The Best Social Media Advice for Any Business

O00MGHPXG6One of the best pieces of advice I can give you about social media has nothing to do with what you’re posting on social media – it’s about what other people are posting. It’s simple: if you want to fast-track your business, follow people who are doing what you want to do.

Off the top of my head, I can think of twice in my career where this advice allowed me to get where I was going much more quickly.

My approach sucked at first

The first time was when I was looking for a literary agent. At first, I simply Google’d something like “how to find a literary agent” and read a few blogs about query letters and non-fiction book proposals and went on my merry way drafting my letter and blasting it out to a list of literary agents I found on a website somewhere.

Guess where that got me…

Nowhere.

But, I’m not a quitter, so I read more. I subscribed to the RSS feeds for the blogs of every literary agent who represented non-fiction authors who seemed like a good fit for me, and I started following them all in a dedicated list on Twitter. I read through that Twitter feed once a day, and I read the blogs as they came in.

Within just a few months, I had identified every mistake I’d made the first time around with my query letter and proposal – and there were a LOT!

So, I went back to work revising my materials, and I tried again. That time around I got four offers from agents, including my #1 choice! Ultimately, that book was bought by Wiley, a dream come true!

Fast-tracking my coaching business

Thanks to my experience finding a literary agent, I was much smarter when I decided to grow my coaching business this year. I’ve been coaching for a few years, but I’ve limited myself to coaching people who want to work in sports (if you haven’t read my story, I transformed my career from corporate attorney to sports business reporter for outlets like Forbes and ESPN).

When I decided to expand my coaching business to focus on people who have a side gig they want to take to the next level, I looked for a coach myself. Sure, there are tons of free resources out there – eBooks, webinars, audio trainings and more . . . but I was ready to uplevel immediately.

So, I invested in myself and my business by hiring a coach. And, I started following other successful coaches on social media and by subscribing to their newsletters. When I saw a Facebook ad for a coach that made me want to click on it, I took a screenshot so I could review it later when I was designing my own Facebook ads. I saw a coach start a Q&A thread in a Facebook group one day, so I borrowed that idea and posted a similar thread in a Facebook thread where my ideal clients hang out.

Between the program with my coach and following these other successful coaches and emulating their marketing, I was able to bring on two paying clients on multi-month coaching packages in my first thirty days, and my roster has only grown since then.

The bottom line is that if it works for them, it’ll probably work for you. That’s not to say you won’t weed out some ideas or make some tweaks, but you get the point.

Ok, enough about me. Let’s talk about you!

Your gameplan

If you haven’t already, identify people who do what you want to do. They might not be doing exactly what you want to do, but find a few people who are succesfully running businesses doing something similar. For example, I follow coaches who only coach other coaches. That’s not what I do, but at the core it’s still coaching, just like my business.

Follow those people on every social media platform you use (and if you notice them repeatedly mentioning a social media platform you’re not on, consider getting an account there, even if just to follow them). I’d also follow their blog and subscribe to their newsletter.

Then you just sit back and watch for a few weeks. You’ll start to notice some patterns. For example, maybe they all send out their newsletter three times a week. Or maybe they all use Periscope once a day to interact with potential clients. If their ads pop up on your Facebook, save screenshots.

Evernote is a great way to keep track of all of this stuff. For example, I’ve saved screenshots of Facebook ads from the people I follow in a notebook I created in Evernote. I also saved a four-part series of newsletters one person I followed sent promoting her training course. I go back to those as I create my own materials, and I borrow some basic things like length, types of images, frequency, etc.

Pay attention to the types of content they create and share, the way they describe their business and any clues they give about processes, systems or networking that has helped them along the way. Take notes!

Is this really going to get me there faster?

Now, you might be thinking, Gee, Kristi, that sounds like a lot of work. That doesn’t sound fast at all. 

Yes, on the surface it seemed faster to me to Google a sample query letter and non-fiction book proposal, draft them up and blast them out to a huge list of literary agents. (If I remember correctly, it took me about a week total – which is horrifying to me knowing what I know now.) I thought my idea kicked a$$, so of course someone was going to want to represent me!

Wrong! I think I could have continued with that method until I was blue in the face and still never have gotten a book deal. In fact, the actual substance of my book didn’t change between my first efforts and my ultimately successful efforts – my query letter, proposal and strategy changed, but the book idea itself did not.

This is about being efficient – it’s about actually getting you to your goal. On the surface it might not sound faster, but it will be because you’ll be doing the right thing instead of practicing the trial and error method.

I’m guessing if you’ve read through this far, it’s because the trial and error method hasn’t worked for you yet. So, why not try my way?

Think I can help you get to your goal faster? Schedule a FREE, no-sales assessment with me today.

2 Comments
  • October 5, 2015

    If you haven’t already, identify people who do what you want to do. They might not be doing exactly what you want to do, but find a few people who are succesfully running businesses doing something similar. For example, I follow coaches who only coach other coaches. That’s not what I do, but at the core it’s still coaching, just like my business.

    great advice, its best to get a mental map of where you are heading or want to head. Its important to see if its even a wanted item. i love googling questions people have about business and seeing if i could help them. Stop rebuilding ships and follow other successful people foot steps and paths. Be unique though.

  • October 5, 2015

    Thanks for the insightful post! I am slowly learning from the best food and fitness bloggers out there. It’s amazing what an open mind will do – just sucking in all the learning goodness!!

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