To keep giving you relevant and timely content, we update our most popular posts. This article was last updated on January 12, 2021.
You’ve heard me say it over and over again: Being of service online is one of the best ways to get clients.
If you’ve tried and it didn’t work for you, then you might not believe me.
“I’ve tried,” you say, “I really have! But getting clients from social media just doesn’t work for me.”
On a good day, you make one solid connection and get a few more Likes.
On a bad day, you get sucked into a time warp of viewing Chewbacca mom videos and wincing at angry comments about politics. (… Or am I alone in this?)
On the worst day, you get kicked out of the Facebook group where you’re trying to be of service.
Either way, the clients aren’t coming in.
Here’s the hard truth: If social media isn’t working for you, it’s because you’re doing it wrong.
In this post, I’m going to tell you exactly why it’s not working and how to fix it. Because when you do fix this, it changes EVERYTHING.
People turn into megafans. You get clients. And your roster fills up—fast.
So dive into today’s crash course on how to use social media the right way, and let’s change the trajectory of your business forever.
“Helping” vs. “Pitching”
The reason you’re not getting clients on social media is because you’re pitching and not helping.
“No, no, no, I’m not pitching,” you protest, “I really am helping!”
You may think you’re helping, but it’s possible you’re not doing it quite right.
Imagine you’re on Facebook and you notice a woman who’s always posting things like, “Latest offer! Five spots left! Just $99! Hire me!” or some version of that.
She uses lots of exclamation points and maybe a splashy picture. Her posts have a graspy, needy energy to them.
We’ve all seen her. We’ve seen many who are just like her.
And every time you see folks like that, you think, “Ugh!” You want to run the other way.
That’s because she’s pitching. She’s not helping. She’s in it to get, not to give.
Now, that’s going to kill business. So if you’re doing that, you’ve got to stop.
If engaging with others on social media hasn’t been getting you clients, then you’re probably pitching and not helping.
Now, that’s one scenario: a person who’s pitching all the time.
Let’s paint another scenario.
You’re on social media and you post a question. You get some helpful, thoughtful, and kind responses with details and links to other blogs—not just links to the commenter’s blog—but links to other blogs with resources and ideas and inspiration.
And then in that same thread, someone responds with, “Oh, I can help you solve that problem. Here’s my latest offer.”
Which people do you notice?
Not the one who responded by selling you their offer, but the ones who responded with helpful, useful, kind, thoughtful information, who were in it to give to you, not to get. They’re the ones you notice, right?
Imagine you’re in this group week after week, month after month, and you notice who shows up to give.You start to notice the people who are thoughtful and kind and generous and giving and looking to help you, not just sell you.
You pay extra attention to them. You may even connect with them outside of the group.
Have you seen these people?
That’s the kind of person you want to be!
Now you may still be thinking, “But Jenny, how will that help me actually get clients?”Click to Download7 Steps to Make It Work Online
Why Helping Others Helps You (And Your Biz) In the Long Run
Helping others works because no one—and I mean no one—likes to be pitched.
But everyone likes to be helped.
So, if you’re out there promoting your services before helping, you’re turning potential clients away.
But if time after time, you’re in there helping people, you’re going to get noticed.
And then that moment comes when somebody says, “Hey, I’m looking for a copywriter who specializes in sales pages,” and you happen to be a copywriter who specializes in sales pages.
You’ve been in that group for weeks or months giving amazingly helpful advice and you say, “Oh my goodness! That’s exactly what I do. Here’s a link to my services page. But really, the most important thing is that you hire a copywriter who really gets what you do.”
And you still offer helpful advice.
Who wouldn’t want to hire somebody like that who’s not in it to just get for themselves but who’s in it to help the person make the right decision?
So when the time comes, when it’s appropriate, you go out and tell people what you do. When is it appropriate? When someone’s looking for somebody who offers the service you offer.
Outright pitching is obnoxious and nobody likes it. You shouldn’t do it because it hurts your brand. It’s a horrible idea.
How to Really Get Clients on Social Media—Without Pitching
By now, you might be thinking, “Oh do I just get in there and serve and serve and wait for the off-chance that somebody will look for the services I offer? That sounds like a crapshoot to me.”
I’m glad you asked, because this approach is far from being passive and waiting. It’s all about actively engaging your potential clients in conversations that create relationships.
Let’s say you’re in a group of professional women about burnout, and somebody asked a question. Then you offered helpful advice and said, “Let’s get on the phone.”
