If you want to be successful on Twitter, you need to start from knowing what you are about and you need to know who your customers are. They can’t be anybody from a 6-month-old to 92 year old, as I’ve heard people say. It’s being very clear about who is your ideal customer and knowing how they tick and where they are likely to be.

Dylis: Hi there this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast the place where business owners and sales people discover how to Find, Attract, Convert and Treasure; [FACT] the more of the ideal clients without any of those nasty, sleazy, pushy sales tactics. I’ve got another fantastic guest for you today Nicky Kriel and she’s going to talk to us about social media and how to be effective on social media particularly Twitter.

So, let me just tell you a little bit about Nicky. She helps C.E.O’s, business owners and executives of small to medium sized companies to increase their online visibility, find leads and increase sales through social media marketing and social selling. What I love about Nicky is that she believes in walking her own talk. She uses social media actively, she blogs, she’s a prolific blogger in fact.

She is also in one of the Top 10 UK marketing and advertising influencers in social media and that is a real accolade to have. You have to be at the top of your game to be recognised in that space. She’s also the author of “How to Twitter for Business Success” and “Converting Conversations to Customers: The Essential Guide to Social Media Sales Success.” So welcome Nicky, I am thrilled to have you here today.

Nicky: Well thank you for inviting me. It’s always lovely to chat to you.

Dylis: Oh, and you too we’ve been friends for a long time actually haven’t we?

Nicky: We never actually physically met, have we?

Dylis: I thought we had met at the Sarah Martins event. I think that was where we met the very first time, but I feel like through social media, and this shows the power of social media, that I know you so well, it feels like you’re a really good friend.

Nicky: Well we’ve been friends for a while, so I’ve been following exactly what you’ve be doing. I love what you’re doing and the way you’re helping so many people.

Dylis: And likewise, I feel the same about you. So, after we’ve kind of stroked our own egos here, share with us Nicky your background. How did you get to where you are now, the expert in social media from where you were? Just fill in that gap for us.

Nicky: Well obviously I didn’t, as a child think I want to be social media expert because I’m kind of old now; yeah social media didn’t exist when I was growing up and when I was at university in fact,ß the internet didn’t I know it was starting but it didn’t really exist when I was at university.

I did journalism and I did marketing for Lever brothers Pet Foods which is now part of Nestle; I have to say they were bought out by Nestle. Then I sort of started doing all sorts of bits of pieces, started direct selling and I was doing coaching and I was a master N.L.P. practitioner and it was in case I needed to market my business.

Everybody kept on saying, “You need to be on Twitter” and I was like “What is this weird Twitter thing?” I signed up because so many people had said it and within two days I’d given up. It just freaked me out, it was full of disjointed conversations, I didn’t understand how on earth you could make it work in business with all the jargon, all these weird looking things and I ran away.

That was in 2009, August 2009 when I set up my account. It was really December when it was quiet for my business that I thought “okay I have just got to tackle this and get on with it.” I did a Mari Smith’s course; she’s now known as the Facebook person but at that stage she did a Facebook and Twitter course. This is way back, 2009 is so long in terms of social media time.

Then things just magically started happening. People started contacting me, I set up a Toastmasters speaking club very quickly using Twitter. Everyone kept on saying “Well how are you doing it?” I looked around trying to find a local person who could teach people how to use Twitter and I realised that there wasn’t anybody at this stage. There was some online stuff, it was all fairly new and most people were talking about what you’d have for lunch. So, nobody quite knew whether you could actually use it for business or not.

Then I was sitting in a networking meeting, I though “I’ve got no clients in August.” I thought,  “A date in two weeks’ time” I was pretty sure I could get a venue and by the time it came around to me to introduced myself I was running a Twitter workshop.

Dylis: Fantastic.

Nicky: I’d never sold places so quickly. From there people wanted me to do other Twitter workshops and then people said, “Oh can you do a Facebook one, can you do a LinkedIn one?” So it took me a while to adjust from me thinking that I was a coach and doing social media on the side to actually going,  “Well actually all my business is people wanting me to do social media stuff for them.”

I think there’s a link because its understanding people, you need to understand people, you need to understand language, and understand how it works and that’s why it’s worth it. Yeah, it’s come from there.

Dylis: I love that Nicky because it it’s not just about you sharing your expertise on Twitter but the message there is, “step into your fear and just do it anyway”. I use this J.F.D.I. I use the polite version of course ‘just flipping do it’.

