How one solopreneur doubled her business in less than a year by becoming an ‘expert’

Fit For Social Ian Mountford

How one solopreneur doubled her business in less than a year by becoming an ‘expert’

When I started working with Mindfulness Coach and Blogger Clarissa Hughes of The Little Breathing Space she was on the cusp of making a massive life change by moving her Sydney-based business to Gothenburg in Sweden. She had built an active community of around 600 followers on Facebook by regularly posting quality social media content about mindfulness but wasn’t getting the results she wanted.

“I was putting up posts, sharing posts and just hoping for the best,” she told me over Skype from Sweden. “I was writing blogs and sticking them up. I wasn't getting any kind of connections to work with me or click-throughs to my website. The content was interesting but it didn't tell people to do anything.”

Fast-forward 11 months and Clarissa has a book set for release in November, her own podcast series and will soon be featured in Forbes and Cosmopolitan in Europe. Since we created her strategy, her business has effectively doubled and “has a life of its own”.

Clarissa puts her kind of pinch-yourself success down to positioning herself as an industry expert by consistently offering authentic content on social media.

I understand that for many people, the idea of promoting yourself as an expert in your field might make you a little bit uncomfortable. But the “expert” we’re talking about is someone who is motivated to be the most helpful person they can be in their sector, which is an essential piece of the Long Term Conversion Formula.

If you’re new to creating content, being an expert is an excellent way to tell stories relevant to your audience. Or as Clarissa puts it: “Giving away a little piece of knowledge, valuable tips and things people can do demonstrates that you're there to serve your customers. They might say, ‘Oh, that's great. I do that,’ or, ‘That's really helpful to me’. And they then think, ‘Oh, yeah, maybe I'll contact her’.”

The first thing you need to do is establish which social media platforms are best for your customers. When Clarissa moved to Sweden she rebranded her business and decided to focus primarily on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to build herself as an authority in the mindfulness space. Her LinkedIn activity alone has led to new clients, business partners and PR opportunities. Key to her strategy was posting regularly – usually daily on Instagram, twice daily on LinkedIn and three times per week on Facebook – and staying on message.

“You don't see me writing something on nutrition or on something that's not in my field. I always stay around stress, anxiety, mindfulness and some pain management work,” she says. “People know that I'm always there saying very similar messages: informative, factual, actionable information and not pushing and selling.”

Three social media content ideas to help position you as an expert

1. FAQ examples

Turn your mind back to some of the FAQs that come through your website, customer service lines or face-to-face interactions. What do people want to know? Perhaps you’re a floor tiler who can write a blog post on the best non-stick surfaces for restaurants. Or maybe you’re a florist who can give brides a list of the top five bouquets that are least likely to wilt on their February wedding day.

2. Salute another expert

Collaborating with other experts is not only a great way to build your profile, but it can lead to new business networking opportunities. This can be as simple as sharing a post by somebody you respect (so long as it’s within your defined subject area) or doing a ‘shout-out’ on Instagram to acknowledge their achievements. If you have a blog, you could interview an expert. Freelance writing coach Lindy Alexander does this very well on her blog The Freelancer’s Year where she features Q & A sessions with other successful writers.

3. Create a podcast

Particularly if you work in the services area, podcasting can be an excellent way to convey your passion for your subject area to a captive audience. There’s a great App called Anchor that allows you to create, distribute and host your own podcast for free. Clarissa has used this App to create her own podcast series, A Little Breathing Space, which you can listen to on iTunes.

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