By Tania Dakka
Social marketing is the lifeblood of most of our careers as online writers. But choosing the wrong social channels often results in empty leads.
Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have traditionally been the Big Three for creating online connections that convert. Last year, I found all my new clients through Twitter.
But this year, Iâ€™ve stayed true to whatâ€™s paying off right now: Google+ Communities.
Not once have I been there actively searching for work. Yet I gained five new clients in one month on this monster network.
And this doesnâ€™t include the relationships that Iâ€™m nurturing right now that are showing signs of conversion in the near future (there are actually three of those).
Getting the right attitude
How did I do it? Being there. Being helpful. And interacting.
In the groups I belong to, I see people being rude and snarky, or just plain dry â€“ not a way to win clients, so I stand out with personality and a smile.
When someone posts a request for help, I answer.
When theyâ€™re looking for writers, I donâ€™t blast them with my links or â€œLook what I did for X.â€ I respond to their request with a client-centered answer.
I never use the word â€œIâ€ if I can help it.
This lets the poster know Iâ€™m not a self-centered writer looking to fill my pockets with whatever project comes along.
Google+ Communities is a power waiting to be tapped. Here are my three keys to getting the cash flowing:
Key #1 – That first handshake
Your profile is that first handshake with people who visit your profile. It isnâ€™t about who you are as much as who you want to help. So tweak it to have the highest impact on your prospective client connections:
Let it scream awesome, but client-minded.
Weave your personality through each line.
Put up a real picture, not a picture of the beach, as your profile image. A lot of people are still using the blank avatar â€“ clearly they are not out to win over the hearts of buyers.
A great profile is a start, but you have to find the right places to hang out to really make this work.
Key #2 – Find your right group
Choosing the right groups on Google+ means the difference between money earned and time lost.
Do a search for your keywords once you get into Communities.
Are you a blogger looking for gigs? You can join the ranks of some of the hundreds of Google+ Communities that will come up in your search, but if you join the wrong ones, youâ€™ll be kicking yourself for the time you wasted â€œnetworkingâ€ instead of â€œlead nurturing.”
Are bloggers going to pay other bloggers for gigs?
Probably not. So stay out of groups whose members are all doing the same thing as you.
Join some small business groups where the members may be looking for content marketing help instead.
For me, hanging out in Chris Brogan’s Brave New Year group paid off. I responded to a request on there for a copywriter. I agreed to meet with him on Skype — and at our first meeting, he offered me a position on his team.
That was when it occurred to me that leads from Google+ were going to be better than leads from Twitter, because the people on Google+ are pros. They are in it to win it.
After that first success, other Brave New Year members began asking me for About page and sales page copy. I started doing copy critiques for them, as well. All because I didn’t waste anyone’s time with wishy-washy fluff.
Before you join…
Speaking of fluff, before deciding to join, check out the posts. Is it full of link noise? Where everyoneâ€™s flashing neon signs that say, â€œLook at me!â€ and all are being ignored?
For instance, take a look at the sample below:
Is it drivel like this, or is it full of people helping people?
Is it a place where you could hang out to solve industry problems? If not, do not enter. Do not pass go. Move on to the next Community and start your investigation all over again.
Key #3 – Get busy helping
So many people join groups thinking theyâ€™ll get something out of it, but human business is the new business. Itâ€™s not about networking. Itâ€™s about help-working.
No matter what groups you join, join them knowing the more helpful you are, the better your relationships will be. And the better your relationships are, the more bonds you form.
Bonds equal more sales.
Thatâ€™s the whole point, right?
So let the notifications come to your inbox. Keep your eyes open for people asking for help and answer them.
Every cry for help you answer, your bonds strengthen. Every time you prove your worth, your credibility grows. And thatâ€™s when the jobs come to you.
Have you used Google+ Communities?Â Leave a comment and tell us your Google+ experience.
Tania Dakka, a/k/a Copy Fiend at TaniaDakka.com, plays with words and makes pages come to life for entrepreneurs and their customers through copy and content.