This is how I got my first speaking engagement in just 3 weeks. I am a very small fish in a very big pond. Today I was invited to give my first speech at a large networking group. I will be the only one speaking at this event. I am not telling you this to brag but to prove to you that if you follow just a few golden rules of Social Media Marketing then you can get speaking engagement yourself.
Just like everybody else wants to get people’s attention in Social Media so do I. Once you have attention people will start to engage with you which will lead to interaction and eventually lead to sales if you know how to convert opportunities.
Goals For This Post
- To show you how I got my first speaking engagement
- To show you how it can be done without spending a dime
Social Media Marketing is not about the tools. I have said it before and I will say it again and again until you’re sick of it. Having all the tools in place just allows you to publicise your content and to be more efficient but it doesn’t differentiate you from anybody else. It doesn’t differentiate you from anybody else.
Anybody can put all the tools in place. I did it for free. I have a Facebook Page, a LinkedIn profile and Company Page, a WordPress blog, Twitter account, StumbleUpon account and Reddit account.
Only a little customisation has been done to my Facebook Page, Twitter account and blog. I basically have the minimum required set up. I use two other tools namely Hootsuite and Buffer. Both of them are the free version.
When I started my Social Media Marketing strategy 3 weeks ago I had 4 likes (friends) on my Facebook Page, 14 followers (friends) on Twitter and I had made two blog posts. Yes, 4 likes, 14 followers and 2 blog posts.
My blog is the core of my Social Media Marketing strategy. Without it I would be nowhere. From day one I recognised that providing quality content is the only way to get people’s attention in Social Media. I spend an inordinate amount of time writing each blog post.
I spend so much time partly because my English is crap and partly because I want to make sure each blog post is well structured and easy to read. My blog is very focused on Social Media and Social Media Marketing for the simple reason that I want to be known as an authority on Social Media and Social Media Marketing. I’m no authority by far but that’s my goal. I also try to make my content newsworthy and interesting. I probably spent 1 – 2 hours writing each blog post. This blog post has taken me almost 2 hours to write. I have published 16 blog posts so far.
I get my ideas about what to write about from listening to influencers. I have a RSS feed and I constantly monitor it for interesting news. I do watch my Twitter feed and the Facebook Pages I have liked but my RSS feed is the most valuable source for me. It is probably the simplest way to get latest news from influencers. I currently have feeds from 21 sources.
All my blog posts are automatically published to LinkedIn and via Twitter. I have just started to upload to StumbleUpon and Reddit two days ago. I post manually to my Facebook Page because I want to write something in the Status Update to give it a more personal touch. It’s part of my strategy to humanise my brand and my Fans deserve more.
I pick my picture very carefully and think about the headline as both are directly correlated with how many people wants to read more. Writing something you really want people to read and get no readers because you have picked a bad picture or your headline is not getting any attention must really suck.
I also, try to provide factual information to support my statements in order to increase the trust level of my reader.
I also use the same template for every blog post – Introduction, Goals For This Post, Conclusion and Call To Action.
In the beginning I had nothing to contribute so I just listened, commented and shared. I started to follow influencers and retweeted their most interesting and relevant tweets to my followers. Slowly people started to follow me. Yesterday I got 43 new followers and it’s going up every day. People don’t follow you because you retweet other people’s stuff. They follow you when they see that your content can add value. Quality content is again proving its value.
I then began to include the influencers’ Twitter handle in some of my tweets and some have started to follow me.
Why did they decide to follow a very small fish? Because they read my quality content and decided that I might be interesting. What other reason could there possibly be? It comes back to quality content again.
Why is it so important to have influencers following you? The two main reasons are that people listen to them and that they have a huge number of followers.
Their retweets are much more likely to be read and many people probably have them in one of their Twitter lists. Through the influencers I can potentially reach millions of people. Some of these influencers have more than 250,000 followers so if they retweet one of my blog posts my blog stats are going to sky rocket. I have 246 followers and each follower has on average 50,000 followers. I never asked any of them to follow me. They decided to follow me.
Two days ago I was invited to join an invitation only network where everybody retweets each others blog posts. The total numbers of followers of the members in my two groups is 1.8 million.
Every single blog post I make now goes out to up to 1.8 million people. I basically just increased my followers from a measly 246 to 1.8 million.
