Can Going Viral Really Help My Business Grow?

Always Make Sure Your Business Writing Is:

Benefit Focused

What does the person who needs your help need to hear?

Simple and Concise

Are you using words that anyone could understand?

Authentic and Honest

Do you stay true to your voice? Are you honest about your results?

Can Going Viral Really Help My Business Grow?

This is going to be a content-centered post because even though I don’t write content for my clients, I know that this is a big question a lot of my clients have. And because business writing can mean different things to different people, I want to address this question: Can going viral really help my business grow?

First, we have to define what the word ‘viral’ means. There are different ways to define it, which doesn’t necessarily mean that any of these definitions are wrong.

Some people say, “It’s not viral until it gets multiple millions of views.” But I think something can go viral for you. When one of my videos gets 10,000 views, that’s what I would consider viral for my brand.

Really, no matter how many views you’re getting, whether it’s 10,000 or 10 million, it won’t matter if you don’t have any systems to support the thing you’re advertising through that video.

Also, if you make a video that gets a ton of views and a lot of engagement, but it has nothing to do with any of the services you offer, there will be a disconnection and people who see the video won’t want to take any next steps with you.

Plus, there are some platforms where going viral can have way more of an impact on your business than if you go viral on other platforms.

Before we get into all that, here is the kind of system you would need to support people actually being able to engage with you after you go viral.

You would need:

-A way for them to get to know you better after that initial video. This can be accomplished by having more videos for them to watch or articles for them to read.

When Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask, You Answer, was looking at how many articles people read before reaching out to meet with him about getting a new pool installed, he found that they would read around 97 articles and spend hours going through his content. If these numbers feel intimidating to you, it’s also important to note that his pool-related content is all super high quality and is also directly related to the thing he sells.

-Next, you need a means for the person who saw your viral video to engage with you in a way that allows them to exchange money for something you’re selling, whether it’s merchandise (which is what influencers use) or business services.

For businesses, this normally looks like a free lead magnet, free discovery call, or paid consulting call that the person can use to get to know you better as they learn why they can trust you and become problem-, solution-, and you-aware. But there also need to be systems built behind these assets to encourage purchases. And while every system should have these systems, depending on how many you need to actually connect with content that might go viral, it can get exhausting and expensive fast.

You will need a messaging breakdown to base all of your content on, follow-up email sequences for each kind of offer you want to promote, and then built-out offers.

If you’re trying to live your best influencer life, you will need to anticipate what people might want to purchase if your content does go viral.

A great example of what not to do is Tucker Budzyn’s golden retriever channel who waited so long to create merchandise that by the time they had a store set up, most of the virality had peaked and they hadn’t capitalized on it at all. I would have purchased a Tucker plushie for my kids several years ago if they had had one because my kids were obsessed with Tucker. Now it’s too late.

So let’s take a look at how much virality can actually help your business depending on the platform you go viral on.

TikTok—this is a favorite platform for people of every age. But unless you sell a physical product (I’m looking at you crystal and stone lady), it will be extremely difficult to sell through TikTok. And even if you do sell a product, it’s still hard. Your videos have to have a sort of magic to them where you have a process and reveal in each video if you want them to do well. A great example of this on TikTok (and she’s also killing it on Instagram) is my friend over at SayItScents. Check out her channel if you want to know what I mean.

TikTok does not convert well for service providers like me. That’s a known fact. Have I gotten clients from TikTok? Yes. But it’s rare. I know for other service providers, they have a great freebie they use to convert freebie seekers into paid clients, but my price points are higher, so that doesn’t generally work for me. It doesn’t work well for a lot of other people who try to grow their business via TikTok either.

Instagram—I’m pretty mad at Instagram if I’m being honest. They are a sort of dumpster fire when it comes to helping their platform creators do well. I think a huge part of that is that they can’t make up their mind who they are anymore. For a few years, they’ve been pushing creators to create reels to compete with TikTok, but now they’re saying they’re going to push images again. Make up your mind, Instagram. Almost every business owner I know is tired of trying on Instagram. I’m over it myself, honestly.

Facebook—I don’t know anyone who is really trying to go viral on Facebook these days. And in my experience, the quality of clients you can find on Facebook isn’t that amazing. The quality of the people who are trolling FB groups for work also aren’t the best because if they are investing all their time answering job posts on Facebook it means that they’re not busy with work and there’s a reason for that.

LinkedIn—I had a good friend have a post go viral on LinkedIn a few weeks ago and she got a bunch of discovery calls and even a potential news interview out of it. I’m cheering her on as I wait to see what happens to her business as a result, but I will say that a lot of my clients come either directly from LinkedIn (even though I haven’t gone viral myself) or from connections and referrals I make via networking groups promoted on LinkedIn.

My current pet peeve with all of these platforms (including LinkedIn) is that they are hard-core disincentivizing business content. That means it doesn’t really make sense for a lot of us to invest time, energy, and money into creating business content for them. There is one exception. Are you ready?

YouTube—I know that some of you probably thought I forgot about good old YT. Did you know it started as a dating app? True story. The great thing about YouTube is that it’s a search engine, not just a social media platform. And, there are a ton of people already on there trying to learn about the topic you’re an expert on. This platform seems to be the only one that hasn’t disincentivized business content. Plus, they actually allow you to provide direct links under your video, because they don’t care if people leave their platform. This makes a huge difference when trying to plug people watching your videos into free or paid programs.

This year, my team and I decided we would invest our resources and time in both YouTube and LinkedIn. The rest of the platforms get leftovers, and I’m fine with that.

Now that you know what virality is and how it functions on different platforms as far as promoting your business, let’s answer the question I asked you at the beginning.

Can Going Viral Really Help My Business Grow?

The answer is, maybe. But you can’t control whether or not you go viral, and the results of going viral aren’t predictable. And since you can’t measure the results or return on investment of trying to go viral, I think your time is much better spent creating quality content for platforms that will allow you to connect your viewers with your offerings like YouTube, and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn.

Focus on building a brand on your personality with transparency and an attitude of wanting to help, and your business will be much better off than if you try to get a business page to go viral.

You’re amazing, I believe in you, and your business story matters.
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