictures of him and his some on the boat on weekends. I feel like I know him a little already. I think I can trust him. I know more about him than someone in the phone book.
I find the link to his website on his Facebook page and call him. Tim has gained a new customer.
You can find out more about this simple strategy and more in my free Ebook “Pump Up Your Profits with Social Media.” I offer step-by-step instructions on how to set up your social media tools at http://mysocialmarketingclass.com.
Leave me a comment. Have you ever done business with someone after seeing them on your social media networks?