Digital Masters - Growing Your Web Dev Business

7 Mistakes I See Web Designers Make with Social Media

January 26, 2022 Marisa VanSkiver, Captain Coder Season 1 Episode 39
Digital Masters - Growing Your Web Dev Business
7 Mistakes I See Web Designers Make with Social Media
Show Notes Transcript

Does social media and posting for your web design just utterly baffle you?

One of the things I hear the most from students is that they're never sure how to talk about themselves. When you're working for a company and you have some emotional distance, social media management can be a lot easier. But how do you talk about a business that is 100% about you? Especially in the beginning when it is just you?

After all, your web design business is your baby. And if you're a freelancer, a lot of it is about YOU and what you do for your customers. That can be really hard to separate and talk about, especially if you're an introvert. Bragging just feels wrong, right?

You're not alone. In fact, one of the main reasons I started this podcast was because I saw a lot of my fellow web designers and developers making a ton of mistakes on social media. We tend to default to what we know and don't get out of our heads.

In today's episode, I'm going to take you through the top 7 mistakes I see other web designers make on social media and give you a few tips on how to fix that in your own business.

Not only will you be able to avoid these mistakes moving forward, you'll have more confidence in your social media strategy and posting consistently will become a lot easier.

Helpful Past Episodes
Episode 32 - Discovering What Your Target Audience Wants
Episode 33 - No One Cares How You Build a Website

