Monday, 24 October 2016

Is Digital Selling The Ultimate Sales Channel?

In a world where generating sales leads is now the biggest challenge facing companies, could digital selling including social selling be the ultimate sales channel for the foreseeable future. In the digitally connected world, to attract buyers attention, a business has to develop trust, this means starting with authentic interactions and engaging on social media.
There are lots of definitions as to what “Digital Selling” actually entails, but the main point to get across is that digital selling is about creating cohesion between sales and marketing in the areas of content marketing, inbound marketing, social selling, data, social listening and insights which are mapped to the buyer’s journey. All these “online” elements when structured together can be used to create a Digital Selling strategy. It is not just about the sales team trying their luck with social selling or the marketing department producing a stream of content. To make it work, leaders must create an organisational structure around the social media channels and KPI’s to measure buyer engagement.
Many companies feel that in-house created content reach (views, likes, downloads)  is the ultimate measure for buyer interest, however other measures like social reach, buyer connections, sales person profile/company page views, questions posed, questions answered and conversation engagement are other key measures worth considering. A key part of any Digital Selling strategy is everyone in sales and marketing should be involved in the creation, organising and sharing of content.  To succeed with the socially influenced buyer, remember companies with the best stories shared will win. In a way, a business needs to have a publishing department, one that concentrates on creating volumes of content or research which is mapped to a buyer’s journey

Let’s take a deeper look at Digital Selling

Digital selling is the use of social selling (1:1 buyer engagement on social channels undertaken by sales people) combined with the use of digital assets (videos, articles, whitepapers, case studies, infographics, webinars, online presentations) and supported by sales intelligence (data, ideal customer profiles, insights, triggers, CRM, social listening) to generated leads and revenue.
In a way, digital selling could be termed “closed loop selling” as it about matching your sales strategy to buyer behaviour which we now know is increasingly influenced by social media.  So in a way, it takes a holistic view of the buyers journey to bring together the assets and actions in order to be valuable to buyers on their journey, one that ultimately leads to better engagement and ultimately more sales.
There are many compelling reasons around this strategy, mainly driven by the fact that buyer behaviour has changed and there is no old way of doing things as most sales tactics such as cold calling have diminishing returns. Today’s connected buyer is more informed than ever before plus they have become expert at tuning out to all those interrupter sales strategies and tactics that worked so well in the past. They seek not to be sold to. They seek advice, knowledge, insights and someone to guide them to the right purchase decision.
The whole digital sales transformation is in full swing around us, whether it is inbound marketing, freemium models, social selling or consultative sales models, it is digital selling to step forward and take centre stage.
Digital selling is fast becoming main stream as forward thinking SaaS companies lead the way whilst many smaller or medium sized businesses must watch and learn fast.

So where does social selling fit in?

As I stated previously, Social Selling is the key sales person’s activity within Digital Selling. Again, there are many definitions but my own one is “Social selling is the sum of connected actions shared online when experienced by customers/potential customers will influence their awareness and consideration for your business.
It boils down to the influence an individual sales person can have on customers and prospects’, by sharing content on social networks which is consumed, shared, commented on and visible across multiple networks.
Sales teams deploy social selling as an activity that is proven to be valuable (sharing insights, articles, expert advice) to buyers as they move through the awareness, consideration and selection stages on the new buying journey via social media.
Social Selling uses three key elements: namely Insights, Triggers and Referrals to map the buyer’s journey, then supports these elements with articles, curated content, videos, whitepapers etc to engage a potential customer.
A digital selling strategy acknowledges that the connected buyer needs education but they educate themselves. They have become blind to advertising and ignore slick marketing material. They value peer recommendations over sales jargon and they complete a large part of the buying process without sales interactions or taking calls. They want to be guided and expect insights from experts with an understanding of their business not yours.
So, pause, listen & engage to nurture relationships via social networks. Modern sales leadership know that the key to sustained success is to include digital selling alongside social selling and social media marketing so all departments and all employees can play their part in the online customer engagement process. When sales and marketing work together to engage someone from prospect to customer, the whole business from top to bottom can stay on the same page with critical contacts, conversations, conversions while measuring the resulting ROI. That is Digital Selling.

