Answer: It fills your marketing funnel with warm leads. Here’s what that looks like on social media.
Funnel illustration with icons

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Do you remember the last time someone hung up on you?

Have you ever been the one doing the hanging up? Rejection, hurt, anger, surprise and embarrassment are the feelings associated with such interactions. How do we overcome them? The answer lies in the art of active prospecting.

Active prospecting on social media can unlock several valuable benefits for individuals trying to use it as a lead-generation source for their business. The biggest is the ability to alleviate the intrusive and powerless feeling that cold calls create.

The key to unlocking the benefits, however, is in the execution. The strategy I teach focuses on Instagram prospecting, but you can apply these principles to other channels, too.

Establishing Familiarity

Building a relationship with someone via social media creates a foundation of familiarity. I’m not just talking about “friending” people and liking their posts. I’m talking about a social media strategy that drives one-on-one interactions.

In an earlier article Do You Prospect Actively or Passively on Instagram?, I talked about executing a daily 45/20 strategy: making 45 comments on other people’s feed content and 20 replies to other people’s Instagram stories. The goal is to use the platform as a place to create a “lead funnel.” The number of conversations you start will be far different from the number of conversations that make it to the “go for the ask” phase. Those who make it to the bottom of the funnel are qualified and prepared to be on the phone with you. Going for the ask simply means asking them to set up a time to talk or meet in person. That kind of outreach doesn’t come until you’ve had four to six touch points, and consistent back-and-forth messages.

Building Trust

Start by defining your market area and your ideal clients—people with whom you share an interest or interests. Seeking out individuals who fit into those buckets gives you a basis of familiarity from the beginning. By actively consuming their content, you find connection points and even mutual friends.

You also create an opportunity for others to consume your content. Your feed and stories should show your personality and professionalism. It’s also important that, as you build a personal connection with someone, you have content that supports the conversation.

Are you building a connection around pets? Your kids’ sports? A favorite restaurant? If so, be sure that your content reflects those interests. This, coupled with your real estate content, creates an approachable and relatable experience.

Softening the Introduction

The most difficult part of a cold call (besides the fact that you must navigate federal and state laws that regulate their use) is that the person on the receiving end isn’t expecting it and doesn’t know who you are or why you are calling. However, if you have built trust, established credibility, and created familiarity, you can reference your previous interactions on Instagram when you eventually connect. Active prospecting softens the introduction and allows you to tailor your approach, making the conversation more relevant and appealing to their needs.

Cold calling is stressful and creates a risk of alienating people and running afoul of the law. But, you can reduce this anxiety by turning the call into an extension of an existing positive interaction rather than an intrusive interruption.

Establishing credibility through purposeful interactions creates a solid foundation, empowering you to confidently extend invitations for future engagements.