Nicky: Yeah exactly, I think it’s so true you just need to do it. If there’s a gap in the market and there was blatantly one, it took me a long time. I probably went screaming and kicking because it was not what I intended to do. It’s joined a lot of dots like all the disjointed things have come together with social media for me.

Dylis: Fantastic, so if we just look at Twitter in particular can you give us a synopsis of what Twitter is about?

Nicky: I think Twitter…I mean everybody knows is short form it used to be 140 characters, it’s now 280 characters that you can do; you can actually do more. You can add videos and you can add pictures and gifs and it’s great, but I think that the strength of Twitter is it’s great for conversations and is great for driving traffic.

So if you wanted to get results the conversations, if you do social selling so it’s building relationships with people.  Okay yes you get bots and you get accounts that are automated and they’re not going to respond to you but there are lots of real people there and people do business with people and it’s actually making those human connections. Twitter is really about having a conversation.

Dylis: So, are the principles the same then, in terms of finding the people who you want to do business with, so your ideal client?

Nicky: I think you need to start from knowing what you about and you need to know who your customers are, and they can’t be anybody from like a 6 month old to 92 year old as I’ve heard people say. It’s being very clear about who is your ideal customer and knowing how they tick and where they are likely to be. The clearer you are the easier it is to find people on Twitter.  There’s a lot of transparency, a lot of CEOs will actually respond to you directly on Twitter whereas they might not accept your LinkedIn connection and they certainly won’t accept your friend request for Facebook.

So, you can have conversations, there’s no gatekeepers on Twitter, so there’s nobody going “Oh I’ll pass this on to my secretary.” So, you can have conversations and I know people who have contacted people directly through direct message and has led them to consulting for very large companies just because they took a direct approach. It’s obvious you don’t approach Richard Branson and say you know buy from me from me, that’s not going to work but you can form relationships very quickly on Twitter.

Dylis: So, if I follow someone if they don’t follow me back that doesn’t matter, that’s what you’re saying?

Nicky: Yeah well basically you know if you follow the people that you want to…that are interesting to you, there’s more chance that they’ll follow you back because people look at who they’re followed. Not everybody is proactive, and some people don’t follow people back.

You can also put people in lists and so sometimes people will put you on a list and they may not follow you because they want to keep their stream simpler, but you can’t control what other people do and you can control what you do. So, it’s up to you to be proactive about finding the right people and then starting those conversations. You can’t expect people…and you can have a conversation with somebody even if they don’t follow you back because…you know like most people will respond if you talk to them directly.

Dylis: So, I could…I mean we’re already following each other but let’s say that you weren’t following me, I could then put you onto one of my lists?

Nicky: Yes, you could yeah.

Dylis: Then I would go into that list to remind myself of who was on it and then look for them and see what they’re saying.

Nicky: Yeah lists are incredibly powerful on Twitter. You can put people onto a list and you can make them private. So, if you’re looking at prospects or you put your customers if you don’t want other people to see who your customers are depending on your type of business. If there are people that you are interested in following to see what they’re do doing but you don’t actually want them to know that your following them, that you can do then privately. But public is so very powerful because it strikes peoples ego’s especially when somebody is on a flattering list.

With lists it’s proper using something like Tweet Deck or Hootsuite which makes the power of list because you can put each listed in a separate column you can actually scan conversations to see if there’s anything interesting. So you can create a list of say news sources in a certain industry so that you always find the best news stories so that you can share with your audience like the breaking news stories. Be at the top of your game for that.

Or lists of your customers that you have got already or people who are local so that you can find the local stuff or you know industry experts or people who you respect in this as well as people that you want to get onto their radar because without being too creepy.

Dylis: Yes of course. So, let’s say I’ve got you on my list and then look at what your tweeting I could either comment on it or share it?

Nicky: Yeah. So about sharing content people notice, you notice who they share but it’s always best if you can share with what they call a “quote re-tweet.” So you’re adding your comments to the tweet because then you add value when you add  “worth reading” or like agree with it or respond to it or you can reply to people.

Most of us are ego based. If you flatter somebody obviously sincerely not for the sake of brown-nosing, if you can say something nice to people, people like it. It’s just like you remember how people make you feel and especially if you spend ages writing a blog article or an article it’s you are putting a lot of yourself on the plate so you it’s good for you if people appreciate it. So, you always notice the people who comment and talk about it. It’s a very easy way to get in touch with people or sometimes you might want to disagree with somebody, but you know in a pleasant way.

