How to grow your business with social media

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Personal trainer Miriam Fried built her business, MF strongmainly by posting how-to videos about her social media channels, such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. But when it came time to expand from a virtual presence to a physical location, she realized there was more work to be done. She needed a way to advertise her business locally and attract personal clients.

As a one- or two-person business operating in the virtual space until this year, Miriam wasn’t sure she was big enough to warrant creating a Yelp page. However, once she sat down with Emily Washcovick, small business expert from Yelp, Miriam immediately saw the benefits.

“I’d love to have a Yelp page. I’d just never sat down for it,” she said. “[Emily] gave me that responsibility of yes this is a good thing. We should have, especially since we opened our own physical studio this year. Many people in the neighborhood don’t know we exist. If someone lives in the area and is looking for personal trainers, I always want to be the first to pop up for people, and Yelp is a really good way to do that.”

As Miriam discovered, setting up and claiming her Yelp business page was easy because she already had all the information she needed right at her fingertips. In addition to adding basic business informationlike contact details and location, she could add high quality photos and a business description that tells potential clients who she is, what she believes in and what she has to offer – something Miriam has learned is more important than telling people what she doesn’t.

“Sometimes when I talk about my business, I’ll say we don’t do the diet culture. We don’t do the shame and the guilt and the guilt,” she said. “So it was really important for me to edit and say what we offer versus what we don’t offer. If someone is looking, I want the things we offer to come up.”

Within a short time, Miriam noticed an increase in search results and new customers. Changing the way she thought about her posts helped her convey MF Strong’s unique point of view on fitness, focusing on health and happiness rather than weight loss.

Miriam also asks each new client how they heard about MF Strong when they sign up so she has a good sense of how and if her marketing efforts (and dollars) are working. Since it’s free to be on Yelp, Miriam didn’t have to spend anything to get started.

Before launching her Yelp page, she said, “Most of our customers come from social media. That’s our biggest funnel of customers. So I definitely pay attention if I see them coming from elsewhere.”

With the company booming, Miriam has handed over MF Strong’s social media channels to a social media manager, an important delegation strategy that shows how robust the company has become.

“It’s so important to be able to delegate and say, ‘I could do this, but it’s just something I don’t have to do.'” she said. “As a business owner, making that distinction is so important for the business, but also for your own mental health, to say, ‘Where am I needed and where isn’t it essential for me to control the situation?'”

There are more lessons from Miriam and Emily that can help your small business in this episode of Behind the Review, including:

  • List your business categories and specific services on your Yelp page. There are more than 1,500 categories on Yelp to choose from, and you can choose up to three. Displaying your niche is essential to helping potential clients find you, so be sure to select your specific services and describe the excellent ones in your Specialties section.
  • Stay yourself. On social media and on your Yelp page, an authentic voice goes a long way with potential and current customers.
  • Move forward with artificial intelligence (AI). AI can help you craft content, such as polite and professional communications to customers or social media captions. The key is to use it sparingly and always maintain a personal touch in any correspondence.

Listen to the episode below to hear directly from Miriam and Emily, and subscribe Behind the review for more information from new entrepreneurs and reviewers every Thursday.

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