- (For sale on gapingvoidart.com)
Wikipedia: An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and/or initiative.
A good friend (and entrepreneur) I had not seen in a while was asking about my consultancy. I was pleased to share that I am doing well. But what I found myself sharing more excitedly was the fact that I have clients all over the U.S.A.
He asked how could they hire me without meeting me? I told him, no, I have not met one of them – at least not in person – just Email, Skype and mobile contact – exclusively.
He was amazed that people would hire someone across the country they had never met. I proceeded to explain that it was the power of social media and the internet that made this possible. I told him that an online presence allows for someone online across the country to be just as credible and accessible as someone in your backyard.
Don’t know ya, but love ya!
He still didn’t understand how anyone could hire someone and work with them without person to person exchange – much less refer me without having met me!
I told him that people can trust who I am better because of my online presence.
I explained that when I became a social media consultant, I decided I was going to walk the talk. Therefore, I exclusively use my online presence to build my business. As a result, I am an open book – just Google me and you’ll see. Google loves content and social media participation provides content! My participation in social media allows any prospect to sample my work, get a sense of my work ethics, my personality, my portfolio, and more by checking me out online.
When you think about it, you can learn more about a person today (who has an online presence) than you can by that initial face-to-face we have relied on in the past to decide on doing business with someone.
I did build it and they did come, but remember – it’s all about participation and engagement. So, how do you build a reputation, online business presence and prove credibility like others and I have?
- Twitter – not just posting, but responding to others’ posts.
- Facebook – not just updating on your wall, but cruising the Home Feed and liking, commenting, and sharing others’ updates, offering advice and help.
- LinkedIn – completing your profile, becoming an Open Networker and making connections, joining groups, responding to others’ updates and group questions, contributing content and tips.
- Pinterest – not just pinning, but re-pinning, commenting, exploring and liking others’ pins
- Constant Contact – regularly sending newsletters that provide hints and tips that not only help clients, but also boost credibility (btw, would love for you to subscribe to mine)
- Quora – respond to professional discussion questions and contribute content
- WordPress- you’re looking at it.
- and more… but these are where I live.
Each of the above tools are free to use. Yes, it’s a learning curve, but using these tools to feed content online has given me a web presence I would have normally only attributed to a larger business. (I haven’t even jumped into YouTube yet – but that’s next. I’m a late comer there…)
But, here is the kicker – I haven’t even fully utilized all the tools these vehicles provide yet!
Yes, it took time to build my current presence, but NOT by using automated follows, autoresponders, and ads. It’s my one-to-one contact that has created a quality following of those who are truly interested in my content. It’s quality, not quantity that provides better results.
And I take the time to attend online webinars and take online tutorials. I read books, articles, whitepapers all to gain better understanding of strategies. I subscribe to feeds and blogs of the experts and post my comments.
Yes, it helps tremendously that I have a communications and marketing background and have worked extensively helping other small business. But in my work with small businesses, I have yet to meet a small business entrepreneur that isn’t a jack of all trades. Most entrepreneurs have to learn to work within their own business in housekeeping, maintenance, accounting, advertising, and more because they are responsible for all facets of their business. Therefore, learning to market your business must also be a part. You must explore and experiment.
Get help starting up
It will save you a lot of time to hire someone to get started. I see a lot of businesses set up their accounts on Social Media, but too often, little else gets done – then it just sits there…. Overwhelm is not necessary with a little assistance from experts and then you can take off on your own if you desire.
Note: Now that I am growing, I will be seeking help to develop a more professional website and more… but the point is, when I was starting out, I didn’t have the means, yet that didn’t stop me. Time was my biggest investment, and if you make time, you get things done.
So what’s stopping you from using free tools!?
Got questions? Contact me.