If you’re not familiar with the name Bob Ross, he is most famous for his PBS show The Joy of Painting where he dawned his trademark permed hairstyle and could always be heard uttering the phrase “happy little trees.” While he didn’t live in the time of social media as it sits today, his tactics are the perfect roadmap to developing your social media accounts into client acquisition vehicles, let me explain.
You may not know this, but Bob never earned money from recording his T.V. show. He also donated his paintings to PBS and was only interested in educating his audience. He strictly used his show to educate the masses about “the joy of painting,” and it paid off in a big way when he worked with Annette Kowalski to create Bob Ross Inc., a 15-million-dollar revenue company today. Bob built a trustworthy brand through a three-step process – Educate, Engage, Ask.
We live in the age of information. There is nothing you can’t find online with the click of a mouse. If you break it down, consumers are only getting online for two reasons, education or escapism/entertainment. If you want to be successful in social media, you have to take one of these roads before attempting to sell your audience. The general public may not be looking for advice when they come across your video, but if it provides value without them having to commit to anything, odds are much stronger that they will tune in again.
Once you have your target audience’s attention, you need to engage them on the platforms you are using. Bob would have crushed social media as he received over 200 letters a day! He wrote back to his audience daily, and there are even occasions where he called them to make sure they were okay when he hadn’t heard from them! Any long-term relationship, no matter the communication medium, requires both parties to engage reciprocally.
Asking is the part that comes last. If you reverse these steps, it has the opposite effect on someone coming across your social media post. If you skip right to the ask, you drive more people away then attract them. Do you enjoy seeing ads online? So why would a potential client? Think about an initial client meeting. Do you immediately go in for the sell? So why would your online strategy be any different than a face to face meeting?
Online client acquisition is a slow process that starts with creating a trusted brand; there are no shortcuts. If you want to up your online presence this year, consider using the tactics above.