Dylis: Yeah of course.

Nicky: Quite often having a little bit of controversy might actually work. You know disagreeing with somebody might actually be a better way in but not for the sake of just being obnoxious.

Dylis: Yeah, so the same principles apply in terms of know, like and trust. So, you’re building that rapport and then you’re sending a private message is that what you’re saying on Twitter?

Nicky: So it depends on how people respond. Am I would obviously look at what they’re doing, spend a little bit of time I suppose warming people up, so you start having conversations with them. If you’ve had a conversation that’s been an interesting conversation so not just “oh that’s nice” or just a re-tweet. People will then, if you send them a direct message with something personal not like “please follow me” or “like my Facebook page” which there’s so many D.M.

Not everybody reads a D.M. so sometimes it’s useful to send them a message like a tweet saying I’ve just sent you a D.M. direct message or messages on Twitter. The used to call them direct messages everybody used to call them DM’s. There’s a lot of history with Twitter in terms of the things that we do.

Dylis: Yeah.

Nicky: The private message most people will respond, there’s a lot of business being done behind the scenes that nobody gets to see because you don’t necessarily want to know, a lot of “let’s have a phone call” come through direct message with Twitter.

Dylis: This has worked for you Nicky hasn’t it? I mentioned in the introduction that you walk your talk, and this is exactly how you’ve built your business.

Nicky: I’ve formed so many great relationships with people on Twitter. A lot of them started on Twitter then end up being Facebook friends and Instagram. You follow each other on Instagram, LinkedIn connection so after a while we can’t remember exactly how you connected but a lot of them have started on Twitter as the basis of business relationships and business friendships.

Not always people that you’re going to do business with directly that you’re going to connect with. It’s often people that can introduce you to other people. You’re more likely to introduce somebody that you like, and you get a flavour for what people are like on Twitter.

Dylis: I have to be very honest and transparent. I am on Twitter. I have posts, eight posts a day on Twitter posted through Hootsuite but it’s not for me my preferred platform.

Nicky: Yeah.

Dylis: However, talking to you it’s been like a revelation really because LinkedIn is my most preferred platform although I’m very active in Facebook because I’m running a Facebook group called Inspired Selling but listening to what you’re saying I think I’ve missed a trick on Twitter.

Nicky: Basically, automation is great if it allows you the time to actually spend a bit of time building relationships. LinkedIn is brilliant for finding people. So quite often it’s connecting…I often with LinkedIn I’ll connect with people on Twitter first, follow them there have a conversation and then send them a LinkedIn request. I’ve never had anybody turn me down.

Dylis: Yeah that’s a nice little strategy actually.

Nicky: So, it’s being tactical. It’s like knowing where people like to perform but the thing is if all you’re doing is producing links, the content with links people won’t interact with you. So, it’s just spending a bit of time getting to know a few people, targeting a few people. Just use it strategically. I mean for social selling it’s about when you’ve got a high enough value that the time that makes sense to spend time with people. So, if getting a new contract or new business means a substantial amount of money, then it’s worth investing time building business relationships with those people so that when you have a sales conversation it doesn’t feel like salesy. It just feels part of a conversation. It may or may not work but if you get on with people then their more likely to refer you to somebody else or you know put you in touch with somebody else. If there’s that human relationship.

Dylis: Yeah indeed. So, let’s just talk for a minute then about how you ensure that you come up when people are searching? So, for example if someone searches expert in social media how have you ensured that your name comes up?

Nicky: Okay on that interestingly enough with search…I mean LinkedIn is a great source of being found on LinkedIn but with Twitter your bio is searchable. In fact, your tweets are searchable as well on Google.

Dylis: All right.

Nicky: Yeah so it’s worth and I believe it’s worth changing every now and then changing something in your bio but making sure your keywords that you want to be found for on Twitter… You never know how people can find you, so I think it’s important to put your best face forward everywhere you can. Some people don’t interact on Twitter, but they might be very active on another platform and it’s not for you to go “I only deal with people on Twitter” if people want to talk to you using a different platform, you talk to them on a different platform.

But if people…there are lots of people have conversations on Twitter and there’s new rules to Twitter which will take out a lot of the automation which will hopefully quieten the noise of people who have just set everything up to be on autopilot so more conversations can happen without quieten the noise for those who have set up everything on automation.

