02 Feb How to Successfully Use and Navigate Social Media
Business broker legend Glen Cooper brings over 40 years of real-world experience to the table. This article is based on Part 4 of his recent 5-Part BBP webinar called “The 5 Hardest Things to Learn in Business Brokerage.” Where social media is concerned, Cooper feels that the problem is that most of social media is really nothing more than a distraction for business brokers and M&A advisors. That’s why you need to be highly strategic and disciplined with your approach to social media.
Cooper feels that amassing a large social media following, which is something anyone can potentially do, isn’t necessarily a path towards success. A successful business broker or M&A advisor is one that finds good listings. And more to the point, a business broker is not a “matchmaker” looking to match sellers and buyers. While matching sellers and buyers is the end goal, the most important part of the process is to find good high-quality businesses to sell.
It is Cooper’s view that so much of success in the brokerage industry depends upon you being able to successfully distinguish yourself from the pack. He acknowledges that this can be a challenge as there is nowhere to learn the business. Instead, it is a skill that one picks up through learning and doing. That stated, Cooper feels that there are four key social media areas where you should focus:
Your website is critical as it gives people a way to form a basic assessment and opinion about you. Cooper believes that you simply must have a good photo on your website. However, it is also important to realize that most website visitors will not carefully your entire site. This factor makes your bio and “elevator pitch” particularly important.
Google Maps is important as many sellers will look at it to find a business broker or M&A advisor in their geographical location.
LinkedIn is important, as people may look you up on this social media site. It’s essential they can find you.
BizBuySell is a fantastic overall resource and a place where buyers will find you. Additionally, he notes that you should realize that your audience will generally be 55 or older.
However, Cooper points out that he is using telemarketers, and he works with them to improve their skills. This is a valuable way to generate new appointments. He finds the telemarketer approach to be a highly effective one.
A key fact that Cooper wants to stress is that most buyers are not real buyers. For a variety of reasons, they are not serious. Just as social media can be a waste of time, the same holds true for the bulk of buyers.
Your number one asset is your time. Anything that takes up your time without results is something that should be avoided. Your second most important asset, and the one that will truly help them stand apart from the crowd, is your knowledge. As Cooper states, “You must realize that knowledge is your true wealth, because all the other things in the world can change, but your knowledge is secure. No one can steal that from you…. wisdom is permanent wealth.” He continued to state, “And remember what your real goal is in life, and in business. It is not just to make money, but to gain knowledge, as that is your true wealth.”
Being able to find a way to differentiate yourself in today’s world is critical for success. As Cooper points out, the fact that everyone has access to so much information via the Internet means that one simply can’t fake their way through the process. You must be an expert at what you do if you expect to achieve success.
Having the window dressings, such as a good logo, is only a tiny part of the process. It is through one’s reputation of knowledge and excellence that one stands apart from the crowd. Many variables enter into the equation including being knowledgeable, being an effective communicator and presenter, and having a coherent strategy about how you will reach your buyers and sellers, with the emphasis being on sellers.
Ultimately, Cooper feels that the bulk of social media is little more than an unhealthy distraction and even an addiction. Finding success means that you must be knowledgeable and effectively communicate what you can do to help buyers and sellers.