#53: How to Attract Raving Fans on Social Media with Jasmine Star

September 14, 2017

How to Attract Raving Fans on Social Media
Social media should be an essential piece of your marketing strategy, no matter what kind of business you have. Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media networks. Both help you connect with your clients, increase your brand awareness and boost your leads and sales. 
Jasmine Star has a great sense of how social media actually works. She decided to become a photographer, dropped out of law school, picked up a camera and became one of the top photographers in the world. Today, she has a huge following online and teaches other creative entrepreneurs how to do the same. Here, she shares how you can attract your own raving fans on social media. 

Selling the Silver Lining
Jasmine decided to become a photographer in 2006. “I started to see what it means to become an entrepreneur, to start my own business, and I realized that I was highly underqualified. I wanted to be a photographer and I didn’t even own a camera.” 
Jasmine had just left law school and her family and friends thought her idea was crazy. “My husband however asked me: If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? I said photography, and he said alright, he would rather see me fail at something I loved than succeed at something I hated. He gave me the permission that I wouldn’t give myself.” She decided to try it for one year. If it didn’t work out, she would go back to law school. 
Jasmine didn’t set herself up in the luxury market straight away. “I understood that clients give a little more grace and latitude to people who are on the lower end of the budget. There are people who definitely wanted a photographer but they couldn’t afford the price tag that came with it.” Clients often booked her up to six months in advance. “Whenever they would ask me how long I’ve been doing this, I’d say I’ve been doing it for four months but their shoot would be in six months, so by the time I actually shoot it, it would be ten months. You sell the silver lining, you don’t sell the present day moment.”
Jasmine was homeschooled her whole life and says she learns quicker by way of mistakes. “As an entrepreneur, this has become a real asset. I watched YouTube videos, I googled everything I needed to know, but at the end of the day the majority was getting out and shooting pictures. If you want to write, go write. If you want to paint, go paint. You can’t think: I wonder what brush I should use, I wonder what canvas I should use. No, do it. You learn faster that way.” 

Getting into Social Media
It was the early onset of social media and Jasmine decided to start a blog to share information on photography and the journey she was on. “I wasn’t afraid of being vulnerable. I wrote about everything and didn’t realize that at the time, that level of authenticity was rather rare in the business world and even rarer in the photography world. People looked at it and were shocked.”
Jasmine didn’t mind sharing her peaks as well as struggles on social media. Then, in 2008, she discovered Twitter. “Twitter was my gateway drug. A few of my friends started using it, and I saw that there were conversations online that would empower my business and allow me to scale it in a way that I just didn’t see before. It became a powerful tool in my arsenal.” Later, she moved on to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. “Today, it looks like Instagram is my playground. However, I’m actually more active on Facebook. In my business, people who transition from followers to buyers mostly come from there. Facebook algorithmically is a bit slower and allows me to have real-time conversations with clients in a different way than Instagram.” 
Jasmine sets aside time every day to engage and post on social media. She plans what she wants to post in advance, and after every post watches the engagement that post is getting. “Social media is a real conversation, it just happens on the internet. Automations are like running onto a public bus saying ‘Hi, buy what I’m selling’, and then running off the bus again. What if people have questions? How do they contact you, how do they follow up? I’m not saying that automation is a bad thing, but if you’re going to automate, understand that when you scheduled a post at 10:00am, you should probably hop onto that platform and see the conversations that are happening and engage and look at your notifications and DMs.”
In the end, Jasmine is not on social media to be popular. “I’m on social media to increase my profitability. When you change that perspective, you include it into your workflow.”

Understanding Your Audience
Using social media, it’s important to understand who your audience truly is and what they want. “Even though we can speak to millions of people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re suited to, or that the audience will really want to buy what we’re selling. You don’t need 200’000 followers, you need 200 followers who are really engaging with what you’re talking about, understand who you are, encourage conversations and transition into customers.” 
If your content doesn’t get engagement, Jasmine recommends to take a step back and understand who it is you’re going after. “Ask yourself questions like how old are the people you want to attract, why are they on Instagram, what do they want to see, what are they searching for? When you can create content that actually has something to do with what people are looking for, then you’re using your Instagram to serve potential customers, build trust and likeability.” 
It’s not about being on Instagram and posting about your business that will bring you sales. It’s about how you serve, build trust and start conversations with potential clients that will help your business to take off. 

Starting Conversations
Asking questions and sharing personal stories are great ways to start conversation. Authenticity is the key. “If I meet someone at a cocktail party I wouldn’t ask a series of 17 questions in a row. I would have a conversation. I would share a story or I would talk about something I like or share a helpful piece of content, but more than anything I would really, first and foremost, listen to the conversations that I’m having with those people.”
There are different ways of having conversations with people on social media. On Facebook, groups provide a perfect platform to talk about the service you provide and answer questions. “On Instagram, in my case I serve hashtags specifically for female entrepreneurs. I want to know what young female entrepreneurs are looking for and then I can create content that specifically speaks to the thing they’re after.” It takes practice and won’t work every single time. “I’ll probably swing and miss 18 times before I actually connect with the right kind of person, but that’s OK. My job is to show up and understand the digital landscape. My job is to ask questions, tell stories, and serve.”   
When you’ve grown your Instagram and have a lot of followers, using hashtags can attract a lot of spam. “Spammers want to go on the big accounts so they can be seen. Big Instagrammers often put their hashtags in a comment, and because their posts are getting lots of comments, nobody actually scrolls back 30,40 or 100 comments to see the hashtags. 

From Social Media to Your Website
But how do you get your followers off your Facebook or Instagram and onto your website? “On Facebook, you have many opportunities to drop links and create lead magnets. On Instagram, you only have one exit link in your profile. So you want to be very careful with how you’re using that exit link. I always use it for a free opt in.”
Jasmine was testing an opt in for 5 free stock photos and was able to build her list that way. “Since then I’ve launched Social Curator. Every month you can sign up for a free social media video tutorial as well as a free stock image. Once I get them on the list I can actually share the value of what Social Curator really is, a digital media solution and subscription for entrepreneurs.” She never wants to stuff something down someone’s throat. Jasmine rather asks whether they need help with social media or stock photos, has a conversation and is giving potential clients something of value first. 

You’re Not Too Late
Thinking you joined the game too late and all the followers are already taken? “Remember that everybody started where you started. There are people joining these platforms every day. In October 2016, there were 500 million users on Instagram. One year later, there were over 700 million users. There’s always an opportunity for people who just joined to intercept these newcomers.”
The most important thing is to be proactive. “You have to go up to other people, you have to start conversations, you have to leave comments, like photos, participate in conversations on hashtags, participate on Facebook groups. Leave nice comments on other peoples’ business pages, create content, tag other pages. People are joining the platform every day and in a couple of months are killing it, so it definitely works. It’s possible.” 
[tweetshareinline tweet=”Social media is a real conversation. It’s just happening on the internet. – Jasmine Star” username=”sigruncom”]

Key Takeaways:

  1. Truly understand who your audience is and what they want.
  2. Ask yourself: “How do I serve my audience?”
  3. Ask yourself: “How do I build trust?”
  4. Ask yourself: “How do I start those conversations?”

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