Do you as a business owner feel overwhelmed by the vast sea that is social media? Nowadays it seems as though there isn’t enough time in the day for you to both run your business and market yourself online. For small business owners it can be a monumental task.
We met with Ramona Braganza and Kim Barr to talk about how social media has changed the game for self-employed entrepreneurs and small businesses. Ramona is a global fitness expert working with both celebrity and private clients, and Kim is the business developer from Set The Barr specializing in social media in Ramona’s corner. As community-driven business women, they had a lot to say on the topic.
Ramona recounted to us the first DVD workout video she made back in 1999, when she was working with Jessica Alba. Ramona started out in her living room with a tripod camera and an outstanding attitude. On-the-road networking was her go-to marketing strategy.
Although networking in person is still a valuable practice today, it’s happening slightly differently online.
Social media provides a wide reach for business owners to spread their name, brand, and product. A beginner’s concern is how to get started and build a following. Ramona nailed a common frustration with starting in social media on the head during our discussion.
“Sponsors will come to you if you have 10 million followers, which bothered me a little bit, because as an expert I sat there going ‘I [only] have a thousand followers’.” Turning to Kim, she continued, “That’s why you guys are so important to get my numbers up.”
Hire someone to help you with your social media
Ramona sang her praises for Kim throughout the entire podcast. The main reason? Someone like Kim can help with time management.
Finding the time to post daily, especially on faster moving platforms like Snapchat, is difficult. It’s especially difficult for businesses like Ramona’s who move around often. The busier you get, the less time you’ll have to market yourself.
She suggested filming a large portion of content in one day. If you’re on the move and you can’t have your phone up and running all the time, then plan ahead. A specialist who lives and breathes social media every day can be there to post at the right time in the right way.
Figure out where your client base is
“Just because there happens to be Pinterest, Youtube, [etc,] it doesn’t mean you have to be on every single one of those social media platforms. Figure out where your clientele is and go to those platforms and start marketing,” Kim advised.
When asked about how to deal with fluctuating followers, she had a pragmatic response. “I always say to my clients, don’t get hung up on the number. It’s the quality over the quantity.”
Finding those clients who are engaged and interacting with you is key to building your client base. Even if you have a massive amount of followers, you may not be landing any solid leads. Those large numbers can actually slow your algorithm down.
Communicate with your followers to show them that you care. Like their comments. Respond to their questions. Thank them for being there. Great business involves two-way communication.
Be a part of the community
As a part of their social media strategy, Kim asks all her clients how involved they are in their community. It gives her a better understanding of the company’s direction and current standing.
“What sort of charitable events are you doing? What kind of events are you showing up to? Do you belong to the Chamber of Commerce? What other community partners do you have, because your community ends up being your biggest advocate for you.”
Promoting your company is easier when you’re out there. By holding events, or going to them to network, you can promote both yourself and your cause. Put in the legwork, and before you know it you’ll be reaping the benefits.
Consumers in the community are looking to support businesses that add to the community, not take away from it.
“You can take a community and lift it up by everybody participating in things instead of sitting back,” Ramona added. “That’s why I think video is so good on social media because [the consumers] have a connection; it’s not just the words or photo, they hear the person speak about it.”
It’s clear to see that when marketing yourself on social media there are a lot of things to consider. With the right planning, resources and help, you can easily get online and start implementing your strategy.
Hopefully you learned as much as we did from Ramona and Kim. If you’d like to hear more about the charity work Ramona is doing, or what other fantastic advice Kim had, please give our podcast a listen at..