Trying to sell your services on social media doesn’t work.

There, I’ve said it.

If you’ve created a Facebook page to tell people what an amazing coach you are, or to invite them to “Like this post if you’re looking for a beauty therapist in Taunton!” then you may as well delete your account right now.

You won’t create engagement. You won’t generate new followers. You will make sure that people block your updates and never think about you again.

But don’t give up on social media just yet!

The critical word in the previous heading is ‘social’. Note it doesn’t say ‘marketing’ media—it’s SOCIAL media.

So be social.

If you stop trying to sell your services on social media, and instead spend your time engaging with your online audience as if you are talking to your friends, in time people will be far more interested in investing with you.

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but clients make buying choices based on emotional attachment. Or more accurately, how they feel about the people behind the business.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, interact with your audience and tell them about you. Give them a real person to care about.

Remind people of your human-ness by being open about who you are

Offer a little insight into the person behind your brand. Stories help people place you and are a reminder that you are a normal person with hopes and fears too. Just like they are.

In my view, the best stories are those tiny little snippets that pull back the curtain and provide a brief peek behind the scenes of a business to the real human beings there.

Maybe you’re a writer, grandly announcing that today is the day you’ve sharpened up a new pencil! Added to a picture of the new graphite wand alongside the old, worn out one it can be a surprisingly disarming talking point.

Be a great listener

And don’t just make your social media posts a series of one-way pronouncements either. Engage with your audience. Have a dialogue with them. Involve them. Ask them questions. Answer their questions.

Make your audience feel interesting and special. If they care enough to contribute something to your social media page, then it’s only good manners to reply.

The idea is to help people relate to you and ‘buy in’ to your brand instead of constantly pushing your marketing pieces at them.

Society has reached a point where it really, really doesn’t like being sold to anymore. So let your human interactions do the communicating for you. You’ll be surprised by how easy and stress-free this approach can be.

One final human tip

Should you ever find yourself in a position on social media where you’ve made a mistake and someone has called you out on it; apologize.

Humbly and sincerely.

There’s really no point in getting into an argument, you won’t win any new friends. But you just might gain some respect if you’re big enough to admit you’re imperfect.

After all, everyone’s human. Our humanity means we are imperfect, and that’s okay too.