biz ladies: creating fans from scratch

Today’s Biz Ladies post is by Katrina Padron, an award-winning director of marketing and a social media consultant. Katrina offers weekly social media strategies through her website,, and today she shares some of the best practices for creating a fan-base from scratch. Thanks, Katrina, for this helpful advice! — Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump . . .

You know your business should leverage social networks, but it’s daunting when you have zero followers, zero fans, zero members and zero connections. The good news about social networks is we all start at zero, so even those businesses with thousands of followers sat and stared at those big zeros, too. The key to getting fans is to get your business “out there.” Wherever you are, you just have to start. Here is a list of 30 strategies that get impressive results when you need to create fans from scratch.


  • Craft a contagious profile. In 140 characters, people decide whether they want to follow you. Make it wow!
  • Post pictures, tag them and ask for comments or captions. Pictures are highly likable and share-able.
  • Post videos and ask for comments and shares. Videos are compelling!



  • Guest post on bigger blogs. Use Twitter to help build buzz. Tag the blog in your original post so their followers see it. The day it goes live, be sure to search it on Twitter and respond to every person who replied or retweeted it.
  • Guest post on teleseminars and webinars.
  • Comment on blogs where your customers are spending their time.
  • Reply to every comment you receive.
  • Reply to @mentions.
  • Write a testimonial for someone else.
  • Do a vendor case study.
  • Say yes to every interview or writing request.
  • Profile other people on your site and make them look fab. They’ll be sharing that link for sure!


  • Look for ways to partner with competitors and pitch it. What else does your target customer want? What do you offer that your competitor doesn’t?
  • Look for ways to partner with big shots and pitch it. What can you add to their offerings?


  • Have a pay-what-you-can day. Post it everywhere and ask that people share your link.
  • Hold a contest. Offer your product or service in exchange for testimonials. Tell people they get bonus points for sharing your contest on their social networks.


  • Start commenting on other blogs.
  • Build relationships instead of self-promoting. Try these conversation starters.
  • Ask questions with simple answers. What’s one word to describe (your industry)?


  • Tell people you’re up to something new and encourage them to tell others. Give links and make it easy.
  • Call in favors. Ask your friends to share what you are working on. Again, give links and make it easy.
  • Do live speaking engagements. Ask people to tweet and post in real time about the event and include your Twitter handle or tag your business.
  • Put calls to action on everything.
  • Ask for testimonials. Follow these 7 power questions.
  • Keep posting. You’ll simply remind people you are there.

Social networks offer incredible opportunities to get your business “out there.” Incorporate a few of these strategies when and where you can.

*Comment here and let us know what you are trying. You never know who might find you!

For more actionable ways to create communities of fans who love what you do and happily share it with their friends, visit

  1. I’ve been reading Desing Sponge for a while and i always find interesting post esp BizLadies, thanks very much to share here, it is honestly the kind of advice i needed. Gracias!

  2. These tips are just what I need to give me some ideas and hopefully take my little blog to the place where I want it to be.

    I think I need to join twitter and probably get a smart phone.

  3. amazing just start my blog , it couldn’t be more helpful:))) thanks Katrina

  4. Laurie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL of the Biz Ladies posts. They are so helpful and encouraging for someone like me who is still in the dreaming/planning stages of starting a small business. Such a wonderful resource.

  5. Ali says:

    Amazing post – so so helpful for my new blog!

  6. Laurie Henry says:

    This was so helpful! I got my business license in August and am looking for ways to get my business out there. I have a stationary/invitation business and am planning on setting up a booth at a bridal fair in January to hopefully get some clients!

  7. Christie says:

    Starting out with only a few ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ is seriously daunting, but I’ve found that every little comment or bit of feedback is ten times as inspiring and motivating to keep me going! Thanks for this helpful post. I’m really hoping that facbeook & blogging will help take my handmade business to the next level.


  8. Stephanie says:

    I just hosted a launch party for my new interior design business last night. This is so very helpful – and extremely timely – for me. Thank you!!

  9. FOLLY HOME says:

    Fab post – perfect timing as we’re just working on social networking at the mo for our new online store. Very helpful, thanks! :)

  10. Alison Hodd says:

    Katina, I learned much from your post and would love to subscribe to your newsletter. Sadly I am having trouble with your website. I sent you the specifics in a private message on FB. Likely it is in your ‘Other’ Message box. Can others click around on

  11. Thanks for this post!! You inspired me to contact other vendors in my area today and invite them to guest post on my blog!

  12. Very helpful. I have a lot of work to do! Thanks :)

  13. Mary says:

    I’m so glad you approached this topic. Trying to self promote can be so daunting when you’re starting out.


  14. @ Jade – That’s great advice. How are you finding your Twitter chats?

