Using 21st century tools with a 20th century mindset
As per a guest blog written for Link4Growth one of the biggest challenges for micro businesses is not meeting new people but actually getting unbiased advice and guidance about how to develop their endeavour.
As a micro business owner getting our message out to those that could benefit from what we have to offer is a major challenge. So the phenomena I am about to describe is totally understandable....
- A huge number of startup businesses are initiated by those leaving the corporate world and who are looking for a change in direction (many in the 40+ age group)
- The largest growth in Facebook usage is the 40+ demographic... with money to spend and new businesses
- Social Media is seen as a low cost advertising and marketing platform to 'sell' and 'advertise'
- We have grown up in a world that believes if you throw enough marketing at things, some will stick and business will be done
The problem with the adoption of social media is that it is first and foremost a networking and engagement platform... not a sales channel. I'm not saying sales aren't made through it... nor am I saying that some tools on social media lend themselves more effectively to some types of business... but basically there is a huge amount of noise and this means people switch off much of what is posted.
The basic problem is, Social Media is a 21st century platform and that most people are using it in a 20th century 'buy my stuff' manner. The net result is that rather than increase our success we just contribute to the noise on the platforms... this in turn leads to people blocking or unfollowing posts and ironically the complete opposite of the result being sought.
Social media presents us with an amazing opportunity to share our passion and what we love doing via our profiles and posts and clearly state what we love doing.
A simple analogy might be that we have two surgeons... one was trained in law but didn't like it so became a surgeon... the other, passionate about healing, people and caring from an early age... assuming both can undertake your needs which would you prefer to look after you?
Actually making it very clear what we do by being consistent on all the social media platforms profiles... and then demonstrating through conversation (posts, blogs, comments) what we are passionate about... all we have to do next is... make friends.
Make friends online and offline. People will only work with people they like... they will only refer people they trust and like. There is enough for us all out there... what we want is to attract those that need what we are passionate about doing... the clearer we are about it and the wider our network (community) the more people will find you. Then... do you 'get on'?
Wouldn't it be great if...
- we were all doing what we love...
- we didn't have to sell...
- we had loads of friends and... some of those friends needed exactly what we have and we were able to help them...
- and we had enough money to do what we wanted and help others to do the same...
Actually the 21st century tools are designed to do just this... we have just been using them in a 20th century manner... the good news is... we don't have to carry on doing it like that!