Is Digital Selling The Ultimate Sales Channel? – The Bitter Business

Monday, 17 October 2016

Social Selling Training Programs


Small, mid-sized or Large Corporate
Add our industry validated digital programs to your Skillset to target new markets, increase revenue and establish a competitive edge.



Today’s buyer is digitally-driven, mobile, socially-connected, empowered with unlimited access to real-time information about business problems, products, companies, competitors — about all sorts of things. Also, buyers don’t have to rely on brands, interruption marketing or companies or salespeople for information, because they can find that freely on the web.
Prospects can compare your product or service and buy from the competition without you even knowing they exist.
The buyer’s journey has changed so sales leaders, mangers and sales professionals need to understand how they can connect to and leverage these habits.
The DSI course on “Social Selling for Agents” has been developed in conjunction with sales coaches, business schools and over 5000 hours of research. It is designed for sales management and sales professionals to learn how to function in the digital space. Full Course Information.


The digital connected world has turned the traditional sales funnel, on its head. Old sales and marketing tactics have diminishing returns. Change in sales methodologies has accelerated at dizzying proportions. We are in a constant state of disruption. Just when we think we’re getting to grips with the new, it’s already old.
The most significant change in our world is that digital connectivity has put power in the hands of the buyers. Instead of being passively influenced by marketing and sales, they actively search, research and compare.
In this course, sales and marketing leaders will learn how Social Selling can used as a vehicle for sales transformation and how to evaluate, support and integrate social selling from a leadership perspective to become a social business. Also why social selling is an essential requirement for sales teams, and how the relationships that are created and nurtured within social media will help you grow and sustain your business.



The use of social networks for sales is no longer optional for business. It’s a powerful strategy that can help sell ideas, establish credibility, attract and win customers. It is the result of the profound integration of social media into how we conduct our lives for business and pleasure. The buyer’s journey has changed in the digital world so sales and marketing professionals need to understand how they can connect to and leverage these habits.
The DSI programs are focused on providing excellence in design, transformational learning experiences and quality customer service. So we have built learning programs that brings thought leadership for sales and marketing professionals around sales tactics, lead generation, reducing cost per lead, prospect engagement, sales pipeline and revenue.
The tangible return on investment has been evidenced repeatedly in our work with companies both large and small to bring an untapped source of competitive edge for your business


The always on access to course material and the cost effectiveness of electronic content can both be critical to managing an investment in training your team. At The DSI learning becomes real when applied with the help of seasoned coaches that will demonstrate and inspire social success. Each online session covers a different topic from our comprehensive course material.
Students can learn, ask questions and engage in dialog with peers. These virtual sessions will accelerate learning through reinforcement and are highly interactive. This ensures all training members are on-board and actively participating in their training and development.

 Social Selling Training Programs

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Key Elements of Digital Sales Transformation – The Bitter Business

The Key Elements of Digital Sales Transformation – The Bitter Business

I think we all have to acknowledge that the sales profession is going through a major transformation. Social media, mobile, and digital information means buyers are better informed and rely less on sales people in the purchasing journey. And that same purchase process has become longer and even more complex within the consultative type selling models.
Digital Sales Transformation could be defined as “How sales capabilities and competences need to be developed to address the “Connected Buyer”, meeting changes in the industry facilitated by digital tools”. In a nutshell, transforming sales performance will involve a combination of better training for the new age sales person, better use of technology/data, and better customer content to drive conversations.
It is not just another business buzzword to be bandied about at management meetings. The buyers journey is changing fast (wait till Millennials make up the majority of buyers!!) so it’s important to focus on real business and customer challenges and changes now.  Now it the time to have a clear approach, prioritise action and involve the entire marketing and sales force in any digital transformation process. Where to focus in terms of market arenas (capture more business in the short term), what is the right offering (product to market fit) and value proposition for these markets, and how to manage customer relationships and sales to win in the digitally influenced market, are some of the questions to be answered.
The digital tools I mentioned above as part of the definition of sales transformation are invading the business ecosystem, bringing with them major changes in the way we work, communicate, and sell but most importantly the change in how customers buy. As with most things in like, this has brought both opportunities and challenges, and has triggered the Digital Transformation within companies for all aspects of customer touch points.

