Do you ever wonder why new readers stop by your blog every day but your social media following doesn’t seem to be growing at the same rate? It’s entirely possible that something you added to your blog design—or forgot to include—is keeping new readers from taking the next step to follow you elsewhere.
Getting people to follow you outside of your blog does a handful of things . . .
1 | It helps them remember who you are and what you can help them with because you’ll pop up in their Instagram or Pinterest feed multiple times each day/week.
2 | It creates a connection and builds trust as they get to know you.
3 | It helps you continue to give them little wins until they’re ready to invest money in a big win.
This is especially important if you’re hoping new readers will turn into customers or clients because, for a lot of businesses, you’re essentially asking a stranger to send you money on the internet. And as you might expect, if that price tag is more than $20, new readers might be hesitant to jump straight into hiring you, purchasing a product, or signing up for a course. If you can get them to follow you on social media, you’ll be able to create a connection and build trust faster than if you have to wait for them to stop by your blog again.
To get more readers connecting with you outside of your blog, here are 6 things to double-check to make sure you aren’t creating a roadblock that keeps people from following you on social media.
1 | They can’t find your social media links
Let’s start with the one that’s the easiest to fix. I know some internet marketers believe that by not making social media links easy to find, it forces new readers to connect by joining their email list, but I’m calling bullshit on that. By not putting social links in the usual places, you’re missing out on people who would be interested in connecting but don’t know you enough or trust you enough to let you into their inbox yet.
I say, make connecting with you not only crazy easy but an obvious next step. Oh, you enjoyed this blog post? How about hanging out with me on social media for more good stuff??
Add social media links to the top of your site, your sidebar, your author bio underneath blog posts, your about and contact pages, and in your site footer. And don’t forget to include a link whenever you mention a social media platform. For example, I recently wrote a post sharing ideas for posting on Instagram and included a reminder to follow me over there. (BTW… I’m on Insta @xosarahmorgan)
2 | They’re not 100% sure what you do
If your logo and URL are your name or a blog/company name that does not inherently describe what you offer, like Google, you need to specifically state what you do throughout your site. Google got around having a totally weirdo name by making the one single thing they do (at the beginning it was just finding information) the only thing on their homepage (a search box).
Your blog posts or tagline might also give new readers insight into what you share, but you need to be very specific. If your website says you’re a designer, are you a graphic designer? A web designer? A floral designer? An interior designer?
Don’t make new readers 1) search for your job title and services, and 2) make them come up with their own version of what you do. This is a tip I learned from marketing expert Seth Godin: if you don’t tell people what you do, they’ll make it up themselves.
The more specific you are about what you share the more likely you’ll be followed by people who are a good match for what you do.
3 | They’re not sure if you can help them
When I first started working as a freelance web designer, anytime I would mention my occupation I’d hear some version of, “Oh! My uncle is looking for someone to build a website for his company.” And inevitably this uncle was always a plumber or a lawyer or ran some sort of company that had a website I could not cover in bright colors and swear words. #nothankyou!
If I had any marketing skills back then, I would have rephrased my freelance spiel to be more like… I’m a web designer and I work with creative women who sell products or services online. BOOM, more referrals for clients I would have actually been stoked to work with.
Your website needs to have the same effect. Do you work with solo business owners? Local business owners? Or full-on companies? Are you looking to connect with moms? Millennials? Marketing gurus?
Something on your website—your tagline, your sidebar intro, your about page—needs to give new visitors the feeling that your entire website was made for THEM.
4 | There’s no photo of YOU
This one is applicable to blogs but I see it even more on Instagram. Every single day I find my way to an account where I can’t figure out who the person behind the curated photos and the quote graphics really is. Usually these accounts are really specific about what they do or offer, which is great, but people are going to trust you a lot quicker if they can actually see your face and learn a little about you and your personality.
Are you a dude or a lady? A millennial or a baby boomer? Single or raising a pack of kids? A cat person or a dog person? (That last one is very important.)
Posting a selfie is pretty low on most people’s weekly task list, or something they’d like to avoid as long as possible, but I dare you to share a selfie once/week EVERY week for the next couple of months and see how your engagement improves. (Use the hashtag #daretoblog if you’re taking my selfie challenge.)
5 | You’re only half in
Half the time you post about makeup or recipes or travel tips, and half the time you’re an awesome authority on [ fill in the blank with your expertise ]. Mistake #5 applies to your blog and your social media profiles too.
You should be adding a little personal flavor here and there, but there is a difference between Instagramming your adorable rescue dog (because who doesn’t want to see that) and doing a full-on flea collar review.
Two questions that are important to answer ASAP. . . What is your purpose for creating a blog + posting on social media? And does the majority of your audience give a shit? If you’re just blogging to blog, then you can write about whatever you want, but if your purpose is to gain clicks, customers, or clients, then the majority of your content needs to be focused on your expertise.
The same goes with social media. Are you just ‘Gramming to ‘Gram or are you posting on Instagram because you’re nurturing a relationship with your audience and hoping to turn them into clients or customers? If the second one is true, then you need to pick a lane because smashing together business and personal stuff without a marketing plan is going to make posting new content kind of a waste of time.
>> Need to pick a lane? This post will help you out.
6 | Website issues + errors
Personally, my brand lies somewhere in the realm of professionally unprofessional. I swear, I’m covered in tattoos, and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing something that would be considered “business casual.” But I also have tons of experience and really know my shit when it comes to blogging + building an online presence.
To maintain a balance of rule-breaking rebel and trustworthy blogging coach, I do my best to make sure my website is always well designed, easy to navigate, and provides clear guidance for new readers. Enough broken links, spelling errors (mentioning that almost guarantees this post will have one >_<), or wonky design issues, and you’ll be losing know/like/trust points left and right. People follow on social media to get more of whatever you share, so if your website isn’t working properly, how can new readers trust that your social media content will be up to snuff??
And lastly, they might not follow because . . .
You aren’t their kind of person or they don’t need what you offer. This one is probably going to happen often and it’s the only one on this list that is TOTALLY OK. You’re actually doing a great job of branding your business and describing what you share if someone shows up on your website or comes across your Instagram profile and gives you a big (hopefully in their head, not with an actual comment) #NOPE.
The more people who know you can’t help them or wouldn’t be a good fit for your stuff, the more other people will be giving you a #HELLYES because they immediately know they need everything you have to offer. I’m 100 percent sure that for every person who swooped in and enrolled in every one of my courses there was also someone else who was thinking, “Ugh, I cannot stand this chick.” Which is totally fine because there is probably someone else who will better fulfill their needs!