Virtual social networking and building stronger strategic connections

Grow your practice, Practice Management Accounting in the future

According to Forbes, since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, virtual events are up 1,000 percent. With more of us working remotely and conducting business online, becoming more creative and captivating in the virtual world has become a real challenge, especially when it comes to client recruitment.

What’s the best way to find new clients? This requires a two-fold discovery process.

First, is your target audience online? They absolutely are.

Second, where are they spending their time? You will want to dig deeper into where your ideal client audience is spending their time, not only to search and connect with them, but also to get their attention and determine how you can help them.

Avoid the immediate urge when connecting with our community to set up yet another virtual meeting, and consider getting creative to connect deeper with your audiences and build out your virtual social networks.

Three strategies to test

There’s something we all like about the power of three, so once you have done your research on where your target audience is hanging out, it’s time for you to create your top three strategies and start testing them.

There are an infinite number of strategies, so you need to come up with your own plan. However, to get you started, here are three examples I tested it in my practice.

Strategy 1: “Twitter tag.” This is the most powerful game of tag you can play with your social networks. The key is to tag the people who can reach your target audience faster. Since most large organizations and influencers have an active presence on Twitter, you can tag them in a post of yours, and many times, they will tag you back. Now, all their followers have noticed this conversation with you – and the game just gets better from there. Check out how I reached 34,000 more followers with one tweet.

Mariette Martinez, EA

Strategy 2: Questions create curiosity. Ask direct questions to your community through social media polls or surveys. Sharing your desire to serve your audience’s biggest challenges creates curiosity for them to seek you out to see what you have to offer to help them. You can even attach a survey to a post using a cool app such as Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or Typeform. Ask them some direct questions such as the following:

  • What social networks benefit your business most?
  • What podcasts and/or YouTube channels are your favorites?
  • What people and/or organizations do you follow online?

Strategy 3: Collaborate for more magic. This is my absolute favorite strategy because it can truly extend your reach, not only as an expert, but more importantly through the positive impact you can have on your community. Connect with strategic partners who already have the attention of your audience. Offer your expertise to them as an expert blogger, interviewee, or collaborator. This very article on the Intuit® Tax Pro Center you are reading is a perfect example. I also have enjoyed building my circles of influence through podcast interviews, public speaking, and co-hosting focus-driven events that help my community, including my niche client audience.

Mariette Martinez, EA

Overall, be yourself

The last piece of advice I want to leave you with is to encourage you to be authentic. In other words, get out of your comfort zone and be yourself!

I recently attended a three-day Mastermind on how to spread and monetize our intentional message, and had the honor to learn from one of the most well-known public speakers of our day, James Malinchak. When he shared techniques on how to connect with our target audiences, the constant reminder through his session was this: “No one connects with your fruits, they connect through your roots. Your audience will connect when you share your messes, not your successes.” He wanted us to understand that the real connections happen when we show empathy and vulnerability and bring value to our community that will impact and enrich the lives of others and ourselves as well.

This mindset shift of value, first, is the key to create the life-long connections that will pay life-long personal and professional dividends.

Now that I have welcomed you into my virtual social network and shared some of my networking success tips, it’s time for you to welcome me into your networks – see you on the other side!

Editor’s note: Join Mariette when she participates in a fireside chat on virtual networking and social media during the Intuit Accountants virtual conference “Profiting for Profitability,” Aug. 19-20, 2020. Register today.

August 2020 Virtual Conference

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