Photo credit: Learnthat.com
There are so many social networks out there that can help promote your small business, but how do you decide which are right for you and then how do you manage them all? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Plus and the countless others that will pop up tomorrow, all have value for certain audiences (i.e. customers) but who has the time to manage all of those? Managing too many social media accounts is daunting and likely counterproductive. This is why I suggest to my clients that they choose wisely and use wisely.
The last thing you want to do is sign up for more than you can manage and fail miserably at all of them. Instead, consider committing to managing one to three of these well. Sign up for only the social networks you know you can handle well. Identify which networks your customers use most and choose those.
Time for ACTION!
For years I have been advising businesses to stop begging media to write about them and instead focus on a digital content strategy. Please understand the media is an important piece of the P.R. puzzle, it’s just not the only one. Today there are fewer opportunities for traditional media coverage and an infinite number of opportunities for you to talk directly to your customers.
In a digital world, that is increasingly more interactive and user driven every day, digital content is the best way to reach your customers. Your website is critical and should be updated constantly, daily if possible. Include a photo gallery, a blog and news section that is in your control (unless you can afford to employ an agency to do this for you.) A combination of videos and photos that tell your story is a powerful way to attract new visitors to your website. Create content that is useful for your customers and can be shared easily.
This past month our clients have been very interested in discussing ways to reach more customers in the coming year. As a firm believer that a blog is the heartbeat of a company, this topic has come up repeatedly. So, I came up with a document to help them understand what goes into a blog post. This is very basic and I am sure there are many among us who have much more to add, but hopefully this is helpful for anyone struggling to start a blog or keep a blog current.
Title – Catchy titles appeal to us as marketers, but keywords make the difference for getting found in search. Consider the topic and what the target reader would type into Google to find this helpful information.
Tell a Story – Include a beginning/middle/ending – did a customer have a problem that you solved? Explain how. But please…
Be Concise – Shorter is better.
Four years ago, I made a cold call to Starfish PR looking for a public relations job closer to home and serving clients who do good work. That call has turned into so many relationships, experiences, skills and opportunities that I am beyond thankful for. One of which is the chance to work for Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A., Starfish PR’s longtime client and an organization whose mission I have always strongly identified with.
Angela is a great teacher and motivator. Over the years, I have learned so much from her and all of our amazing clients. Since it is my last day, I thought it would be fitting to share a few of these lessons here in this post.
Don’t be afraid to make cold calls and go after what you want.
Every year at this time I reflect on the goals I set the year before and begin to think about my goals for the coming year. I know I am not alone; just about every blog you read this time of year is filled with 2013 projections and goal-setting advice, including making your goals attainable (or easy to achieve.) How’s that working for you so far? For me, not so much.
Perhaps doing the opposite will actually prove successful this year. I propose we set some goals that may not be so easy to achieve and some that won’t directly benefit us at all. Here are 3 not-so-easy goals to consider for the coming year.
Tackle something you’ve been avoiding. Is there something you’ve been avoiding or struggling with that you’d finally like to cross off your list? Whether it’s opening a business, starting a blog, firing a client or losing 10 pounds, it’s time to make a plan and get it done.
This blog also appears on the Redondo Beach Patch.
I am a big fan of ABC’s Shark Tank for many reasons. How the “sharks” interact with each other is definitely entertaining, but how they interact with the candidates who are seeking an investment can actually be educational.
Each week, entrepreneurs who believe they’ve come up with the next great thing, visit the Shark Tank and try to convince one of them to invest in their company. They ask for an amount of money in exchange for a percentage of their company. One by one the “sharks” ask questions to determine the company’s value and whether or not they want to invest. It’s fascinating to see how each company brands itself—some are fantastic and some are horrible.
This blog currently appears on the Redondo Beach Patch:
This is my 10th year running my own company, and in the past decade I have certainly had plenty of opportunities to learn a lesson or two. I have failed plenty, and from failure comes enlightenment.
I have compiled nine of the most important lessons I’ve learned in hopes it will bring hope or comfort to other current and future entrepreneurs out there.
It’s OK to increase fees. Most of us are guilty of charging too little when we first take on a client, and then we feel guilty asking our clients to pay more for our services even after years or working well together. Get over this now.
You are an expert. If you make a living doing what you do, you’re an expert. Clients hire you to fill a critical role for their business based on your expertise. Embrace that role and do it better than anyone else.
It’s okay to disagree with a client; in fact, sometimes it’s critical.
Angela Moore, Enrique Legaspi, Rose Tourje
Touring the new space for i.am College Track Boyle Heights at Roosevelt High School in L.A. with co-director, Enrique Legaspi and Rose Tourje of ANEW. ANEW donated beautiful repurposed furniture, while Bentley Prince Street donated approximately 300 yards of brand new carpet tile.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re not only the brains behind the operation, you’re also the brawn. Try this easy workout routine to flex your small-business muscles.
Monday (30 Minutes)
Do some market research. Search Google for your business name, professional name, industry and local news. Make a list of 10 things you can respond to, add your expertise to, dispute or promote to your customers. Repeat on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest if you’re so inclined. The more aware you are of how your customers behave online, the better your ability to reach them.
Tip: Use Google Alerts to monitor this on a regular basis.
Wednesday: (30 Minutes)
Share your expertise. Take steps to respond and react to the 10 findings from Monday. Don’t forget to tap into the power of photos and videos as you go through your list.
Tip: Always have a camera nearby—even if it’s your phone.
Angela Moore and Alison Mullin participating in the EIF Revlon Walk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer as part of Team Bentley Prince Street on Saturday, May 12 in Los Angeles.