"It's the best way to market your business."
"If your not on social media then you're missing out."
This is what I was hearing a couple of years when I was newly qualified as a mortgage adviser. I was motivated, ready to jump into my new career with both feet but was hesitant to start posting about my new job and shouting it on social media channels. "Mortgages, that's a bit boring to be talking about on Facebook", I would tell myself. I was also worried about what people would think and did feel slight worry about judgment being passed on me if I "put myself out there" for all to see.
Surely I would just be able to network and find clients that way, right? Attend events, connect with new people, get referrals from current clients - that's the way it's always been done. Eventually, people would get to know me, I thought, I don't need social media.
After a few months of realising how hard it really was to generate new clients and some peer pressure from others, I gave in and decided that I was going to start using social media for business purposes.
Fast forward two years and my mindset have completely changed! I really feel that social media offers a great platform for people and businesses to build an audience and help others. From posting industry-related articles a couple of times a week at the start, with the help of others we now have a podcast, my own website, a property network community and we are posting multiple times a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I don't say this to boast, I share this to show that if I can do it, then anyone can really.
I have seen huge benefits from utilising social media for business and really believe anyone can see results no matter what your business is. I have not taken any courses or qualifications in social media marketing, but I have consumed a lot of content on the subject matter from books, videos, and blogs from leading thought leaders on the subject. Most of these resources are totally free and can be consumed by anyone, giving them all the tools and ideas needed to at least get started and be pushing in the right direction.
One main point that many experts make that I strongly agree with is about the type of content you post. Old-school marketing was about sales - businesses constantly promoted their product or service and would offer discounts or promotions, pushing you to buy. Due to the changes in the way we communicate, the platforms we have and the access to huge amounts of information, this way of marketing does seem quite outdated now.
The new marketing strategy is all about offering valuable content for your audience. That could be through creating valuable educational information, entertaining content or a valuable community. A mix of all three is recommended - the "potential customer" becomes a community member instead and benefits from the content that you are creating. When they consume your content and they see it as beneficial, you will build a stronger relationship and trust with that person compared to you just offering 20% off or buy one get one free, where they may just buy once but then forget you.
I am still learning and I am in no sense an expert of any kind. I am just purely reporting that social media has had a beneficial effect on my business and I genuinely would like you to see the same. I don't expect you to take my advice - I'm a property investor and mortgage adviser, not a social media expert!! Therefore, I have set up an event and got the experts in to go into specific detail about how we can successfully grow our business through social media.