How did I get invited? Somebody on Twitter retweeted one of my tweets and somebody in the network read some of my blog posts, liked it and invited me. If I start to post junk then I will get kicked out – deservedly so. This has again happened because I provide quality content.
My strategy for my Facebook Page is slightly different.
As I mentioned before I post my blog posts manually to give them a personal touch. I believe you have to prove to your Fans that you are a great lover. Once they love you they will be your brand ambassador forever if you stay consistent and continue to provide quality content. If you want somebody to love you then you have to give them special attention. I probably post 4 to 8 times a day.
I have never tried to sell my services on my Facebook Page and I believe it is fatal if you constantly try to promote your products and services on your Facebook Page. Try at your own peril.
In addition to posting my own blog posts I also post interesting and current information with links to the sources. I always include a picture because Status Updates with pictures get more attention.
I have recently made a few posts about Google+ and Google+ Company Pages because I know that people and companies want to be on Google+. I also made a post recently about a really cool Facebook app I am using myself. Around New Year I also posted some year in review links from YouTube and Google. I try to mix it up to avoid coming across as being too serious and to humanise my brand.
My RSS feed is my most valuable source. As soon as interesting tools, tutorials or other relevant information is published by influencers it will go into my RSS feed.
If I share it instantly I will be the first to tell my Fans and they will share it and pay more attention to my next posts. In 3 weeks my ‘likes’ have gone up by 1,650% excluding Facebook Pages which have liked my Facebook Page because Facebook Page likes from other Facebook Pages doesn’t count in the likes stat shown on your Facebook Page.
I am a member of relevant Social Media discussion groups and blogging groups. I’m an active participant but I never promote myself for reasons stated above.
I believe that people on LinkedIn discussion groups are more advanced in Social Media and they will check you out and link up with you via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my RSS feed or by connecting with me on LinkedIn if they find me interesting. I also provide links to valuable information as a way of showing my willingness to share.
Connecting with influencers has probably been the second most successful strategy besides providing quality content. I offer to help, share their content, comment on their blogs, Facebook Pages and share interesting content with them.
Just recently I became one of 500 beta testers for a new forum run by one of the biggest Social Media influencers.
How did I become a beta tester? Again my RSS feedback proved its value and I hope my quality content played a part too.
As soon as I saw they were looking for beta testers in my RSS feed I signed up. I am sure that thousands of people signed up. I don’t know if I was chosen because I was one of the first and/or because they checked out my social profile. Yes, I spent Christmas Eve testing their new forum.
I can now communicate with these influencers and normally get a response within an hour.
So how much money have I made so far? NOTHING.
But I have had people from all over the world asking me if do a webinars, lots of local businesses have asked me to come and help them, I have been approached by two local newspapers and somehow I think that my upcoming speaking engagement is going to result in more work.
In fact, my calendar is fully booked with meetings with potential clients. Some of them have even told me that they want to engage me but just want to meet me first.
This has all happened in just 3 weeks.
I have NEVER sent out any solicitation emails, made any sales calls or promoted my services on any of my Social Media platforms.
If I can do it so can you.
I am fully aware that some of my readers think that my blog posts are of little quality and that the content is crap. I respect their opinion. However, this is how I do it and so far I’m happy with the results.
I realise that this blog post could easily be interpreted as one big self-promotion. I assure you it is not. Shameless self-promotion will get you nowhere in Social Media. People don’t want to hear about you all the time.
I simply wanted to share with you how I got started in Social Media, what my Social Media marketing strategy has been so far and what I have achieved at no cost and in no time. Yes, Social Media have taken up 95% of my time the last 3 weeks and you might call me a nutcase. It’s my choice and the next couple of weeks will prove if I spent my time wisely.
Social Media Marketing is for everybody and it works if you simply follow a few simple rules, always provide quality content and share quality content.
Take whatever you can from this post that you think is valuable and which is going to help you achieve your goals. If you implement just one thing from this blog post then I have achieved what I want.
I am not going to ask you to follow me because I don’t deserve to be followed if I don’t provide quality content. You will vote with your mouse.
Your turn. We all want to be heard in Social Media so please share your success stories with me and other readers. I’m on a very steep learning curve and I want to learn from you too so please share.
Godspeed for 2012 and beyond.