Sales enablement needs to focus on “value messaging”, “social selling” and “consultative selling” skills training.

The starting point is focused on improving the business awareness of the sales teams because the old sales methodology of selling product features to increasingly more sophisticated buyers will not cut the mustard.  Sales professionals must be able to map the buyer’s journey, understand “Ideal Customer Profiles”, deliver compelling insights (using a variety of content) to differentiate themselves (Why me!!)  And communicate this value to close more business without being dragged into the pricing discount race. So sales enablement leaders are looking to “value messaging”, “social selling” and “consultative selling” skills training using social networks to help the sales force communicate and influence buyer perceptions of value.
The development of these new sales or marketing competencies revolves around the capacities for sales people to be more agile, buyer-centred, innovative, connected, aligned and effective with present and future changes in mind. The digital sales transformation will have many connected goals, but in the end striving towards optimisation across sales processes, support divisions and the business ecosystem of the always-connected customer where building the right bridges with the right people at the right time during the buyers journey is the key to success.
A reminder of the buyer’s journey: Today’s buyers, from consumers looking for a new car to company buying committees purchasing software, can easily research and compare products thanks to the visibility offered up from a host of social networks.
The positive news is that with re-tuning for this digital era, sales teams have significant capabilities to impact the buyer’s journey to become a valuable influencer, aided by big data, digital selling tools, and organisational changes to the buyers’ growing level of self education.

The major themes of Digital Sales Transformation:

  • Find growth in arenas before your competitors arrive
  • Sell the way customers want to buy
  • Optimise sales operations and digital tools
  • Sales and marketing as a unified team who challenge the status quo and manage revenue performance
  • Empowering sales enablement to make change happen
Look Ahead
The whole purpose of sales transformation is to drive profitable growth within companies. It is about using insights, social signals and data to anticipate buyer interests and map out where untapped potential lies. They focus on being useful and valuable to buyers in order to lock in new customers first (and out manoeuvre their competitors).
Find growth in Social Data
The use of social data as part of the sales engagement plan can open up amazing sales opportunities. Companies from all sectors, B2C and B2B can build insights from a wide array of internal and external sources and create tailored selling propositions based on prospect personalisation. However to maximise the benefits of social data, social selling needs to be at the very heart of the sales culture.
Selling that matches the Buyer’s Journey
Generation connected customers have discarded their participation in traditional sales models. They want self-determined, more seamless, and rewarding buying experiences; they want more of the right information at the right time, more value from sales interactions and they want on channels of their choosing. For sales leaders, getting their heads around this is hard enough but transforming sales models in mature or emerging markets is a major challenge. But leading sales organisations are finding ways to improve digital channels, the availability of content plus maximising direct and indirect channels. Using social data and social selling they are cracking the code of how to integrate them all. No company can win today using old sales methodologies, so the smart ones are using transformation to manage a multi-channel approach to ensure consistency, maintaining close contact with customers and raising the sales bar. The best sales leaders are transforming inside sales and field sales, integrating online with inbound with social selling, orchestrating direct and indirect sales and marketing teams and using data to drive activity.
The best test and tweak constantly to bring value to the buyer’s journey and turn conversations into sales conversions. They embrace social networks, mobile and understand the benefits of building deeper customer relationships across all platforms with quality content. Finally, they recognise that digital is an additive process, so they work hard at seamless integration with every other sales channel to win.
Mapping the Customer Decision Journey

“12% of all B2B sales in the US will take place online by 2020 – Forrester”

