How much do you give away?

You are running a business. You are doing OK. And you are wondering if it’s really worth investing time and money to capitalize on the potential market everyone says is waiting out there online.

After all, you have a Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence, and you Tweet occasionally. You know some people who talk about uploading videos to Periscope – but you wonder about the ROI from that.

Successful author, coach and keynote speaker Martin Latulippe has a simple answer to the doubters. Get active online, or get left behind.

Martin, who built a successful business as a speaker and coach after injury ended a promising hockey career, designed one of the most successful elements at a speakers’ convention in Halifax last week. He created a series of workshops on social media and online business. Martin points out that in five years, 66% of the world will be online. That’s a lot of customers – all looking for services, solutions and products.

Post regularly

So how do you raise your business profile online? He says you should start by regularly posting new content. He posts four times a day – at 9 am, 11 am, 4 pm and 8 pm.

Create how-to videos

Follow that up with helpful videos. He creates a new video every two weeks, aimed more at creating a relationship with a potential customers than delivering a hard sell. Martin’s videos run between 5 and 15 minutes. He says it’s a myth videos must be short.

Use all platforms

Once he’s created a video he sends it to transcribers and posts the result on his blog. Then he’ll ask someone to do a short summary for Facebook. And he’ll tailor it to other platforms, like LinkedIn. Every platform, he says,  should link to another platform for the maximum promotion.

Give away free stuff

Martin believes offering free content is essential to building online success. When people know they will get helpful advice from you, free of charge, you are building a relationship of trust.

And the ratio of giveaway content to hard sell? Martin says aim for 80% free stuff, and keep your sales pitch to no more than 20% of your online postings.

Use the free content to capture emails, so you build a list that will give you the broadest reach when you do have something to sell.