Confessions of a Small Business Start Up
The mystery of getting noticed when time and money are at a squeeze
A year ago today I was sitting in the sunshine with a notebook and pen. I was contemplating what direction my business would take.
As I was jotting down notes outside, my newborn baby boy was sleeping inside the house. His 4-year-old sister was “self-entertaining” watching play school on TV. While I stole what moments I could to set my own business in motion.
Hello, can you hear me?
From idea to concept to market, this last year has involved hustle and perseverance in the midst of raising a family and trying to make ends meet.
What I’ve learned in this last year is that when you’re trying to build awareness around your brand, the momentum has to start with you.
Some of that activity is picking up the phone. Some is sending emails. Much of it is getting out and meeting people.
So what role does social media play?
While I knew that social media was not the only strategy, I thought it would be helpful to show the people in my network what I was working on, and attract interest from people I didn’t know who might be interested.
I reckon social media is kind of like the sound system at a rock concert. It amplifies the effect of their rock stars performance and it takes their sound much further then they could with their own instruments and voices.
Likewise, I think social media amplifies the story about your own product or service, taking your message to your contacts and beyond. And it’s warm glow affect, helps to build credibility around what you do and who you are.
I’ve seen this happen with people I know:
- How my colleague wrote a LinkedIn blog post that was the true heart of her business and received over 12,000 Likes and attracted over $10,000 of new business.
- How another client tripled attendees to his outdoor fitness program because of his creative social campaign and engagement.
- How another client used micro influencers and their own creative campaign to triple their business.
- How my friend who is a singer teacher focused solely on Instagram and is now attracting online clients from overseas.
- How another friend promoted her play on Facebook and with instantaneous social shares sold out 3 Sydney shows with hardly any advertising.
- Even for me when I started blogging consistently for 6 months – I started getting enquiries for my services.
So where do you start?
So if you’re doing your own business thang. Have you worked out how you’re going to get the ball rolling on positioning yourself, and your brand, to attract attention and grow your business?
The problem is not that there is a shortage of information out there. It’s that there is too much.
It’s confusing to know what platforms to be on and what to start posting.
I know I also went through that irky feeling – does anyone really want to know what I’m sharing anyway? Won’t I look like an idiot?
I’ve found that I’m not alone in thinking this. I speak with small businesses through Business Enterprise Centres, the Department of Industry, through my own speaking and workshops – and I hear the same thing over and over.
Time is a barrier. Overwhelm is an issue. Lack of confidence swiftly follows.
Yep, I get it because I’ve been there too.
Plan before platforms
So how do you bust through that feeling of overwhelm and get yourself out there?
Start with a plan. Not a platform.
Don’t try and figure out Facebook. Work out your plan, and then decide what platform will work for you.
I would look at:
- Who you are
- What you’re going to say
- How you’ll say it (Here’s the platform choice), and then
- Who you’ll say it to
Which like the model you see here, helps you:
- Define your personality
- Demonstrate your credibility
- Uncover opportunity, and
- Create an affinity with your ideal customer
It’s OK to work through it bit by bit
A friend rang me up recently and asked me for some advice. So I said “sure let’s have coffee.” I thought I’d have no troubles giving some quick tips over the coffee.
The coffee became an hour-long walk and even then I felt like I’d just scraped the surface.
So if I told you it would be 3 quick tips and you’d be sorted, that would be a lie.
Yet I do believe that you learn in this game by consuming and gathering insight will take you further along in the process to bring clarity for your circumstance.
Wanna learn together?
I’ve got a FREE upcoming Webinar where I look specifically at this topic. I’d be delighted to share what I know to help you along.
The Webinar Topic: Everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about getting set on social.
Remember every incremental step will get you closer to positioning your business for growth.
What’s unique about me is that I draw on a wide breadth of experience from corporate, government and working alongside Small to medium businesses.
I’d go to a business and say let me help you with your marketing communications strategy. They’d say – what do you know about social?
So that’s why I’ve found myself helping businesses get set up and creating strategies for growth through events, workshops, mentoring and online courses.
I run a business myself – I know every dollar counts. Every second matters. I help businesses work out why they matter, who they are and how to tell that story in a way that grows their business. Find out more about me.