    @Gailete – Thank you so much for mentioning. Great post!

    @Laura – Yes, this column is awesome! Thanks for reading my post!

    @ Christie – Good luck with your biz. What is it called?

    @ Stephanie – Congrats on the launch party. That’s a huge step! I wish you the best!

  15. @ Lottie + @ Dialogue + @ Laurie + @ Ali – Thanks so much. I’m glad its helpful and came at the right time!

    @ Laurie – Good luck on your new ventures!

    @ Folly – Thanks so much!

    @ Alison – That is the website. and here is a direct link to sign up. I appreciate it!

    @ Hannah – That is such a good idea! I bet you’ll really grow your list. Keep us posted.

  16. @ Hannah – I know it can be overwhelming. Stick with a couple and you’ll see results!

    @ Mary – I’m glad it’s helpful for you. Good luck!

  17. Rachel M says:

    Great article that goes through all the big hitters! I think the key is helping people not get overwhelmed and knowing where to start. For some just the thought of Twitter makes their head spin! Definitely will repost this on FB!

  18. Elizabeth A says:

    Thank you!! Lots of great information all in one area. 2012 is MY year.

  19. AlexisAnne says:

    I’ve bookmarked this post so that I can come back daily and remind myself to try something new. Definitely trying to build my FB and Twitter presence- lots of great tips here. Thanks!

  20. Theresa says:

    Hi Katrina,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share all this great information! I just had one question. When you say reply to every comment, do you recommend sending a direct email (when/if you can) or just within the post (thread)?
    Thanks again!

  21. Hi Katrina, just discovered Biz Ladies and your post was my first read!! What a lovely way to start reading about this column for my newly launched photography & art shop on Etsy. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful insights! xoxo, deborah

  22. @ Rachel – Thank you so much and I really appreciate the repost!

    @ Alexisanne – 2012 is your year!! Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!

    @ Theresa – When I reply to comments, I usually tweet or post on the thread. That way other people can see it too and it helps give you more credibility. But it is ok to follow up with a DM too.

    @ Deborah – Aww. That’s so flattering. I loved being featured here. There are always incredible articles.

  23. Fran leach says:

    I can’t wait to get started, I love a “to do” list!

  24. Lizzi says:

    Great post thanks! This led me to Katrina’s website which is also great, I recommend the conversation starters.

  25. @ Fran – I really hope it helps you in 2012!

    @ Lizzi – Thank you so much for mentioning those! Use them as much as you want!!

  26. Rose says:

    Lovely post! Making a to-do from this to work with a couple of your suggestions.

  27. Lei Lee says:

    Great post! I needed a clear guideline to get me started.

  28. As many others have said, this post was really wonderful. Katrina, I really appreciate your tips — they are insightful & incredibly useful. The video tutorials on your website (how to add a hotlink to Facebook, etc) are easy to follow and make a lot of sense to do. I’ll be following you on Twitter and am looking forward to receiving your future pearls of wisdom!

  29. @ Rose, Lei and Amy: Thank you ladies so much and I am so glad you found it useful.

  30. This is great — I just started my FB page and am trying to get off the ground! Thanks for some good ideas.

  31. Hi Michelle! Glad to hear you created a page, it’s a good step!

  32. Theresa says:

    Thanks so much for your insight!

  33. Thanks for the great suggestions! I DO plan to quit lurking and actually comment on my favorite blogs. Look – a step in the right direction already!

  34. Jennifer says:

    This is a great article! Thanks for the information. I’ll definitely be trying some of these ideas.

  35. Anke says:

    Very timely for me – I am trying some ideas as we speak – wish me luck!

  36. Katie says:

    Thanks very much – this is a great post. My friend and I have been working on a new blog about craft, upcycling and lifestyle ideas that don’t cost the earth, and we’re now planning how to really build our social media profile – this was really helpful! We’re tweeting @shoestringtweet if you have a moment to check us out!

  37. kim says:

    Love the advice and perspective, and these are exactly the points I know I can easily smoosh into even the busy days. The effort put in is incredibly worth it!

  38. Wow. Great tips. Thanks so much. I’m doing quite a bit of these now, but I see where I can make improvements. I agree it’s very important to reply to everyone and to build a relationship with the community you’re in. It shows you care and that’s who people want to connect with, right?!

  39. Love these tips, and man did I sure need them;)

    I can’t wait to see how it turns out, thanks for sharing!

  40. Paola Mendez says:

    Great advice! Thank you :)

  41. Thanks Katrina. Direct, to the point and very helpful. I need to read this every day until it becomes second nature.

  42. Katie says:

    Awesome info!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! Can I ask what a “pay-what-you-can day is? Thanks, in advance!


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