(StatePoint) Seventy-seven percent of American women want to be their own boss, a new survey from Avon finds. While reasons vary—from scheduling flexibility to more control to less office politics—now it’s easier than ever to start living like a boss or simply to advance in your career.
In the digital age, getting ahead begins with your social media accounts, which are literally at the fingertips of the people and companies with whom you would like to work. Experts say that having an engaging presence on sites like LinkedIn and Instagram can help you make connections, spread your expertise, and show potential employers and partners that you’re a good fit.
Indeed, 78 percent of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who are not using social selling. Whatever your professional goals are, take steps to hone your online presence.
Avon, a company with a 130-year track record empowering women to be their own bosses, points out that today, social media plays a big role in the direct selling model. They are sharing proven practices to build your brand sales opportunities through social media.
• Go in with a strategy. How would you like to be perceived? Make sure the reality of your online presence matches this vision, as well as your professional field. You may also consider strategically using privacy settings on certain channels to ensure your public-facing persona remains professional and on-message.
• Be genuine. It’s important to be genuine, so use social media to be yourself and celebrate what you love. “I blog about the things I am actually wearing and doing, not what I think other people want me to say. Your readers want to hear your authentic voice and that is what they will respond to best,” says Alicia Hessinger Dias, an Avon representative. She started her blog about a year into her business and uses it as an opportunity to share deals, steals and tips that let her express her artistic and fashion-forward side.
• Play into your strengths. Spend the bulk of your energy using the online platform that works most naturally for you. For example, if you agree that “brevity is the soul of wit,” spend your time on Twitter. If you’re a visual storyteller, focus on Instagram.
• Be consistent. Stick to the topics you are passionate about, and remember to post regularly. Consider using a hashtag that speaks to your personal brand. Lastly, don’t just post content and then disappear. Remember to engage with followers in positive ways.
• Give shout-outs. Connections come more easily when you give shout-outs. Use the event hashtag while live tweeting an industry conference. Add those you admire to your blogroll. These actions will help you earn high-quality followers.
These days, having a savvy digital strategy can be the most crucial step you take professionally.
“From the start of my blog, it has been an essential sales tool,” says Hessinger Dias. “The soft sell of showcasing product is much more effective than a direct sales pitch.”
Photo: Alicia Hessinger Dias uses social media as a sales tool.