Besides stating the obvious choice of "gaining new customers", let's talk about how your business can strengthen its revenue stream through social media. When I first start talking about social media with potential clients, a lot of them want to know how they can make money online. Making money on social media is definitely possible, but you have to have the tools and skills to be able to do just that... and it's not as easy as it sounds. However, anything is possible once you have an engaged audience that trusts you!
So - here are my 5 suggested ways your business can make money on social media:
Develop a subscription-based newsletter or email service. You probably own a successful business because you are good at something or have a specific skillset that others need or want to know about. This is what makes your business unique and your customers see your expertise. You can sell your knowledge by setting up a subscription-based area on your website that only paying customers can access. Maybe you want to sell articles like the one you are reading right now, or a DIY step-by-step instruction booklet on how to build a table for less than $30, or maybe you're a personal trainer that is ready to go global and post daily workouts for all of your clients! Whatever your specialty is, is it something you can write about and teach others to do?
Sell a digital version of your product. A digital version of your product is something that is very similar to offering a subscription-based service, however, your product could be a one-time download or purchase for your clients. For example, if you are a home builder and have amazing floorplans you're always getting asked about, you could offer your plans as a one-time sale to clients. Maybe you are a builder in Illinois but someone absolutely loves your designs in North Carolina (obviously they won't be asking you to build their home in NC but that doesn't mean you can't make them one of your clients) - if they purchase a floorplan from you, you have found a way to generate income from clients you would otherwise have no connection.
Allow others to be a part of your brand by purchasing products. You spend so much time and money developing a brand your customers will be attracted to so why not capitalize on your vision?! Since you want them to know and love your logo, tagline and mission, why not sell products with your brand on them? Specifically, sell products that show your customers you care about them and the community or area you are a part of. A great example of this is a realtor that sells shirts with cute imagery depicting the town they are selling homes in. If you're worried about how to manage a mini distribution center on top of your normal everyday business life, fret no more! There are plenty of drop-ship websites like Printful, Printify, or Teepsring - where you setup your storefront, share your links and they take care of the rest! You never have to have one of these products come across your desk!
Apply for affiliate-link programs for products you share. Everyone knows that there are influencers all over social media making a pretty penny by sharing products they know and love. They share a link, you buy the product and they earn a kickback from the site for sending you there. There is no reason your business can't do the same thing for products you use on a daily basis. Whether you're a blogger and need on the LikeToKnowIt site or a home builder who needs to share ideas from Build.com - the application process is easy and a way for you to have another source of income!
Offer virtual services from your business for an hourly fee. One of the easiest ways for you in increase your revenue stream is by offering virtual services for an hourly fee to clients. This could be for home design services, architect reviews, realtor consultations or more. A designer could decorate your entire home through Zoom, an architect could review your floorplan with you over the phone and a realtor could FaceTime with you and advise what you need to do to get your house ready to sell! The possibilities are endless.
Now that you know you want to take the step to developing another income source, be sure your audience is ready for it! Do you have their trust? Do they know your brand? Do you have the engagement numbers to support your new venture? Social media is a powerful tool that can be a lucrative area for your business - but you have to make sure you have a strong social media foundation prior to jumping in headfirst.