By Bill Faeth
I start every morning the same way. I wake up before my alarm goes off, stand up to stretch, and check Facebook for recent posts in the Limo University members-only group.
Recently, I noticed that someone posted a poll asking about who’s using TikTok. TikTok is a relatively new social media app for creating and sharing short videos that has gained traction very quickly in the past year. I love when people post polls in Facebook groups: It’s a great way to gather data, and people are usually very open to engaging with them. I’m bringing up this particular poll because I see a huge red flag. No one in this industry should be thinking about using TikTok (or other apps like it), in their marketing plan.
Why? It’s Simple
Your ideal client is not using it. Whether they’re on the corporate or retail side, I promise they are not creating and sharing 15-second lip-sync and comedy videos. The users on that app are mostly teenagers—not your target audience.
Let Me Back Up
Before you invest your hard-earned dollars into a marketing budget, you absolutely must identify your ideal client: What is the buyer persona that describes in detail who you want to serve? This goes beyond demographics.
Step one is identifying who would be a perfect fit for the services you provide. What do they do? Most importantly, what do they think? You need to figure out their struggles, desires, and objections.
PRO TIP #1:
Find out if they are price-based buyers or value-based buyers.
Step two is to create a unique value proposition for your ideal client. Once you know what they struggle with and what will make their lives easier, it’s time to identify what you can specifically provide for them.
Step three is to craft your messaging and decide what form of marketing you’re going to utilize to target potential clients. For example, if you’re going after brides, I recommend using Facebook ads. The targeting is detailed and the cost is still relatively low. Try creating informational content (not a sales pitch) specifically about weddings and distribute it to them for free. Don’t always just “give it away,” though. Ask for their email in return. If what you’re offering is valuable to that particular buyer persona, they won’t have a problem giving you their email address in exchange. Once you have their email, continue to send them valuable content and then naturally ask for their business later down the road. If done correctly and with goodwill, it will be a no-brainer for them to book with you.
PRO TIP #2:
Provide free value to your ideal clients before asking for their business.
The most common digital marketing mistake I see in our industry is the lack of valuable content being distributed to your ideal clients. Just because it’s easy to quickly ask for the sale online doesn’t mean it’ll work. You must earn the right to sell, just like during a face-to-face interaction. You wouldn’t walk up behind someone, poke them in the back and say, “You need to book a trip with me,” would you? Instead, you’d introduce yourself, prove your credibility, and show them that you know what they’re looking for. Then, by the time you ask for the sale, they’ve already made up their mind.
The second most common mistake (but perhaps the more critical one) is the reason I’m writing this article in the first place. You have to be where your current and future buyers are.
I see tons of operators make the mistake of using all social media platforms the same way. I do not advocate trying to acquire corporate accounts on Instagram like you might on LinkedIn; however, if you’re looking for retail business, it’s time to start telling a story by posting high-quality photos and videos on Instagram.
If you’re trying to build the corporate side of your business and go after travel managers, executive admins, and business travelers, then there’s no question the number one platform is LinkedIn, where the content needs to be more buttoned-up and professional. Most importantly, you’ll need to be creating content that’s going to benefit travel managers, executive admins, hotel managers, or whatever your ideal buyer personas are.
To Wrap Things Up
You need to choose your social media channels wisely. If your ideal client/buyer personas are not using a silly lip-sync video app like TikTok, then don’t use it for your marketing.
Once you’ve identified where “your people” are hanging out, provide free and valuable content for them there.
After you’ve been communicating the right things to the right people in the right place, then it’s appropriate to ask for the sale. If you do this consistently, your business will grow more quickly, without a doubt.
Editor’s note: For more tips on social media, check out “Top Tips You Need to Know for Instagram” on page 62 and “5 Steps to Social Media Success” on page 68. [CD1019]
Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.