I was thinking the other day why I have enjoyed consulting with small business owners for so many years. Talk about reality shows. What is more real than talking to the person who created, owns and operates a business? They have made their dream a reality. It’s a whole different conversation and level of engagement from talking to a marketing or business development manager working for a small or mid-size company. I don’t mean to imply that the marketing or business development manager knows less about the company’s business than the owner. It’s about the level of passion for the business. Passion or entrepreneurial zeal, as we know, doesn’t always translate into being able to run a company successfully but I love to hear their story.
I enjoy the initial phase of a search engine optimization or pay per click management campaign for any new client. We call this the discovery phase where we gather quantitative and qualitative information about a business to lay the groundwork for the project. The more we know about what they do, how they do it, who they are trying to reach and what their goals are the better we can develop and implement a successful online marketing strategy for them.
One big difference I notice almost immediately when talking to an entrepreneur is the desire to talk about their business. You never have to worry about keeping the conversation going that’s for sure. Entrepreneurs love to talk about their business. It’s their passion. That’s why they are doing it. Many businesses, if not most, are built based on the personality of the owner and more often than naught these owners have an outgoing, engaging personality. That is why social media marketing can be so powerful for small business owners.
Social media marketing is not just about creating profiles on facebook, myspace, LinkedIn and other social media networks to try to create buzz and links to your web site. It’s about being actively engaged in the networks. Let people get to know you. Be real. Tell them about your business, why you do it and how you do it. Not from a sales and marketing stand point so it sounds like every other Tom, Dick and Harry selling the same thing but from your personal stand point – your personality – let it shine through. Just a warning here, if you are a real drone with a negative view point on the world this might not work. :>) Find people with the same interests as yours and participate in their discussions. It has to be a two way network for it to work best.
Are you thinking how in the heck am I supposed to find enough time to do this plus run my business? This is a valid point but if done correctly this can reap big benefits for your business. Millions and millions of people are participating in social media networks every day. Instead of actively participating in 4 or 5 determine which one best fits your desired demographic and focus predominantly on that one. Also, you might really enjoy it. Just talk about your favorite topic – your business.