With the many different social media platforms and experts sharing their views on which one is best suited for your business it is easy for any entrepreneur or sales professional to get confused as to which one best suits them and their business. Also, let's not forget learning and understanding the everchanging algorithms, trends, patterns, etc. where one week your content and engagement are great or growing then the next the engagement things aren't the same.
Yup, that's been my experience with social media and social selling and to be honest, there have been times I questioned if using it makes sense. But something happened to me very early in my entrepreneurial journey that made me pay attention to this thing called social selling and the platform called LinkedIn.
When I started my own business in 2018, I began just like everyone else, making calls to introduce myself and what I do to the potential customers. While that worked, there was a challenge. People were not familiar with Lyndon Brathwaite - the brand - and it took a while for some to shift that association from where I worked before to me now being an independent.
However, something I noticed was that out of the three platforms I used at the time, there was one platform that allowed me to really showcase my skills, expertise, and brand to the masses...that platform was LinkedIn. What really surprised me was that after posting and sharing my views on different things about sales and business growth, I got a call from a well-established company to discuss partnering with them on some upcoming programmes.
Can you imagine that? I've been making calls, having meetings, and doing follow-ups with little or no real traction. Then out of nowhere, I get a message from a senior executive on LinkedIn requesting the ability to meet to discuss a few things.
This was my first realization of the power of social selling and also the value of LinkedIn. That message and conversation have now turned into a long-standing relationship with the client 2 years running. Apart from that, just showing up on LinkedIn has given me the opportunity to speak on podcasts, connect with people all over the world, with some of them even asking for my guidance and support.
If you ever doubted the value of using social media for your personal brand and by extension your business, allow me to reassure you that there is value in it. Just like everything else, it requires time, patience, and a lot of consistency. If you are like me and get busy with client work which would affect your consistency in posting, I suggest that you seek support with an assistant or someone specialized in the field of social media.
We are in the digital age and there is no denying that our customer's behaviours have changed. Close to 60% of their decision is made just by them doing their research before contacting a vendor. A large part of that research comes from social media and each platform has its place in the sales and buyers cycle.