This afternoon, we sat on the couch in my office and took about six or seven small business owners through an overview of what social media can do for them. My business partner Jennifer and I were presenting to a creative director, a literary agent, a strategic marketing person, a sales rep, an account planner, an expert on world poverty and an accupuncturist — all of whom were sitting in their own offices in front of their own computers.
Social Media for Old Folks is our five-part Webinar, covering everything from blogging to linking to friending to tweeting. We’re not social media experts, by any means, but we have learned a great deal about using social media in the last year or so. We’ve also discovered that we’re quite passionate about sharing that knowledge with others.
If you’re in a business that involves sharing what we call Odd Knowledge, social media is the most powerful way out there to build your business. Whether you’re a financial advisor or a large animal vet or an event planner or a Pilates trainer — or a world poverty expert or accupuncturist — you offer an expertise in a specific niche.
If your business depends on clients trusting you to be the one with the right answers, then social media is a powerful way to establish that trust. It’s also a place for you to share your unique perspective on your particular field of expertise.
Here are a few highlights from our Webinar today:
1. Social media can connect you with the whole world — but make it feel like you’re doing business in a small town. Despite the fact that it depends on technology, it can be an extremely human and personal form of contact.
2. The two most important things social media can do for your business are to A) promote your expertise and B) build your connections (which can become a following). This creates a beautiful dynamic: Instead of you always reaching out for new customers, you’ll find them seeking you out instead.
3. The model we recommend is this: a blog to showcase your expertise and social networks to drive traffic to that blog. Your blog is your content; the social networks are ways to start conversations about that content.
4. Your website and your blog are two different things. The website is your company talking, and is a destination for background information and evergreen materials. Your blog is you talking, is more fluid because it’s updated more often, and gives you a venue to share your expertise in a narrow niche, usually more narrow than your actual business. We recommend keeping your website and your blog separate, although each would include links to the other.
Next week we cover Facebook in more depth, and in the following weeks we’ll talk about LinkedIn, Twitter, and how to develop your own blog. If you’re interested in more details, you could go to the Seminars page on the Starter Cards site.