Have you heard about Alignable yet?
Alignable is a free business networking site focused on hyperlocality. It wants to help connect small businesses with other small businesses in their immediate area, encouraging them to foster new relationships and generate referrals.
When I first heard about Alignable I was already pretty excited, I mean, I mostly focus on small local businesses so it sounded perfect for me. However, when I reached out to other social media professionals I was met with a bit of opposition, with many people stating they weren’t able to find clients there. Or, at least, not clients that could afford them.
The more I thought about things, the more I was interested in proving that you can gain clientele from Alignable.
Clientele that can afford your pricing.
Now here we are, about a month after I began playing around with the website, and last week I pulled in over a $1k (most of which is recurring income btw!) just by leveraging my network on Alignable. And while that’s a drop in the bucket for a lot of people, most of us can agree that we’d be pretty freaking psyched to make an extra grand this month.
How can you do this too?
Below I’m going to outline the steps that I took that worked for me. These may or may not work for you, but I always love to share the techniques I use in hopes of them being able to bring you more business too!
Optimize Your Profile
Just like with any social media network, and especially with professional networking sites, the very first thing you should focus on is optimizing your profile. Alignable has a bar at the top of the site that will fill up as you fill in all of the different parts of your profile. Optimizing your profile will mean keeping key words you want to be found for in mind as you fill in answers for sections such as, “Our Ideal Customer,” “About Us,” and “Services.”
Once you begin step number two (connect, connect, connect) another thing to remember is to request recommendations from businesses you have already worked with in some capacity. All of this legitimizes your business on the site and makes people more likely to reach out.
Connect, Connect, Connect
The entire point of social media is to be social, and that means connecting with people. If you click “My Network” at the top of the website you will be taken to a screen where you can connect with other businesses in your area. You can also visit the left hand column and choose your e-mail service(s) allowing you to connect with the network you’ve already been building on other sites. Once you have connected with a few local businesses you love, consider visiting that My Network page and just connecting with as many suggested businesses as possible. Growing your network is vital to being able to leverage that network to gain clients.
Another great thing when it comes to this site is that when you connect with someone, you can be fairly certain you have connected with a decision maker of that business. No, it’s not always the case, but as of now I have only found one of my connections to not be the business owner themselves.
Engage With Profiles
Engage with your connections without trying to sell them anything, be authentic. If there are businesses you love, visit their profile and give them a recommendation. Comment on things they’re posting. Build up your presence so that once you go to step number four, you’ve already put your name in front of them at least twice (once from the connect request, and at least once from engaging with them).
Message Without Hard Pitching
While I’m a firm believer in, “If you don’t answer, the answer is always no,” there is also a time and a place for your pitch and your first message to them is not it. Absolutely reach out and absolutely introduce yourself/your business. If you’re worried about the best way to reach out, I’ve created a file you can download that include three scripts (for just TEN BUCKS!) I’ve personally used and have had good conversions with. You can grab your copy of those scripts here. Just note that I have to send the e-mails out individually, so receiving your file by e-mail can take up to 24 hours.
This step alone is how I received nearly all of the income that I did this past week using Alignable. Sending out a non-pitchy e-mail was a way to break the ice with people who had connected with me and to learn more about their business in the process. The majority of those that have now converted into clients asked me in their very first response to either call them or e-mail them more information, and of those who asked me to do so, 100% converted to a sale of some sort. Sales included social media management, social media consulting, adding a Facebook pixel to a website, and contracting me for creating graphics for Facebook ads.
Those who didn’t immediately respond for me to contact them with more information about my services typically did respond telling me more about their own businesses. I just continued to follow up with them, asking them questions, and creating real relationships vs. just trying to push them into a sale. I also made sure to stay in touch with people from discovery calls/e-mails, even if they didn’t immediately choose to use my services. Really you should always be following up with leads, but it still begs to be reiterated.
Even now, as I was writing this post, I had someone reach out from a follow-up. She wants more details on how I can help her build her presence online. So who knows, maybe this week I’ll pull in another grand from Alignable. Always follow up.
Whew, so I know that was a bit all at once, but the good news is that if you want to – you can print out a checklist to remind you of the steps you need to take in bringing in clients through Alignable. All you have to do is click below to download your printable checklist for FREE! Hope that it helps you remember all of our steps here and puts you on a path to bringing in some income via Alignable.
Also, if you notice there is a note on this PDF saying, “Never Make Assumptions.” A little about that before I finish this post up. I made this note because I really had so many people tell me that they gave up on Alignable because they couldn’t find anyone that could afford their prices. I’m not sure what the pricing of everyone reading this is, but I can tell you that I recently signed the highest paying client I’ve ever had and it was in part because of this website. I live in the South, a place where millionaire farmers walk around in dirty overalls.
Never ever judge a book by it’s cover.