Dylis: I think that’s what I’ve done really. If I’m honest and this goes to some very basics you know the garden that you water is the garden that grows the most. So I do spend more time on LinkedIn and in my Facebook Group and I think it boils down to deciding where you want to be seen and how you’re going to develop it. It’s certainly worked for you Nicky because you are really well known in your space. I think you spoke at the social media marketing event in… was it in California?

Nicky: San Diego Social Media Marketing World with social media examiners. There’s very few people who seem to specialise in Twitter. So there’s a handful of people that are known for being Twitter experts.

Dylis: But that is huge. You know that isn’t just sort of speaking at a big networking meeting that is the event of social media really isn’t it?

I’m on to you Nicky Kriel that’s brilliant, really brilliant. So, taking the fact that I’m there on Twitter but not really working it properly and I do have content going on. Let’s just talk about content for a moment and I know you do something around ‘Let’s create content for 30 days’ a workshop isn’t it?

Nicky: I’m setting up a 30-day content in a single day, yeah.

Dylis: Fantastic, just give us the bones of that then of what…so talk to me and use me as an example. What should I be doing and what sort of content because I mean, I’ve got masses, I’ve got my podcast, I do videos, I write blogs. You know I’ve got audios of my interviews and so on so I’ve got lots and lots of content so what should I be doing?

Nicky: The first thing that I would be doing with you or I’d make sure that you’re doing properly is repurposing your content because you’ve created a lot of content. Quite often people who are producing a lot of content they forget to actually market it properly. So, you do something, and you move onto the next, creating your next video.

One of my coaching clients that was I was working with, she was spending a day to maybe two days creating video then putting it out everywhere but then not sharing it again. So, I’m going, “You’re wasting your time if you’re spending all this time creating it but not actually marketing it properly and sharing it several times so that people can find it”. Guess what, surprise, surprise people aren’t sitting there waiting to find out what the next thing is that you’ve done. Sorry there’s a lot of noise. There’s a lot of distractions. So you kind of need to let people know a few times about what you’re doing.

So I would in this workshop I would get you to take one of the pieces that you’ve done and look at how you can produce several tweets but different tweets so different focus from the same piece of content but taking maybe your podcast and creating a blog an easy blog around it through transcription, I’m sure you do some of those.

Dylis: I do actually. This interview, I will have it transcribed, the transcription of the audio will go on the blog to my subscribers. The video will go onto YouTube. The audio will go on to iTunes and then it goes across my social media channels.

Nicky: But there will be chunks out of this interview that you might want to highlight. So, you might want to create images from it or you might want to break the video down. I’m assuming, I don’t know if it’s going to be video or…

Dylis: Yeah video yeah.

Nicky: So you might want to break the video down or have little bite sized pieces which work really well because people would be able to digest it or little quotes or things out of it and that provides you with a lot of content. So not just the sort of what you’re doing which is great but taking it and breaking it down into a lot of different content which is looks very different from one piece of content.

Dylis: Actually, I do have a contact who will do that for me. I have had that done in the past because I haven’t got time to do it myself. So that’s another option for people isn’t it. You don’t have to do it yourself.

Nicky: No exactly.

Dylis: There’s lots of people who specialise in doing this, repurposing.

Nicky: Yeah and quite often its things like looking up…you know working out which keywords or what for blog ideas that you want you to write on. It’s knowing how to go about doing it and within an hour you can get a tremendous source of information to share just by sitting and focussing one hour, setting the timer and finding interesting content. The thing is the more you search in your field the better the search results become. You get better results as you as you search deeper and deeper.

It also, it’s like if you’re looking for content look for the people who write the content and follow them on Twitter and put them onto a list because they’re authors they will have thoughts on it and they’re potentially thought leaders. It’s a good connection for you to make.

So, there’s a lot more curating content but it’s sharing other people’s content. It’s a lot of content like with sales. There is a lot of content out there you don’t need to create it all yourself. Just being able to sit down and find it and source it in a way obviously once you read it everything that you put out because you don’t want somebody else’s sales pitch in stuff you’re sharing. If its good quality content then by sharing it you get associated with that content without you even having to do it, to writing a thing or create a single video.

Dylis: So, what would your advice be in terms of the mix of content that you’re putting out there? Let’s say on a daily basis what would you…maybe you look at it weekly, I’m not sure but what would your advice be?

Nicky: I do things by fives because they’re easier to take. I think you want to, you know obviously share, share other people’s information. So sometimes sharing to be a thought leader but also sharing content builds relationships with people. You can be really strategic about how you share content.