Does social media and just posting for your web design business just kind of utterly baffle you? Now one of the things I hear most from my students is that they're never sure how to talk about themselves when you're working for a company and you have some emotional distance. Social media management can be a lot easier. But how do you talk about a business that is 100% about you, especially in the beginning when it is just you? After all, your web design business is like your baby. And if you're a freelancer, a lot of it is about you and what you do for your customers. That can be really hard to separate and talk about, especially if you're an introvert. Bragging just kind of feels wrong. Right now, you are not alone. In fact, one of the main reasons that kind of drove me to starting this podcast and digital marketers in general was because I saw a lot of my fellow website owners and web developers making a ton of mistakes on social media. We tend to default to what we know and we don't get out of our own heads. So what are those mistakes? I often see other web designers and web developers make. In today's episode, I'm going to take you through the top seven mistakes I see other web designers make on social media and give you a few tips on how to fix that in your own business. Not only will you be able to avoid making these mistakes moving forward, you're going to have a lot more confidence in your social media strategy and posting consistently will become a lot easier. Ready. No, no one not being on the right platforms. Literally the first mistake I see a lot of business owners make. Not just web developers and designers is not being on the right platforms for their target market. They post on Facebook to crickets or try to drum up on LinkedIn and never get seen. They, you know, while yes, those places you know, your target market might be there, and that's where you think they're spending time, especially other business owners. You have to ask yourself if that's really the right place for you and your dream client. first, you need to decide who you're even talking to in the first place. It's not just about attracting other business owners. You need to get more specific than that. We talked about this more in depth in episode 32, but you really need to take care of that first step of creating a buyer persona and deciding who your dream customer even is. Now, once you've done that, then you need to do some research. So think about a few things like where are they spending their time on social media platforms for fun? How do they like to learn? What kinds of struggles are they facing with their websites? What do they wish they could do and change to make their lives easier? Now, these answers will help you decide not only what social media platforms you need to spend your time on, but the kind of content you should be creating for your ideal client. Most successful B2B social media content includes some kind of education, something that can provide a quick win and build up trust with you. So when you know how your clients like to learn and where they like to learn, it can make creating your content a whole lot easier. Now, depending on who your dream customer is, you might be able to do some research just by Googling look for white papers, professional studies, even statistics about where people are spending their time and a basic demographic breakdown of their users and different social media platforms. Then I want you to choose three to five competitors and take a look through their social media from find them on multiple platforms and see where they're having the most success, not just with getting likes, but engagement. When you are seeing likes, comments, shares, retweets, you know that their audience is actually listening to what they're saying. Take note of what seems to be working and what isn't. Lastly, you may be able to ask your existing clients or just experiment posts on a platform consistently for the next three months. Are you getting engagement? Is your audience growing? If not, is it working better on another platform, or is your content maybe just falling flat? This isn't an overnight process by any means, but the time investment will be huge for you to talking to your actual dream clients instead of just other people in your profession or people who will never buy from you. Now, number two, focusing on your offers feature you know what is really boring? Seeing a list of features for an offer with absolutely, absolutely zero context for why it matters to you. Your dream client really only cares about themselves, especially before they've gotten to know you when you're selling a service like website creation. You have to get multiple sales to keep your pipeline and your schedule full. That means often you're working with clients for three to four months and then maybe you're done with them and you're on to the next client. Do you really think you're going to fill up the sales pipeline by talking about all the boring stuff that your website's includes? No, they don't care. Your dream customer literally does not care how you build a website or what it all includes, especially when that's a generic website package that isn't tailored to them or their needs. What they do care about is how those features of your offer are going to benefit them and their business. So how do you fix this common mistake? You turn those features of the websites you're building into benefits. That's it. So how does that feature help your customer and their business? After all, that's what they're going to care about. In Episode 33, we actually broke this down a bit more and it broke down some common website features and turned them into benefits. So let's take another look at some of that list. So one feature built for fast page load. Benefit from that, your website loads quickly to capture leads. Feature created in WordPress or Squarespace. Benefit. I use a popular website platform that's proven and easy to understand, feature, use a builder like I use a builder like element or Debbie . Benefit. I use one of the most popular theme builders to make your web site easy to update. Feature following digital accessibility, best practices benefit, I make your website inclusive to improve as SEO and prevent ADA lawsuits. Feature right content for on page SEO, the benefits I help your website get found on Google by the right people. And lastly, another feature custom designed for your brand. The benefit? I help your website. Create a custom look that truly matches your branding. See how different those are. No one really cares that I follow the best practices for web and digital accessibility until they tell them why it matters. So focus less on the features you include in the websites, you build and showcase how those features benefit your dream client. Now I want you to open up a Google Doc or get out your Notes app and just come back for just a second. I want you to jot down all of the features you include in websites that you know are important now. I want you to turn those features around and explain to yourself why they benefit your customer. Once you have those benefits written out, you literally now have tons of social media posts. Focus on one feature and start out with the benefits. Then in that same post, connect it to how it's a feature of every website you build or something you commonly include, and then reinforce why that feature matters to your customer. Bam, you have just created months of content in about ten minutes. Now, mistake number three, only posting sales posts, hook social media is about being social. No one wants to jump onto Instagram or even onto LinkedIn and immediately be sold to literally no one, even if your dream customer is looking for someone to actively build their next website. They certainly are going to choose you because they saw your super salesy Instagram post first before your competitors. And yet about 90% of the Web design, and especially web developer businesses that I follow and stock on Instagram and other platforms make every single post a salesy post. By this website package, contact us now we build great WordPress Web sites, we build responsive websites, contact us now and on and on. No one cares. No one is going to buy from you. And more importantly, no one is going to engage with you on social media when you're constantly trying to sell them. So what do you post instead of trying to make sales all of the time? How do you go sales off of social media if you're not asking for the sale? The trick is to make about 70% of your posts focused on building up the know like and trust factor, some of which we'll dove into later in this episode. And have a salesy call to action, and only about 30% of your posts, you want most of your social media posts to entertain, engage and educate your readers. This helps to not only build up your engagement because casual watchers will like those posts a lot more than something that tells people to buy, but it will let them know that you get to know you and your business in a totally different way. Now, one of the best ways to help to break this down is into a term called content pillars. So right now, five or six topics go back to your notes that you want to be known for, and most of them are should focus on benefits that you're providing your customers and then break those main topics into such topics and use that to drive your social media posts. Topics. Write about one of those content pillars each week and make sure that you're including educational, entertaining content that fits that topic. Know your content! Pillars should not be just