No doubt, you’ve been noticing big brands doing this for a while now… In TV commercials and print advertising they ask consumers to “like us on Facebook.” Or their brochures invite clients to “connect with us on LinkedIn.” The reasons for these requests are simple: Their ideal customers will self-select and become the brands’ dedicated – captive – audiences. And, brand managers know, consumers stay engaged, as long as the brands continue to give them reasons to.
As service providers we can also intertwine our traditional ways of marketing with the digital world. Even though our clients are local and we sell services instead, we can leverage our time by effectively combining our efforts with digital ways of connecting with our clients and nurturing the relationships our businesses rely on. Here are some ideas to get you started:
From Traditional to Digital
Build and Grow Your Tribe
- Include links and icons for your online assets and social media profiles on all of your printed materials. Some folks will take the initiative and connect with you online, but it never hurts to ask them to do so.
- Use QR (Quick Response) codes on your printed materials. This will lead the “digitally connected” folks to a page on your website where they will happily provide their e-mail address for an offer you make: a white paper, case study, checklist, 10 Best Tips, etc.
- Provide links to content that you will send to the e-mail address they provide.
- Ask folks to fill out and submit a paper-survey and then go online to see the results.
Nurture Your Tribe
Because your tribe is now connected with you, you have the opportunity to communicate with them directly and keep them engaged.
- Let them be the first to know. Whether you’ll be speaking or publishing an article soon, or attending an event, or making a special offer, make them aware of this before you officially publish the information elsewhere.
- Regularly connect. Send e-mails or post updates that includes information that keeps them engaged and keeps your services top of mind.
From Digital to Traditional
- Make an offer online to entice folks to connect with you offline. Examples include free (phone) consultations or a percentage discount for a particular service you offer. Better yet, make the online offer shareable. That way your digitally connected friend can extend it to his or her friend. This is a win-win-win: Your online follower can take advantage of the offer, and they can feel good about their friend also being able to take advantage of the same offer. You may gain a new lead. Everybody wins.
- Publicize events where they can connect with you in the real world.
- Share information online, make yourself available for follow-up questions during certain hours offline.
- Use the phone or mail to directly communicate with select members of your tribe. Deals are still sealed offline. Click To Tweet
These are only a few starter tips. You can see, though, as a service provider, you can easily combine the two platforms. The real key, however, is consistency. Once you have figured out the best way to connect and stay in touch with your audience, do it consistently. This will earn you “search engine juice”. Better yet, anything you do in the digital world is there for posterity. This means that – over time – online assets associated with you and your business rank higher in search engine results pages, organically.