Small businesses and start-ups need visibility, leads and a pipeline. 

They need people to be able to see them, understand them and have some trust that they can do as good a job (if not better) than their larger, perhaps more established competitors.

In the past, large companies held the advantage on advertising…. they could afford to spend more money so they would scoop up all the prime advertising space, have the biggest stand at the show and appear in the centre features of every important trade journal.

Times have changed…. People are winning the battle of the brands and they are doing it on Social Media.

This means if you and your colleagues at the SME or start up are being smarter with Social Media, you can and will take ownership of the digital share of voice in your sectors.

Why? Because it’s unlikely you suffer from any of these company killers….

  • Analysis paralysis – “We need more data to validate the last set of data”
  • Stuck in the status quo – “We don’t need to change a thing”
  • Didn’t take challengers seriously – “They are new, we are established”
  • Followed the same strategy year after year – “If it ain’t broke….”
  • Dismissed anything new as a fad – “We don’t do that, we never have, never will…”

“We developed the world’s first consumer digital camera, but we could not get approval to launch or sell it because of fear of the effect on the film market” Don Stricklandformer VP at Kodak.

I’m sure you have some great personal contacts at important companies. People who know you and will always take a call.

But what about growth within organisations that don’t know you?

How will you put yourself and your team in the position where you are all able to make connections with people that you have never met and that are important to your business? 

Many tell me that they are hearing that Social is the way to sell things these days, but they are not convinced it’s any better than email and phone calls.

I’m often asked whether Social Selling & Influence applies to small service companies and whether it makes any difference to their visibility and opportunity pipeline…

The answer is yes but, it needs to be done well.

Let me explain why, and how...

Imagine a small company who specialise in a product or service. They compete with larger organisations, who do what they do as part of a collection of services. The small company is completely focussed on the service, the larger companies see that service as a division or department.

In many cases you come up against those larger companies in tender scenarios. They have more people than you, more resources than you and, in many cases, can apply more flexibility to pricing to win the work.

So why would you think you can overpower these larger companies in any way….?

It all starts with a strategy.

A strategic approach to Social Media in your sector...

We set a strategy that builds you and the team towards a position of digital dominance. We outline the barriers and the levers, we highlight the assets, and we create a Social Media mission for the team.

We optimise the profiles of the team. This means their profiles will be buyer centric and digitally optimised, they will have profiles that are working for them when they are asleep – Few large companies have even thought about optimising their team’s profiles and focus on throwing money at SEO…so you are one step up.

Then we start growing your network. Connecting and building relationships with key people – we do this at scale and with strategy…another step up.

Then we build in influence. Creating rich and diverse content which educates, inspires, challenges and entertain our growing network and engage in conversation with key people.  All of you are doing this, not just your marketing or salespeople… the whole team.

You will start to receive inbound from the new visibility and the people you are bringing into your network...

When we build in Multichannel networks, we boost your profile and content across different networks, you start to achieve digital dominance.

You start to take control of the digital narrative in your chosen sectors – We call this Digital Dominance.

You see, many people promise you the earth with a ‘LinkedIn masterclass’ that advertise changing your life in a 3-hour session. This is a waste of everyone’s time…

We know that to affect real business change, to make a valuable, measurable, and scalable contribution to the EBITDA of your business, we need habits and behaviours to change.  We need new process, new language, a new framework, new thinking, and new action.

Every sector and sub sector has a measurable amount of digital chatter. Imagine it as hot air balloons in the sky. 

Some sectors have very large balloons such as the American tech sector, lots of players, lots of chatter and some big, loud voices. Some sectors are smaller, a smaller balloon with some chatter. 

When we start to have your small team work in a strategic and panned way, using keywords to optimise content across multiple channels – they start to take ownership of the digital share of voice.

Social Selling all starts to come together...

It all starts to build: 

  • Visibility - Your marketplace recognises you and your team.
  • Trusted advisor status - You are recognised as experts.
  • Pipeline, growth & inbound - More opportunities.
  • Recruitment opportunities – People want to work with Social organisations.

A significant difference we see with smaller companies who are Social Selling is the whole team approach.  

Some larger companies will have their Sales teams involved in Social Selling, the smaller company is more nimble and able to act quickly on change.

You can have your CEO or MD, your CFO of FD, your CTO or head of engineering, COO or Operational lead, HR Director or Manager, SCM lead, Sales lead, Marketing lead…all these people growing networks and creating engaging content. 

The whole team connecting with people who can buy your products or services, people who can influence an engagement and people who can amplify your message.

So, in many cases smaller companies are nimbler and more internally connected. With just a few things, done regularly and at scale on Social, your small company can overtake the larger, less flexible competition.

Another element that grows when you decide to go Social is employee engagement and a shared sense of purpose. You are all in it together and can share in the effort and successes. 

Growing your networks, building influence and trust with your buying community, increasing visibility, and dominating the digital share of voice over your larger competition and watching your pipeline grow…all of this and its fun!

The results?  Increased pipeline and reduced costs…and all of that whilst eating into the market share of your large competitors.

What’s not to like?

In 2021 its important you give your team all the digital skills they need to network, protect, and close business online, regardless of sector.

We regularly take management teams through how this is done and show the results from our clients. 

Always happy to have a conversation.  

Live Social ‘21

Eric Doyle

Crux / DLA Ignite