75% of purchases now start with an online search by the buyer. 90% of decision makers say that they never respond to cold outreach – (Harvard Business Review).  More than half the sales process has disappeared. B2B buyers are 57% of the way through their purchasing decision before they ever engage a sales person. In fact, a B2B customer will regularly use different interaction channels throughout the purchase process. The mapping of Ideal Customer Profiles and the Customer Decision Journey  around which marketing and sales collaborate has become standard practise in many progressive sales organisations. They also know that this journey is different by customer segment/profile, with varying needs and expectations at each point in the journey.
It is about ensuring the sales teams reaches the right people at the right time with the right offer.
Innovate Inside Sales
Cold calling is dying fast and some companies are still flogging dead horses. Sales transformation success can pivot on changing the inside sales approach. The leaders of the successful inside sales forces have recognised this. They use social selling to nurture customers early, long before any sales pitch. They seek to bring value and be a trusted source of information to unlock growth in key accounts which is the prerequisite for the consultative sale. Regardless of size or industry, there are always new ways for business development people to engage new customers.
 Blend your Sales and Marketing Engine
In transforming the sales engine, business leaders must ensure that marketing and sales teams work together to extract the full value of every piece of data or customer touch point. Despite their co-dependency, it can seem like marketing and sales are marching to a different tune. Successful sales leaders work with marketing (and vice-versa), benefiting from the market insight skills it brings and feeding these insights to the sales engine to maximise every campaign or lead. Research has shown that when the two teams collaborate to drive sales and revenue, companies enjoy higher sales growth.
Use Technology as an Advantage in Sales
The use of digital sales tools must evolve to keep pace with customer preferences.  Part of the role of sales enablement is to ensure the investment enables success instead being viewed as another big brother information tool. Appoint an owner whose focus is on acquiring and implementing the right tools to deliver the returns on productivity or performance the business expects.
Sales Transformation is about having the right Talent to Execute
Think “New Age Sellers”. Sales leaders can have all the social data, all the social selling training or all the digital tools available, but without having the talent who embrace this new progression, they will achieve little. Hard questions like do we have the right talent for our future sales plans or how many of our existing sales force can make the transformation we require have to be asked and answered.
 Make Digital Selling Part of your Sales DNA
Sales transformation is not about achieving some short term wins but embedding it in to the genes of the organisation for the long term. The companies who will win out in selling to the always connected buyer will create a culture that embraces social channels. They will prioritise sales training and throw the spotlight onto people who are playing a starring role as agents of change, and they focus on social collaboration between sales, marketing and support that goes way beyond the individuals skills to create sales capabilities embedded into the DNA of the entire organisation
Growth will be driven from the Top
Every sales leader has to step forward and be at the forefront of change. Because without strong leadership any transformation initiative will hit the rocks sooner than you think! Strong leaders will be given the platform to challenge the status quo or “the way it’s always been done “thinking. They will galvanise their team, they plan and map change while demanding results from the sales force who has been equipped to win. Senior sponsorship and stakeholder alignment is critical as well as a clear vision of where to prioritise the transformation effort.
A final thought
Undertaking sales transformation may sound brave but the insights to future buyer preferences remove it as optional. The rise of social channels and data brings enormous opportunities for value creation and sales growth, but there are many challenges along the way. Any companies planning to be in business five years from now should already be preparing for a major overhaul of how they sell, no business and no industry is immune.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

7 Ways to Get Your Content to Produce Sales Leads – Now

If your content marketing plan is producing a steady flow of sales leads, then save yourself some time and don’t bother reading this article. Every marketing article I read tells me how much business has fallen in love with content marketing and why not. I know from experience that whether selling to consumers or business the challenge (for both marketing and sales) is to get content to produce sales leads and not just brand awareness. However the reality is that today’s social media channels are being bombarded with content (some great, some good and lots of crap) on a daily basis.


7 Ways to Get Your Content to Produce Sales Leads – Now – The Bitter Business

Monday, 29 August 2016

Social Media Agency – The Bitter Business

Social Media Agency – The Bitter Business

Social Media Agency specialising in Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing including SaaS, Online and Small business promotion. We live and breath social media for customer acquisition, social reach, social selling, account and business development, buyer engagement, lead generation and sales revenue.
What makes us different?
We understand what it takes to grow a business. So we start with social insights. Social insights puts “the buyer” centre stage, starting with ideal customer profiles/buyer personas so we understand the context of your social relationships, communities and network reach to customers. Then we work with you to find untapped, hidden, unexpected or unspoken opportunities that can cause buyers to see the brand, product or people who work in your business differently. Our social insights are the pillars of the social ideas we develop for our clients.
How do we measure success?
Understanding how our social insights work and drive business value (qualified leads, sales,traffic, buyer engagement) for clients is at the heart to our social approach. We have a framework of metrics and KPI’s for measuring the social impact of our social media marketing plans which provides both a methodology for ensuring our activities will have the greatest impact and a transparent success measure to our customers.
A Cost Effect, sensible marketing partner.
Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube,Facebook and the many business forums can be great for attracting or engaging potential and existing customers. As a business owner we know that you require structure and the ability to accurately measure the impact of Social Media Marketing on your business. We also understand you expect results, not excuses, actions not theory. So whether it is social media training or a cost effective social media partner solution, we are here to chat over a coffee and listen to your challenges.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016



