For any business from the smallest to the largest, market reach is essential. Potential buyers must know about you, your company and your solutions. This is why marketing is the first phase of the 3 Phase Sales Process.
To achieve this essential component for business growth and business success is 100% connected to marketing one’s message. Social media probably better than any other marketing channel achieves market reach with in many cases very little capital outlay.
Real World Example #1
This past week I participated in a Google Hangout with Richard Young and Martha Neumeister of Pipeliner CRM. The focus for this online social media webinar was the topic of writing as being a critical sales skills. This opportunity was a direct result of being connected through Twitter and engaging with both Richard and Martha. Since Pipeliner CRM is a European based firm, I expanded my influence into markets that I was not directly reaching.
Real World Example #2
LinkedIn has provided me numerous opportunities. Possibly one of the better ones was connecting with Ton de Graaf who included me as one of the founding contributing authors for Worldwide Coaching Magazine. This magazine was recognized by Sherpa as one of the top three publications read by executive coaches. Ton and I shared several groups and through our interchanges this opportunity presented itself.
Real World Example #3
Through social media activities, Carol Roth included me in an email where she requested my succinct thoughts on a business topic. During the past several years, I continue to contribute to her Tough Love for Business Blog.
Real World Example #4
Social media has allowed me to become a part of several communities. The strongest community is one of other professional sales trainers and business consultants. We share each other’s blogs as well as LinkedIn Pulse articles along with other online publications. This sharing of good to great content allows all of us to expand our influence and therefore market reach.
Real World Example #5
LinkedIn Pulse platform is an incredible marketing channel especially for those in B2B. Here you can expand your market reach and sales leads. In the past six months, each article submitted to LinkedIn Pulse has earned me at least two new sales leads and one new executive coaching client. I write articles for business specific to leadership and sustainability.
Real World Example #6
Through the various social media channels, this blog continues to be identified as one of the top blogs for sales and small business. With a goal to write directly for small businesses those with under 100 employees, I am one of the few business authors and executive coaches who address the issues faced by small businesses that have less resources than the big firms. I continue that emphasis in my online business column for the Chicago Tribune/Post Tribune. This column also has been around since 2007.
Real World Example #7
Probably my oldest example of how social media has expanded my influence began back in 2005 when I started submitting articles to EzineArticles.com. At this time I knew very little about marketing and saw the value in content marketing as an attraction and credibility opportunity. In 2007, I was approached by NBiz Magzine to submit an article for their publication. Now nine years later, I continue to write for this Houston/Dallas based business journal. Additionally through articles published at EzineArticles.com, I connected with two other business leaders, Evan Carmichael and Jeb Blount. Jeb was the publisher of my first book Be the Red Jacket and Evan graciously wrote the introduction.
Slow and Steady Wins the Market Reach Race
If you think social media does not influence market reach, then ask yourself why is IBM placing so much time into social media? Many other large firms also recognize how social media influences market reach.
For small businesses, social media is a necessary marketing channel to expand market reach; to gain new sales leads and to increase sales. To ignore this viable marketing channel is just plain foolish.
The only barrier to social media success is to expect instantaneous results. If you noticed I began social media in 2005 and by adopting a slow and steady wins the race attitude, I continue to reap the benefits from social media.
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Leanne Hoagland-Smith supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals in the key areas of strategic growth, people development and process improvement. She speaks and writes specifically to high performance sales people who require a tailored executive coaching solution and to small businesses under 50 employees whose challenges are more unique and resources more limited. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.
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