Last week I started to write points on what to do when starting your business. Here is the follow-up post:
Google & Google +
Register your address with Google, this way you show up for relevant local searches. Also, create a profile on Google+. This will help too.
LinkedIn is gold for small businesses. Create a profile that explains your services and why people should use you. What pains or stresses can you assist with? Join groups and contribute to posts and conversations. This will quickly build your profile. And lastly, probably the best point of all, connect with people! There are millions of people on LinkedIn. Search for those in roles or industries you would like to meet and connect with them. Be sure to write a personalised message, and not the generated message LinkedIn provides.
There are loads of networking opportunities around. Think outside the box for this one. For your traditional networking events, take a look at meetup.com to start with. You’ll see a variety of events that are suitable to small business and perhaps events that are directly related to your service or product. You can also get in touch with your local chamber. They usually have networking events that are relatively cheap to attend. Google networking and your city and other useful sites will pop up.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to introduce you to relevant people. This may be for direct business or for businesses that are complimentary to yours. Partnerships produce great business relationships. It’s a two-way street. Don’t just wait for someone to refer to you, where possible, refer to them too.
Speak to your local café. There’s a great chance they’re in touch with plenty of people you want to be in front of and if they’re anything like mine, they’re more than willing to introduce you.
And finally, ask your clients! Many of us are afraid of this one. Did you enjoy working with them? They usually mingle with people like themselves. And if you’ve done a great job for them, chances are they’d love to refer you. Offer them a gift or referral fee if you feel this will help.
Create a business page on Facebook and start posting. Make sure your content is relevant and engaging. I recommend at least three posts per week. To make it easier, spend a couple of hours every fortnight and create enough posts for two weeks. You can then schedule them, so you don’t spend too much time online every day.
Start following complimentary business as your business (you can change this by clicking on the cog in the top right-hand corner and selecting your business) and interact with their posts too. This will build your profile and encourage more followers.
I hope you find this useful and feel you can apply these few steps within your business.
I’ll follow this up in my next post with what to do when you have money in the kitty.