When implementing a
digital sales or social selling program, the biggest single point of failure
can be writing LinkedIn messages to buyers. Or to put it in simpler language,
the ability to craft well thought out messages that convert into offline
conversations between seller and buyer.
Every sales
strategy most likely has a multi activity approach which may include phoning,
emailing and social interaction. However, sales people who use social selling as
their primary customer acquisition channel are now getting the majority of
their leads via well crafted and well timed messages via social media platforms
such as LinkedIn.  
linkedin messages.jpg
So here are some
tips on writing LinkedIn messages (or indeed for any social media platform) to
potential buyers so sales people can generate sales pipeline quicker.

Long before a sales person ever writes “that message” whether it is for
a connection request or for conversion to pipeline, we need to take a step back
and consider how much we really understand our buyers. For example at The
Bitter Business, I target 3 ideal customer profiles (ICP’s)/buyer personas:
Sales Leaders, Marketing Leaders, and Sales Trainers.
I created these ICP’s
so I can create content that speaks and resonates with people who are
interested in using social media to drive sales. I also use these buyer personas
to gain an understanding of my target audience, their needs, wants, concerns and
business challenges within their industry.
Remember the 5 Buyer Why’s when developing Ideal Customer
Profiles and content that matches for social selling. Why listen? Why care? Why
change? Why you? Why now?

Every sales person and every sales team should sit down with
marketing and create 1, 2 or 3 ICP’s as to take targeting of buyer personas to
the next level. Use this exercise between sales and marketing to explore what
are your prospect’s biggest fears or challenges, the consequences of them maintaining
a status quo position, and the biggest win you and your business can deliver to
It may sound
simplistic but the better you understand your buyer, the better chance sales
people have of being able to move buyers out of their status quo and walk with
them on their buyers journey.


Value is the
currency for buyer connectivity. So once we understand the buyer’s position and
needs, we need to source insights (news, data, information, research) which prove
that we understand them and their industry. There are many content curation
tools such as Owler, Crunchbase, Google Alerts, Twitter Lists, and
To build value with
insights, sales people should focus on 3 areas:
The Buyer: Start by
following the buyer on LinkedIn, Twitter even Facebook. The objective is to
discover how socially active they are plus what content or conversations are they
engaging with as to ascertain what they are interested in. Also try to find out
if the prospect has been referenced in an article, has been complimented in a
conversation or writes blog posts. There are great opportunities to engage the
buyer in a starter conversation.
The Buyers Company: The level of
data or insight you can get on a company depends on their size. A good place to
start is their blog and do a Google search for news and announcements. Remember
there are 5.4 decision makers involved in a business purchase so do some
LinkedIn research on the senior players. What groups do they belong to, what
level of connectivity do they have and who are they connected to. Make sure to
follow their company page and twitter accounts. Then repeat a Google search for
these names to find out some information or news. Also look out for press
releases, newly appointed people, announcements, press mention and maybe sign
up to their company blog posts.
The Buyers Industry: Another way to
build value is to understand the industry dynamics of your buyer. What trends,
data or insights can you gleam from business research companies such as Forester,
Aberdeen Group, McKinsey and Gartner.
By focusing and
investing time on these three areas, sales people will uncover insights that:
1. Put’s themselves
in the shoes of the buyer so they can anticipate future needs; plus
2. Become valuable
to the buyer in sharing quality information while gradually positioning
themselves as a trusted source.
LinkedIn Statistics.png

Once a sales person feels they can bring value to a buyer (via understanding
and relevant insights) with content worthy of sharing or to spark a
conversation then they can proceed to the message or engaging phase. Do not
rush into this.
Regardless of whether it is a connection request, a conversation starter
or a conversion message, crafting the correct wording is critical.

