You’ve been there before… you need to write a social media caption, like now, but your fingers are poised over the keyboard and you have no idea what to say. You want it to be strategic for your marketing, attractive to your dream clients, but without screaming “I’m the best, everybody!”
Of course, those are 3 big asks to take on at once — strategic, intriguing, relational — so that’s when writer’s block walks onto the scene… followed shortly by “I’ll just do it later.” (Or never.)
Sound familiar? Me, too. Strategic messaging is what I do day in and day out for our clients, and I still find it difficult to do for O&B. (Do you ever feel too close to your business to see it clearly?)
So when I finally stumbled across an approach that really works for me, the first person I wanted to tell was you. What is the secret to having great content ideas in no time?
A list. This list right here, in fact. But wait…
If you are outsourcing social media or your blog, chances are good that you’re not writing posts and captions yourself. Fantastic. That is one less thing on your plate, and I fully support that.
However, that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye. If your social media manager is only posting “pretty” posts without strategic substance, your investment might not result in the returns you want to see. (Which, for the record, is not more likes and followers. The returns you want to see as a full-service design firm include more traffic to your website, more newsletter signups, and more client bookings long-term.)
So, whether you’re outsourcing or not, the 9 topic ideas I’m sharing with you today are perfectly positioned to fulfill those 3 content goals (again, strategic, intriguing, relational).
When I sit down to create a week’s worth of social posts, or when I want to add a new blog post topic to my content calendar, I can scan this list and find a topic that fits… and I’m already one big step closer to my goals.
Okay, one last note before we dive in…
If you haven’t identified these things and wrapped them into your brand yet, you are missing a huge opportunity for clarity — yours and your potential clients’. So start there if you need to, and then come on back.
Alright, what are these 9 topic ideas, you ask? Let’s take a look…
I am willing to bet that soooo many of these great opportunities pass you by every day. How do I know? Because in the rapid pace of a typical work week, they pass me by, too… and I’m trained to look for them!
Think back to your last client meeting or email. What questions were asked about your process, the logistics of a project, or your industry in general? Share that question on social media and answer it (if it’s a quick one), or discuss your process for answering it for your client’s particular case. I guarantee others have the same question and will wish they had you on their team to answer it.
AND don’t forget to talk about your client in a clear (though anonymous) way. Do they work in a specific sector? Were they looking for solutions unique to their lifestyle? (Such as working from home, raising kids, etc.)
Why is this important to do? Because talking about the traits of your clients will attract more like them.
I was talking with a client last week about leveraging social media better (which is where the idea for this blog post came from), and I asked her… “Do you ever talk explicitly about the services you offer?”
The truth is, most of us don’t. We either forget because we assume everyone knows what we do, OR we posted about it last month and we don’t want to be overly self-promotional and talk about it again.
First, talking about your services is NOT self-promotional unless you really, truly believe that your services aren’t helping anybody. But if you believe that there is at least one person out there who could use your help right now, you owe it to them to be visible and share what you do.
On social media, talking about your services once or twice per week is not too much. Of course, the best way to do it is tactfully. For example…
You just spent the day on-site overseeing a project — what went on? What don’t your clients see you doing for them behind the scenes? Why did you make the design selections you did for this particular client’s space and lifestyle? Tell it like a story, and it won’t feel like a personal ad. It will feel like a story.
This one might sound like numbers 1 and 2 above, but it’s a bit different. It’s about sharing the praise you get and then offering a bit of color behind the clients who gave it.
For example, I get kind notes from clients via email or DM weekly, if not daily… (I bet you do, too!) and until recently, I never even thought about sharing them on social media platforms (without names, of course). But it is the easiest thing in the world to snap a screenshot, white out the person’s name/profile picture, and post it in Stories.
And on top of that, I can share more about the situation in a social post or a blog post. Why were they so happy and complimentary? What did I do for them and how did it impact their lives or just their day? I can tell that story in an anonymous, honest, and compelling way. And so can you.
Why is this a great idea? Because it’s social proof. It’s proof from an outside source that your clients love you, your work, and that other people will, too. So the next time a flattering email comes in, take a moment to say thank you, and then take another moment to share their praise. Why were they so happy and complimentary? What did you do for them and how did it impact their lives or just their day? Again, tell the story. (Or record it somewhere for later, so you don’t forget!)
Guess what? 80-90% of your clients probably don’t know what you do all day. They either expect your life to look like something out of HGTV, or they expect you to be kung fu-chopping pillows and selecting fabrics.
