For some, internet interactions make a big difference
By Miranda Miller
Starting your own business? Promoting it via social media is a great way to spread the word and attract customers, but with so many sites and apps available, where should you begin? Since building a social media community is an investment of both time and money, you should view it as such and do what smart investors do: diversify. Take a cue from the following small business owners and lawyers, who dabbled in multiple platforms to see what would happen and reaped big rewards.
Damsel in defense
New York City lawyer Genavieve Shingle Jaffe jumped from the corporate world to entrepreneurship, and while teaching other women to do the same, the self-professed “sparkly lawyer for entrepreneurs” earned six figures in her first nine months of business. To market the online legal program in which she teaches women how to protect their businesses and provides them with contracts, she tweeted, uploaded photos to Instagram, offered free webinars via targeted Facebook ads, followed up with registrants by email, and paid affiliate marketers to publicize her course.
An affiliate marketer “promotes one or multiple products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they actually end up buying it,” marketing guru Neil Patel said. Affiliate marketers use social networks, blogs and even digital billboards alongside highways. Jaffe credits her successful launch to the help of affiliates who put her in front of people she wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
They also helped her pay for a New York City wedding, two rings — one for her and one for her bride — a designer couture gown and a house.
The streaming lawyer
Knowing that people don’t trust lawyers, attorney Mitch Jackson began uploading videos to the internet so potential clients could get to know him before contacting him. Today, the Streaming Lawyer has 26,000 Twitter followers, 16,000 Facebook fans on the page he shares with his wife and legal partner, 3,000 Periscope followers, 1,722 Instagram followers and more than 500 LinkedIn connections. He can also be found on Snapchat, Vine, Google+ and Anchor, a free app that enables users to record and share their voice.
How does a lawyer draw such an audience? Jackson shares legal tips for consumers, trial lawyer tips for attorneys, how-to pointers, political views and travel and drone photos. He attributes his seven-figure salary to social media, according to social media guru Andrea Vahl, who made lists in Inc. magazine, Entrepreneur, and Social Media Today of the “21 Best Blogs That Will Help Grow Your Business,” “50 Favorite Online Marketing Influencers of 2014” and “10 Women That Rock Our Social Media World,” respectively.
If you’re interested in using a live-streaming video app, heed the social media-savvy lawyer’s advice. “When it comes to Periscope,” Jackson told podcast LivestreamUniverse.com, “it’s so important to engage your audience. You have to learn how to do your scope, but at the same time, check your comments and respond to comments. In fact, incorporate the comments into your presentation. That’s the key.”
After all, everyone wants to be heard and acknowledged.