That would be like walking up to a stranger in Starbucks who says, “Oh my gosh! I like your shirt!” and saying, “Awesome! Wanna be best friends?”
Nope. Instead, you use that opening to get them into a conversation with you. You get to know them better and they get to know you better.
Now, somewhere along the line, she’ll talk about a problem and you say something like, “You know, I actually do that for a living. I’d love to give you some recipes and see if they help. I’m not here to sell you anything. So why don’t you give me your email address and when I get home today, I’ll send you a couple of recipes? See if they’re up your alley because sometimes if we just have the right recipes, it’s going to fix everything.”
Then she says, “Oh, you’re so helpful. Thank you so much!”
And so you send her the recipes, and all of a sudden, you’re a superhero.
If those three recipes solve all of her problems, you’ve just made a fan.
If they don’t solve her problem but get her pointed in the right direction, she’s still going to be interested in hiring you. Your convo could go something like this:
Potential Client: “Oh my goodness! Those recipes were amazing. My kids love them. But now I need more.”
You: “Oh, I’m so glad to help. Like I told you before, this is what I do for a living. And one of the favorite things I do with my clients is set them up with meal plans for the entire month. Would that be something you’d be interested in?”
Potential Client: “Oh, that will be a lifesaver!”
… And all this began with a conversation on social media.
What’s the lesson here?
Don’t be in getting mode. Don’t jump to close the deal.
Instead, be in giving mode. Engage with others as a human being and have a conversation about how you can help them. Give them that free advice right at the beginning.
These are just the broad strokes. We teach the nitty gritty details in Make It Work Online®. You need to know the nuances of how to serve on social media, because those subtleties can spell the difference between building relationships and getting booted out as a spammer.
(I explain our entire framework for getting a steady flow of clients in a private training. It’s exclusively for those who want to work with us to launch or grow their online, service-based business. This means you have to apply and get accepted to get access to the training. Get the details here.)
“But I Need a Client—NOW!”
Now, I realized that if you’re hungry for clients, the bills may be stacking up. You might be thinking, “But I need clients fast.”
Let me tell you, the way to get clients fast is not to pitch people. In fact, that’s going to kill the long-term future of your business.
If you want to build a successful, long-term, sustainable business, you have to build yourself a reputation as somebody who’s helpful and kind and generous and who’s in it to give before getting.
And the way to do that is to help people generously.
I promise you that if you put your energy here, it will come back faster than you can imagine.
Here’s what you can do:
Let’s assume you want to have 10 clients a week, and it takes you one hour per week to serve each client. That means you have 10 hours a week right now that you’re not using with clients.
That’s 10 hours a week you can spend being of service, until you fill that time with actual clients!
Do you know how much you can help people in 10 hours a week?
If you want 10 hours of clients a week and you currently have no clients, then spend those 10 hours being helpful to as many people as possible, not going in it to get but going in it to give.Click to TweetIf you want 10 hours of clients a week and you currently have no clients, then spend those 10 hours being helpful to as many people as possible, not going in it to get but going in it to give.
Look at how busy you want to be with clients, and spend that much time being of service. In a month, you’ll be almost booked because that many people will be raving about you.
Go the extra mile. Be of service. Show up, and care about them as human beings.
Give, don’t get.
This will change your entire social media presence and strategy.
Watch the video where I explain all this:
Now that you see what you’ve done to send people running away and how to change it so they run toward you, it’s time to take action!Click to TweetLearning how to get clients on social media from @jennyshih. Don’t miss out! Find out here >> http://bit.ly/29C7NkQ #businesstips
Your Action Steps
Are you ready to apply this proven, can’t-fail technique to your business so you can get more clients from social media? Here’s what you’ve got to do.
First, you have to watch the whole video! (Yes, I saw you click ahead. You gotta watch all of it, my friend!) Take notes and see what you need to do to get clients scurrying to hire you.
Step 2. Determine where on social media you want to be of service. Not sure where to find your people? Download this cheat sheet.
Step 3. Get to it! Be of service like your business’s success depends on it—because it does!
Step 4. Please share this totally free training with your friends so everyone can get paid well to do amazing work for their clients. Thank you in advance!
Need help with a unique or specific challenge, or have questions about this crash course? Ask them in the comments below. I’m here to help!
I can’t wait to see you get clients…. You’ve got this!My Personal Recommendation for YouFollow our proven plan for how to create a thriving, service-based online business