But let’s face it, you do SO much more than that. Yes, telling client stories (#1 on this list) and sharing your services (#2) may overlap a bit, but the real point of this is making your followers part of your day. Not to mention subtly showing them that business is booming and they are totally missing out by not hiring you.
This could be a post to your feed or in stories, and might look something like…
On the schedule for today:
• new client meeting for a project in LOCATION
• on site to oversee a countertop install (it’s dreamy!)
• team meeting for a gorgeous design concept in the works
You get the idea — intriguing, relational, strategic. And this ties right in to the next content idea…
There is nothing like anticipation to keep people on their toes and waiting for what’s coming next. And it’s not too difficult to create anticipation if you plan in advance. (If social media feels more like a game of catch-up, this is harder to do.)
So, what can you share?
Are you in your studio thumbing through fabrics for the custom sofa you’re designing for clients? Share it and announce that there’s a project in the works coming soon.
Are you on-site overseeing that countertop install? Share it and tell followers they won’t believe what the final design is going to look like.
Again, these are little snapshots of your day and work, but they keep people interested, watching, and waiting for the “thing” you’ll be sharing next. Plus, your ideal clients can see that you are a service professional with an eye for beauty AND clear expertise in the field.
It’s difficult to know which personal details are okay to share and which lean more toward TMI. Personal milestones… those are usually fair game, whether it’s in business or your personal life. Why? Because milestones — a business or wedding anniversary, a new accreditation, a child heading off to college — are something we can all relate to.
They show that you are human, and they are worth celebrating. Inviting your followers to share in that celebration isn’t self-promotional, it’s thoughtful. And believe me, the people who are really your friends, fans, and ideal clients are going to want to cheer you on and lift you up… not criticize you for sharing.
So take note of the milestones that are important to you and your business, and give them credit where credit’s due!
This one seems obvious, but again, gets easily forgotten. I am confident that you get asked the same questions over and over again. That’s simply what happens when you’re an expert at what you do.
Why not address these in blog or social posts? They are certain to capture attention, make your ideal clients feel understood, and offer advice that helps them (and shows you are an expert).
And if you’re worried about giving too much away, don’t be. Anyone who has ever tried to set up a home theater system knows that interpreting an instructional manual and hiring a savvy professional are two very different things.
Quick note: Not all questions are created equal. You might get asked “what color to paint a front door,” but if it’s your neighbors asking and not your ideal clients, you’re missing the strategy aspect of our magic strategic-intriguing-relational trio.
There is something so relatable about sharing your mission, personal or business. (Though hopefully they align!) When someone talks about their heartfelt mission, their passion is tangible and creates an instant human connection, even if we don’t share their fervor.
It also helps your dream clients see what they have to gain from working with you.
When we rebranded O&B, I spent a TON of time trying to identify my mission in life. I eventually realized that everything I do, business and personal, is an attempt to control my time and create more freedom. And you know what? It turns out that’s exactly what I do for O&B’s clients, too.
Now, I can clearly articulate that I help designers attract their dream clients and land their best projects effortlessly… which, as I’ve seen to be true, leads to doing more of what they love, growing their firms organically, and creating freedom in the way that speaks to them. (Freedom to work more on design and less on their business? Freedom to outsource and spend more time with family? As business owners, the definition is ours to choose and live!)
So, don’t hesitate to share your mission, and feel free to do it often. I guarantee it is going create a connection, add value to your business, and attract the people who resonate with your purpose… and want it in their lives too.
I know it sounds crazy, but you can and should explicitly invite your dream clients to work with you. “What? I can say, ‘Would you like to work me?’ directly to my audience?”
Ohhh, yes. Here are a few ways to do it, but subtly is really not needed here:
You get the idea. Extend the invitation to work with you and make it easy for your dream clients to say YES.
Last but not least, here’s my invitation to you… O&B is currently taking on new monthly blogging clients to start in November.
If you think you might want a partner in blogging — someone you can trust to express your voice authentically and create posts that are strategic, intriguing, and relational — I invite you to book a discovery with me here. We can talk about your business, your marketing needs, and see if we’re a good fit!
Until next week…
I believe that life, like home, is meant to be designed. In just 3 years, I built a life I love and a business that supports interior designers across the globe. I’m obsessed with books, a bold red wine, and helping women rise in their power — and I believe that your freedom in business starts here. Read more >>