Avg. Income Earned by Following this Post: Building a Personal Brand is Priceless and will benefit you for years to come
No matter what you end up doing for money – mowing lawns, selling candy, cleaning frat houses, or working the street corners – you need a way to promote yourself. If you can put together a way for people to find you and get whatever it is you’re selling, then you’re already well on your way to dorm room riches. But, walking around with signs hanging from your neck isn’t the only way you can promote your new venture; social media is a great way to find people that want to give you money.
Social media can make you money, even if you don’t have an “online business”
One common misunderstanding, when it comes to creating a social media campaign (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) is that a social media campaign is only for people who are selling something online. THAT IS NOT TRUE! A social media campaign is merely a tool used to find and participate in online conversations around and with subject matter and people relevant to your brand or product. Just because you’re having a conversation online, doesn’t mean that your business has to fully operate online (although, any business would do well to have a good online presence). Remember, how we used a creative social media campaign to sell our lawn mowing services? Creative social media campaigns are merely a way to find customers and get them talking. Creative social media campaigns work for businesses running both off and online.
How to start and setup your creative social media campaign
Getting creative with your social media campaign means that the sky is the limit. There are hundreds of thousands of social media tools available to the creative marketer. That being said, the following is a quick start guide to building a presence in the blogosphere and social networking world. These marketing techniques can be applied to any of the ways to make money we’ve written at Collegetropolis, or any ways to make money that aren’t on this site. Building a personal brand is the most valuable thing you can do.
Get a blog
One of the best things that you can do to create a presence for yourself online is to start a blog and update it frequently with information relevant to your potential clients and customers. Remember that as important as it is to consistently put good information out, it is also equally important to listen to what others are saying. Listening and responding to potential customers as a promotional tool is the key to a successful creative social media campaign.
Play on Twitter
Twitter has always been the buzz social network for networking online to do real world business. Twitter makes is very easy for you to find and interact with like-minded entrepreneurs, marketers, and potential clients and customers. The way I like to use Twitter is as a listening tool and a way to query a group of like-minded people. Since marketing and PR is my job, I follow a lot of other people that are in the marketing and PR field. I see what they are talking about and chime in from time to time, when I have something valuable to add to a conversation. In return, when I have a question or comment about marketing or PR, the people that I am following do the same. In this way, I am able to find answers to marketing and PR questions and bounce creative ideas off of other professionals and creative marketers.
I can listen to other conversations using tools like Twitter Search to find potential clients. If I’m selling copy writing services, then I could set alerts that allow me to see when anyone is talking about copy-writing or asking for a good copy-writer. This way, I’m building relationships with pre-qualified prospects in that they have already mentioned or requested the services that I offer.
As you build your network, you will probably want to get a Facebook profile as a way to display your content to interested people and keep up with others who are doing the same. Facebook offers many promotional tools like groups, fan pages, and blog networks that you can use to raise awareness about you and your company or brand.
Your Facebook campaign could be as simple as adding current and potential clients as friends and providing them with relevant information, or you could get as advanced as building your own Facebook application and using it as a way to create a viral presence online.
The Key to a Creative Social Media Campaign
The key to any creative social media and networking campaign is that you want to build relationships with potential customers and provide something of value to them. A creative social media campaign is all about the customer and never about you.
If you are mowing lawns, then you might create content that tells people how to better take care of their yard. If you are selling college lecture notes, then you might blog about the best way to take good notes. By providing good information, you are setting yourself up as a thought leader and building rapport with potential customers. When it comes time for them to purchase the services you offer, they will purchase them from you because you have consistently offered good, valuable information, free of charge and earned their respect.
Sure, there will be people that will take the information you provide to learn how to do things without ever hiring you, but you never know when they might send you a referral. By providing valuable information and content, you will attract prospects that are ready to buy from you because they regard you as an expert in your field.
No matter what social network or what type of creative social media content you are trying to create, if it provides value to your potential customers, you will find that you make more money than you ever could have with a website alone.