So let us move on to how to construct the messages:
The Subject
Very few buyers will open a direct social media message/email/InMail
unless they are intrigued by your Subject Line. It is essentially the gateway
to opening a relationship. To increase the chances of a buyer opening the
message, make it relevant and avoid spam sounding sentences. A subject line
like “You mentioned recently” or “I noticed you”, plus include their first name
and any snippet of information that will spark an interest or curiosity.
Make it 100% Personalised: Always state your
name, and give the buyer the context into why you are reaching out. Then add in
the value exchange (what is in it for them – research/information/similarities
etc). Then maybe reference a piece of content you found from insights research.
These elements are what separate your messaging from the raft of other messages
they get every day from sales people doing a brochure dump or vanilla flavoured
Include an Impact/Value
: If this is a conversion message, then every sales person should address
the buyer WIIFM (What is in it for me). Talk about what you can do for them
referencing specific case studies, facts or clients. Include a statistic and a
Value Statement
example: “I help SaaS technology
companies who are launching a new product into the marketplace – and need it to
be successful in the short-term to achieve their sales forecast. Where I help
my clients is to generate more leads faster using social selling. As a result, my
customers are able to more easily meet projected sales targets and
significantly reduce the time to profitability.”
As Harvard
marketing professor Theodore Levitt put it: "People don't want to buy a
quarter-inch drill. They want to buy a quarter-inch hole." You must
understand why your customer wants that hole. Cultivating relationships within
that context is much more powerful.
Every message
should ideally end with a question asking them to take a specific action. If
this is a connection request, then keep it with context and zero sales pitch.
If a conversion message (moment of truth), maybe end by asking for a time to have
a chat (reference some specific times you are available).

 Subject Line: John, You mentioned you
plan to grow 250% in 2017

Hi John,
I read your quote
in the Irish Times where you mentioned you plan to growth 250% in 2017 with a
particular focus on SaaS companies and you are now putting your plans in place.
Social selling will enable your sales teams to generate additional sales pipeline
in these areas, which will enhance your company’s ability for larger deal sizes.
Companies like Dell,
Schneider, and smaller companies have leveraged our Social Selling Methodology

Increase their qualified leads pipeline by 35% plus within 12 months.
Create team revenue
(sales & marketing alignment) to accelerate revenue.
Drive sales
enablement and account development through leadership buy-in and measures.
Can I have 15
minutes of your time for me to share the digital transformation success we are
seeing across many Irish companies?
Can we set out 15 minutes
on [Date1] or [Date2]?”

Subject Line: Dave,
I noticed your interest in this article
Hi Dave,
I noticed that you looked at my profile and
commenting on the article “How to Social Sell” I shared in some LinkedIn groups.
I research and write articles on using social media to drive business, so if
you ever require information on
, feel free to use me as a resource for whitepapers
and research. Look forward to connecting with you.

Social media messages.jpg
Creating the right
message is all about creating value for the buyer at the right time, this value
has to be separated in connecting, being useful (conversations) and being
valuable (conversion into pipeline). Sales people need to understand the buyer
(ICP’s/buyer personas) from all fronts, individual, company and industry. The skill
is to do the research and craft messaging around the buyer’s journey you have

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Business Plan Template – The Bitter Business

Business Plan Template – The Bitter Business

Download these free business plan templates to help you formulate a business plan for your business.
image with business planning options

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Business – The Bitter Business