Yes, it’s fine to talk about yourself okay but probably one in the five about yourself and then having conversations with people and building those relationships with people should be another one. So, you should at least every day have a conversation and it only takes a few minutes a day to find a few people have a conversation with or join in a conversation. Your news feed looks very different than something that looks obviously automated. You’ll start getting more response the more you talk to people, the more people interact with you, the more fun it is. Twitter should be fun.

Dylis: Absolutely the whole of work should be fun really shouldn’t it, it’s the majority of your life.

Nicky: The problem is if you’re just broadcasting and not listening or not interacting with people then it becomes a very ‘meh’ thing. If you start actually chatting to people and having conversations, then it’s good but I think it’s just remembering to keep it like…you’re allowed to talk about yourself. But there’s ways to be…to talk about sales. Always think about what the benefits you are offering for your potential clients

Dylis: Yes indeed.

Nicky: Than what you want to sell. Give them a reason, what is their reason for clicking on that link. The joy of Twitter is you’re taking them somewhere else, to a landing page which has got more content about it. So, don’t try and sell directly on twitter but it’s not to say you can’t sell.

Dylis: My mantra for everything in my business is about 100 percent client focus. So even if it’s a free resource what is the benefit that the potential client is going to get, or your connection on Twitter or whatever it is? What’s the benefit they’re going to get from taking your free resource?

Nicky: I think a little tip for people is that if you look at your last few tweets and if there are lots of “I” and “we’s” you need to change those into “you’s” those sentences because then you’re customer focus. As soon as you’re using the word ‘you’ you’re actually talking to somebody and a conversation where you’re talking to somebody what’s the benefit to them rather than what you want to say.

Dylis: Yeah exactly. So in terms of…so we’ve looked at the content, we’ve looked at how to position yourself and be found. We’ve looked at the “know, like and trust” and connecting with people who you want to be connected with. Being quite focused on what you do, rather than just randomly connecting with anyone because time is precious. We’ve got to use our time efficiently and effectively. Have you any other top tips that you would like to share with the audience?

Nicky: I think the main thing is to remember that there are people there and to treat people…just because it’s electronic or digital doesn’t mean that she should behave in a different way than you would face to face with someone. Generally, if you’re nice to people…

Dylis: I agree, I agree.

Nicky: I think don’t be scared, lots of people with Twitter they are so scared of making that step you know. So, what if somebody doesn’t reply to you it’s not the end of the world. The planet you know hasn’t imploded, just move on. The thing is if you don’t start the conversation…it’s fine following people and watching what they’re doing but you actually need to build a relationship by reaching out to that person. Twitter is probably the easiest way to do that. You know like what can I say they might not reply to your tweet. It’s not…you just used 280 characters. It’s not the end of the world.

Dylis: Yes indeed and it’s not about just growing numbers it’s about growing relationships.

Nicky: Yeah, I strongly agree with you.

Dylis: Fantastic, Nicky that’s been really insightful thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us. So where can people get in touch with you? Show us your lovely book because I know you’ve got this really fantastic book “Converting Conversations to Customers” I love that and the reason I love it so much it’s outcome based.

Nicky: Yeah this book is really…I’d written this for small businesses, so micro businesses, consultants and coaches and small business owners. The majority of businesses are less than 10 people, did you know that over 90% percent or something

Nicky: Yeah this book is really…I’d written this for small businesses, so micro businesses, consultants and coaches and small business owners. The majority of businesses are less than 10 people, did you know that over 90% percent or something. So I’ve written that assuming that you don’t have a ginormous budget, tons and tons of time to spend on things. It’s looking at taking LinkedIn and Twitter and changing it into sort of building relationships being very focused about how you use those two platforms to actually generate a business from both of those.

Dylis: Fantastic, I’m going to go straight from here to Amazon and order that Nicky.

Nicky: Yeah just get hold of me anywhere at Nicky Kriel so its www.nickykriel.com for my website but on Twitter I’m @nickykriel

LinkedIn Nicky Kriel,

Facebook Nicky Kriel. You get the pattern?

Dylis: I get the pattern and that’s great.

Nicky: I don’t care where people connect with me just connect and say ‘Hi I saw this interview” which is great because then I know what the connection is.

Dylis: Fantastic, thanks again Nicky really brilliant.

Nicky: Thank you for inviting me.

Dylis: You’re welcome. Bye for now.

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