These days, social media sites and apps aren’t just on the internet; in many ways, they are the internet. As an opportunity for selling and marketing, social channels are simply too big to ignore. In fact, more than 75% of female entrepreneurs worldwide view social media as beneficial to their business endeavors.
But selling requires confidence — and social selling is no exception. So, what are the best ways to develop the mindset you need to move forward? Here are a few that have worked for me:
Build A Foundation
Businesses start with relationships. If you have an empathetic feel for other people’s thoughts, emotions and experiences, then you are already well along the way to developing the networking abilities that will help your enterprise thrive.
The women and men you meet over the course of your entrepreneurial journey won’t all be future colleagues or customers, but that doesn’t mean those interactions won’t be valuable. People always respond well to authenticity.
Rather than treating everyone as a potential partner or sale, approach them as people. Add that genuine human touch to everything you do as a business owner. It’s one of the simplest, yet also one of the best ways to ensure that your business is built on a solid foundation — even before you take your sales message to your social channels of choice.
It’s also something that you will carry through all stages of your business, from the earliest development of your ideas to — hopefully — the heights of success.
Create an online presence that reflects your real-life love of people. Communicate your enthusiasm for your product and the benefits that it will bring to your customers — or that it has already brought to people near and dear to you.
Be prepared to serve as a thought leader, meaning that you may find yourself in the position of sharing ideas and insights into your industry that do not directly increase sales of your product. Instead, they help establish your credibility in your chosen field, which will make the relationship between you and your audience stronger and stronger over time.
And here’s the best part: Once you’ve demonstrated your ability as an entrepreneur, confidence will naturally follow. You will become more self-assured with each helpful contact you meet, each clever marketing strategy you devise and ultimately, each sale you make.
Learn From The BestWe all have our heroes — not just as entrepreneurs, but as women in general. For some, it may be Beyonce, a brand unto herself whose business ventures include her own clothing line and entertainment company.
For others (myself included), it may be digital sales gurus like Melonie Dodaro, founder and CEO of Top Dog Social Media. Built upon an understanding of what social marketing can do, Dodaro’s company uses training and consulting to help other businesses harness the power of LinkedIn.
“When up-and-coming business owners ask me for advice, no matter who they are or where they come from, I always tell them the same thing,” Dodaro explains. “Believe in yourself first. Also, just as importantly, believe in your ability to help others in pursuit their goals — business and otherwise. Everything else follows from that way of thinking.”
Needless to say, your role models may vary. There are many fierce entrepreneurs, past and present, who would be more than honored to know that others are following in their footsteps. However, no matter how much success you find, remember the bold business owners who came before you.
Own Your Brand
As a female business owner, you belong to a rapidly growing number of women (responsible for more than $1 trillion in sales) who are claiming their rightful place in the challenging world of commerce. This is a good thing, of course. But with the sheer number of entrepreneurs competing for the attention of potential customers, it can be difficult to rise above the fray.
Unfortunately, this is even more true on social media, where users are bombarded with constant marketing. If you’ve ever used Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube, then you have an idea of how much social selling has made its ways into our daily lives.
The challenge becomes setting yourself apart from the other business owners — especially in or adjacent to your “niche” — who would love nothing more than to take your slice of the pie.
So, when I say, “Own your brand,” you should realize that I’m not just talking about owning your business in a legal sense. I mean truly owning everything that makes your business unique.
Remember that you do not establish a “brand” by offering the same thing that other business owners before you have provided — be yourself! Recognize the uniqueness of your vision, your relationships, your product. Proceed with the utmost certainty that you have what it takes to put your brand on the social selling map. Establish a sense of momentum, and this newfound confidence will continue building upon itself.