Author of The CashPT Blueprint; business owner, coach and podcast host helping healthcare entrepreneurs scale their time, income and impact.
When you run a brick-and-mortar business, you develop a list of “reliable” advertising and marketing strategies you think you should use. You place print ads, get brand sponsorships or buy billboard space—not necessarily because they get results but because they’re touted as the best ways to drive people to your restaurant, store, gym, studio or practice.
Even if traditional approaches have been effective for your business in the past, you can’t rely on them completely anymore. Many normal activities are on hold or scaled back for the foreseeable future, and your customers’ habits have changed overnight. Everything is moving online, and successful entrepreneurs must find new ways to market their businesses using modern technology.
Don’t be intimidated if you aren’t naturally tech-savvy. Armed with just a phone and these three strategies, you can create effective videos, online webinars and social media content to market your business and attract more paying customers.
What You Need To Get Started
Your starter kit is simple. You have to know the top one to three problems your customers are facing that you can solve. You need an openness to experimenting with new ways of connecting with people online to get more eyes on your offerings and get customers in the door. And you need a smartphone that records video and a Facebook, YouTube or Instagram account.
That’s it. With those basic tools, you can make engaging video content that addresses the who, what, where, when, how and why of your customers’ problems.
Strategy 1: Video Is King
Creating videos is the best way to share your mission, vision, values and message with your target audience. Your customers are already searching for solutions to their problems on the Internet, and online video viewing has shown explosive growth in recent months.
YouTube already has more than 2 billion users—almost one-third of the internet—and its viewership skyrocketed as stay-at-home orders went into effect during the pandemic. In just the first week of April, the Nielsen Corporation counted 32 billion minutes of YouTube streaming time, compared to 15 billion minutes the same week in 2019. According to YouTube’s internal data, views of videos related to self-care, social connection and identity, especially those with “how-to” themes, jumped significantly.
Spend some time on YouTube researching the list you wrote of your customers’ problems. What videos exist on the topic? What’s missing? Is there any content that targets your specific audience and location? Without overthinking it, make a short video that speaks to their pain points and offers helpful information and concrete action steps.
For my physical therapy clinic, I’ll talk to people to understand their common problems with chronic pain and injuries, such as knee pain while running or shoulder issues with CrossFit. Then I’ll make videos addressing these problems and search YouTube to help me write titles and descriptions, so when people in Greensboro are looking online for answers, they’ll find my suggestions. My educational video is the first introduction that starts to earn their trust, so they are more likely to do business with me in the future.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and test out a variety of video content that would be relevant to them. Make how-to videos, capture client testimonials, highlight product demos or show behind-the-scenes footage. Aim to connect with them on a personal level so they remember your business.
Strategy 2: Webinars Are Here To Stay
Years ago, business owners and entrepreneurs started using online trainings and webinars to sell their products, and it’s still a great strategy now that in-person events and workshops are more challenging. A modern-day webinar is short, to the point and full of value; most importantly, it offers a solution at the end.
Host your webinar on a platform like Facebook LIve, YouTube Live, Zoom or WebinarJam. Start with who you are and how you can help, identifying your customers’ primary problem right away. Tell a story about how you’ve solved the problem yourself, and outline around three steps for them to take to resolve it. Keep it short and punchy, and at the end, offer an opportunity for them to work with you to solve their problem faster. Make it simple and attractive for them to contact you, including a link with more information or special offers.
For my clinic, I could use this strategy to teach a workshop on the three ways to keep running without knee pain. In around 20 to 30 minutes, I would teach participants a little bit about the causes of knee pain and address common misconceptions. For example, the more you run, the less likely you are to have arthritis in your knees, which contradicts what many many runners believe. In the last few minutes, I would promote a link for a free 20-minute total body diagnostic at our clinic for runners who want to run faster and further without pain.
Strategy 3: Be A Media Company First
As a successful business owner, your primary role isn’t actually your profession; it’s to create your own media company. You must focus on marketing and sales first through social media, then you can help people solve their problems.
People also want to connect with, know, like and trust the person and business they are working with. When you publish videos and social media content on a regular schedule, customers relate to your stories and see how you can help them improve their lives.
Look for ways to repurpose every piece of content you make. If you record a Facebook Live webinar, download it and upload it to YouTube and create a series of ads with it. Take a few snippets and post them on social media, and embed them in a blog post. Share the blog post on social media and include it in an email newsletter.
You already have everything you need to create compelling content to bring in more customers. Just get started, and focus on sharing your knowledge and expertise, one video at a time.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?