How to Use Social Media To Promote Your Business – The Bitter Business

he use of social media is now the most effective way when you need to promote or launch a business or new product. The free access to social networks for prospect identification and the ability to reach a large audience of buyers via content means every marketing or sales leader has to use these channels as part of a go-to-market strategy. When launching a new product or service,   social media provides a rich media platform that with some planning can make it easy for people to share around your message.
It doesn’t seem like so long ago that promoting, marketing and launching a product whether nationally or global required a massive budget and was one of the barriers to entry the traditional multi-nationals relied upon. But the digital switch by buyers to self-educate on the social networks has re-written both the sales and marketing rules.
The following approach or any part of it can be used by anyone with the right discipline and time.
Use Facebook
Create a Facebook fan page specifically for your brand or product, then share and network with the Facebook community as it is the largest single social networking site on the web. Remember it is about engagement and then sharing. To build up your fan and advocacy base to give you that critical mass to share your stories/messages, why not offer an incentive to “like” your page, maybe by giving some merchandise or prize.
Suggested Primary Goal:
Create an incentive for people to “like” your page by providing via a free product giveaway in order to grow your fan base.
Use LinkedIn
With over 400 million business users, one of your first actions should be to create a company page, followed by joining interest groups related to what you are selling. Don’t forget to pimp up your profile with a photo and fill out as much detail in your profile as possible. Learn about “social selling” and how to use content from your blog (see below) along with other content to engage connections. You can also search and tag prospects, influencers and potential partners.
Suggested Primary Goal:
To identify potential buyers and partners for your brand or products.
Website and Blog
Thanks to WordPress, Weebly, Medium, Blogger etc it has never been easier or cheaper to create your own branded web presence and attract potential buyers (with some SEO and promotional activity). For less than €100 you can have your own domain and less than €500 can give you a fully branded website. Learn to target keywords, read up on SEO and how to share your website URL’s on sites like Plurk,, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest to name but a few, will start to give you a trickle of traffic to build upon.
Learn to write 1000 plus word blogs with titles like Tips, How to, A guide to or Top 10 so you can further use social media to attract potential buyers and improve your search engine results. Try to write a blog weekly but monthly at a minimum. Don’t forget to share and post your blog articles around the web.
Suggested Primary Goal
To make it easier for potential buyers to engage with you while finding out more about your business.
Product Reviews by Social Influencers
If possible, prior to formal launch try to get some external product reviews, even recommendations. As the trust between buyer and suppliers is at an all time low, peer recommendations instead of marketing blurb can give your business a much needed injection of interest. Maybe offer your product free in return for publishable references.  Apart from using LinkedIn there is a whole host of social tools (lots are free) that you can use to identify social influencers or connectors. Also do not forget journalists and online magazines, approaching them can be as simple as crafting an introduction letter with an invitation to review or sample your offerings. Ensure you put a unique slant on your business, what problem is it solving and why would people be interested in your personal story.
Suggest Primary Goal:
To gather independent and verifiable 3rd party authority as social proof, which you will then share with potential customers.
Have a Contest
Who doesn’t love a good ole a contest and they work well on Social media especially in the B2C space. Using your social media channels, offer up some real goodies (if not your actual product then something related to it). Keep it simple, you are not trying to snare emails, you chasing “share ability”
Suggest Primary Goal
Note: Get a fan base engaged before you officially launch your business or product so that when you do launch you have a fan base that could be ready to buy and spread your message for you whether that is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The combination of your regularly updated blog, website and your social media community activity can be a powerful platform for getting in revenue faster.
Try a Quiz
It is also easy to create and publish a quiz on your website and social channels. Just do a Google search for “create a quiz”. There are some free and paid options. People like to test their knowledge and if you can relate or match the quiz to your product even better.
There doesn’t have to be a prize but you could combine it with a contest as above.
Suggested Primary Goal: To engage customers and also create more buzz.
Create Infographics or Video
The rise in popularity of infographics and video content in social media cannot be ignored. Sites like Canva, Visualize, Piktochart and make it easy for anyone with some patience to create stunning graphic stories. You can even create video content online but there is a higher price to be paid here, if your product is very visual then maybe a 20-30 second video for YouTube or Vimeo maybe a must.
Suggested Primary Goal: To provide some wow media formats that could go ‘viral’.
sales motivation
You can create a PowerPoint presentation that could not serve as a key note presentation but would also publish on Slideshare to spread your message while reinforcing your professional image.
Suggested Primary Goal: Publish on the Slideshare platform to make it easy for people to
These few tips on using social media when launching a business or product are by no mean exhaustive, what else have you tried? The purpose of the article is that with a limited budget and the learning of new skills (social sellingsocial media marketing, creating infographics, writing blogs, running contests etc) most of us can achieve results beyond our expectations. Oh yeah, did I mention lots of hard work but no pain no gain.