again focused on getting that sale. Some should just be educational. Some should be focused on on you. More on that later, and some should be focused on your customers success and others can be benefit driven. Yes, you should routinely about once a week or so, have some sort of call to action where you explain how someone can work with you, but don't just make it a sale sale sale focus. Now, mistake number four, never showing client successes. You want a quick way to build up that no like trust factor, showcase your client's successes. Literally, it can be as simple as just getting a testimonial from a previous client and sharing that email them after the project is done and ask why they liked working with you and ask if they can include what makes their life their business easier now that they have the website you built. Reach out in six months and ask about their businesses growth or simply take screenshots of their website before you fixed it. And after talking about how much easier their site is for users to use and what you fixed or cleaned up on their existing website, the best part is you can break these out into multiple posts over time and even try to get some kind of statistics from your customers so that you can give real numbers. Now, chances are you've heard about storytelling and marketing and how important it is right now. The biggest mistake I see many people make is that they try to make the business, the brand or the entrepreneur, etc. the heroes of the brand stories. In fact, it's not them at all. The hero of your brand story is actually your dream client. They want to see themselves reflected back in your social media. That's why the benefits and where you post and how you post matters so much when you share other clients successes and their testimonials, it lets your dream customer see themselves in those results. It builds up trust and provides them some proof that you can do the same thing for them. Testimonials, reviews, showcases can be incredibly powerful for your dream client to see in your social media feed. Now, number five, it's going to be a hard pill for some of us to swallow, but never showing your face. It's a mistake I see a lot of Web design companies make. But you have to put a face to the name. No long explanation. Short customers like to do business with people they like. It makes total sense, after all, especially if you're a service provider where you might be working with your client for weeks or months at a time like a web developer is. I want to enjoy the experience with you. When they don't know who you are because they've literally never seen your face. That can be a huge barrier to your success. This can be especially beneficial to if you were a freelancer or solopreneur, because working with your company is all about working with you. So you want to build up that human connection with you by using your face more in social media. Grab a photographer friend. Take some shots in your home office or places around town and have some fun with it. And it's OK if it's a little uncomfortable. Now, it's not just about showing your face, either. It's a lot about making a human connection with your dream customer. Remind them that even you, the tech geek, weren't hurt. We're not a robot. We're human right now. You can do this in your social media by not shying away from getting your face on camera. Like I said before, pictures and videos of you can help stories on Instagram and Facebook are a great way to show some behind the scenes of your day without divulging anything you're uncomfortable with. Use your personality in your brand voice. Make it sound like you have customers provide testimonials about working with you personally and how you helped bring in examples of when you struggle with something that you know your clients have struggled with. And collect things in your marketing with an experience you've had. Tell a story and connect it back to your dream client. Make it personal. Give your clients a reason to connect with you. It'll do a lot to build up that know and like factor and even work to build up the trust. Because they'll know you and your business on an entirely different level now, mistake number six, not following and engaging with your ideal customer. Do you want your dream customer to follow you on social media? You have to start by following them and talking to them. You can't just post and expect them to come out in droves. It doesn't work like that. You have to actually engage and talk with them if you're not engaging with your dream customers. Then how will they ever find you? Sure, they might come find you through a hashtag or even stumble on your post. But when you focus on building an actual virtual relationship with them, you're building up a human relationship. They'll be much more likely to come follow you, work with you down the line and recommend you to others when they hear of a need. So once you go back and take out that buyer persona that you've created. Now I want you to go to the main social platforms that you've chosen and you'll be posting on the most. And follow about 100 people and businesses that fit in with your dream clients persona. It's OK if it changes later, which is just where we're starting. Then I want you to follow some direct and indirect competitors, people you think your dream client are already following and engaging with. Now, I want you to comment on your dream clients posts. Scroll through your feed and spend about five to ten minutes a day leaving valuable comments or something personal on their latest social posts. Respond to their stories with something relevant to that story. Just don't. For something that will kind of build up that relationship and show off her personality and expertize. Don't sell to them, but focus on providing value and connection. Next, go to your indirect competitors, the ones you think your dream client has already following and has a healthy amount of engagement and engage in comments on their posts. Fines or groups on Facebook or Discord or a helpful member and then become a helpful member of their community. You can build up trust and get people back to your profile because you're providing value and connection in a place they're already spending their time. Lastly, you need to engage back. When someone leaves a comment on any of your social media posts, don't leave questions unanswered or comments on responded to most social platforms actually give you some algorithm kudos. But when you're in when you're engaging on your own posts because you're building up the number of comments, but it's about more than that. It's about not leaving your dream client hanging and creating more meaningful conversations. Now lastly, mistake number seven, ignoring social media altogether. Our last one on the list could also be the first. But you can't just ignore social media. In fact, I'd argue that a quality social media strategy can do more for your business than you'll ever be able to actually calculate. Now, many people ignore social media because it takes time and not a year before you'll really start to see results. That's coupled with the fact that it's often an indirect or hard to track ROI, especially organic social media makes it feel like a waste of time when you just want to put your energy into the sales methods that are already working for you. But what you don't realize is that many other people that are being recommended to you are checking you out on social media first. They're looking at your feed or lack thereof and making a quick judgment about whether or not you'd be the right fit if you're not posting on social media at all. Well, there is nothing to reinforce what your website says or what your other client told them. Often prospects need a few touch points during the sales process before they're going to make a decision. They might not be ready right now to sign a contract for a web site, but they'll be ready soon. Maybe they want to follow on social media and see if he'd be able to help them seriously or if you can provide them with some wins they can use right now. If you're ignoring social media altogether, you're losing out on increasing those sales touchpoints and filling your pipeline with customers who might want to work with you in the months to come. Don't don't lose those clients. Instead, go through the methods we talked about in this podcast and create a plan. Who are you talking to? Where were you post? What kinds of content will you post? Get some photos of yourself. Gather some client screenshots and testimonials and set up a calendar. You don't have to post every single day, either. Just make sure that whatever you plan to post that you're doing so consistently each week, even if it's just two to three times per week, that's better than going through spurts here and there . I want to make it even easier on yourself. Plan it out. Use a quick calendar or a spreadsheet and decide what your post and when, and then use a social media scheduling app to get it all ready to go. Chances are you can take care of a week or a month social media and just a couple of hours and not be overwhelmed by it every single day. Social media can be one of your best sales pipeline filters, but you can't ignore it. You don't have to do too much to stand out among the competition in the web design world, either focus on not making these mistakes and turn your social strategy around. You'll be amazed at how much better you do after you've implemented a few of these strategies over the next few months. Now, thank you guys all for joining us this week. Tune in next week. Same time. Same place.