Sales is the life blood of every business. You may be an ace at numbers and helping people get money back from the tax man but if no one knows about it, you will not be in business long.
You may have already won over a few people, but relying on word-of-mouth to bring more customers in the door is not an effective sales strategy. To hang your hopes on other people spreading the word for you, is risky.
To increase your sales, you must take a pro-active approach to promote your products and services. In the coming weeks we will look at marketing on Instagram and other social media for various sectors. If you do not have an Instagram account, be sure to read Set Up Your Business on Instagram first.
Identify Your Ideal Customer
Don’t practice random acts of content creation. Be intentional about speaking to the type of customer you want to work with.
Remember in our setting up your business post, we identified an accountant as the service provider. This accountant specifically catered to busy mompreneurs. While you can also serve other types of customers, knowing who most often asks for your services and who recommends you can be the launch pad for attracting more customers in this niche.
What sectors are these mompreneurs in? How much is their annual revenue? What are their primary needs and questions? Are you happy serving them or are they too much trouble? Be sure that the customer you are speaking to is the one you love to serve over and over and over again.
One of the assumptions we have made is that your ideal customer is using Instagram. Get the Ideal Customer Workbook to help you with building a profile and to find out if this is really where they hang out.
Create and Plan Your Content
Now that you are clear on who you want to serve, use a variety of content to engage with them.
Instagram allows you to post static images, images with stickers, carousels (up to10 images in one post), stories and more.
You can also go live on Instagram.
Commit to posting at least twice a week. One day can be an image sharing a bookkeeping tip and the next can be a video of you explain what a profit and loss statement is or how to create a formula in a spreadsheet.
Plan at least two weeks worth of content at one time. You can use the same bookkeeping tip as an image, a live video, a story, etc. The key to succeeding and posting relevant content is to use a variety of mediums to tell the same story. All of your followers won’t see your content each and every time. However, you can increase your visibility by being consistent. There is no need to spam your own feed with multiple posts per day. The minute you add a fresh post, your old post loses its visibility. Give each piece of content time to work.
Use canva.com to create a variety of content with relevant photos for your account.
Suggested Content for Accountants
- Changes to local tax regulations
- Organising Payroll
- Income Tax tips
- Create a Budget
- Useful apps for invoicing
- Software for keeping the books
- Tax benefits for people with children
- Seasonal expenses to look out for
- Inspirational quotes on money and wealth
- A webinar on setting up Quickbooks or another software
Tell a Story in the Caption
One of the big mistakes and missed opportunities that entrepreneurs make, is to post images without a caption. Think of the first two lines as your headline. What would make someone click to read more? You can write up to 2200 characters in the space so use it wisely to tell people more about the image or the related services.
Be sure to include hashtags (see below) to help with discoverability of your content.
Call to Action
Always include a call to action at the end of the caption on each post. Do you want them to share it with a friend, leave you a comment, sign up for your webinar or save the post for future reference? Invite them to do so.
The use of hashtags (#) in your posts is key to finding and attracting customers. Your images alone won’t do the trick. There must be a way for people to connect with your service and hashtags offer this resource.
Social Media Examiner recommends that the best way to leverage hashtags for organic Instagram content is to use a combination of:
- Trending hashtags
- Moderately popular hashtags
- Niche-specific hashtags
- Personally branded hashtags
- Trending – #WhereTheMoneyResides #Accounting #Entrepreneurs #Bookkeeping
- Moderately popular – #BookkeepingTips #SmallBusinessAccounting
- Niche-specific – #Mompreneur #MompreneursRock #BusyMompreneurs
- Personally branded – #BasicAccountingInc #AccountantsofMontserrat
Check Your Insights Regularly
On a weekly basis, do a deep dive into your Insights/analytics. This option is only available on the Instagram app on your mobile, or via Facebook Business Suite, if you have connected these accounts.
You want to understand which content is resonating with your followers. Are you getting clicks to your website or other sign up links? Do sales come from these engagements?
You may be trying to reach mothers but if you discover that more men follow you, it could provide information for creating a new product to offer to this market.
Follow and Support Other Accounts
Instagram is about being social. This means, it can’t all be about you. It is important that you connect with others, even people you consider your competition and businesses who fit your ideal customer profile.
Take fifteen minutes daily to comment on other people’s posts. Do you resonate with their thought process or want to challenge it in a meaningful and supportive way? Do so.
Respond to messages from prospective customers in your inbox in a timely manner.
No matter the sector you are in, building a following and attracting customers via Instagram takes focus and a plan. Grab my Ideal Customer Workbook here, to help you identify who you want to serve most.
Nerissa Golden is a media and business strategist and the founder of Truly Caribbean Academy, an elearning platform for entrepreneurs. She is the editor of Discover Montserrat and author of eight books, including Start, Grow, Thrive: Build a Business to Last. Follow her on Instagram at @trulynerissagolden