Running a small business is no small feat. Expert tips for marketing and growing your company.
There’s an old saying in the world of advertising: Tell your story, or someone else will tell it for you. Now that mass marketing channels have fragmented and social media has blossomed, getting someone else to tell your story sounds pretty damn good. But, from the look of things, most companies just don’t get how this stuff works… more from Copyblogger. Photo credit: martinhoward
As a small business professional, you want each networking event to yield more than a few handshakes, a couple of cocktails and some snacks. Here are 3 tips for taking your networking to the next level.
Define your goals. Networking events will be critical to the development of your small business. It will be a way to introduce potential clients to your work, to meet new business partners, and to learn from the lessons of your industry peers. So before you sign up, know why you want to go, who you want to meet there, and why.
Be prepared to “sell” your business. At any networking event, someone is bound to ask you that ever-pervasive question: “so, what do you do?” With your expected audience and your goals in mind, plan in advance how you will talk about your business. Make it a brief, but persuasive statement that will open the discussion to even greater interest in your work. Have doubts? Practice with your friends and business confidants.
Follow up the Web 2.0 Way. While well-designed business cards are an important part of the Networking 101 toolkit, an ever-growing number of professionals see the future online. LinkedIn claims more than 30 million professional networkers from more than 150 industries. Its major European competitor, Xing, claims 16 million. And social-oriented portals such as MySpace and Facebook are investing considerable capital to themselves create business-friendly communities that automate “let’s keep in touch.” Don’t be left out: get online and invite your new business contacts to link up.
Author: Tammi L. Coles
Last spring, Gregory Nemitz asked Fortune Small Business to help him boost revenues for his online beef jerky business (“Space Jerky?” March 2008). Nemitz, 51, was frustrated with his sales, which totaled about $150,000 in 2007. There were plenty of unique visitors to his Web site, beefjerky.com, but about 99% of them weren’t buying anything. How could he get them to spend their money?
People like a bargain, one expert told Nemitz, adding that he should help the consumer understand that his premium jerky is an outstanding value. That’s exactly what Nemitz did – to great effect. …more from CNNMoney.com. Photo credit: beefjerky.com