Facebook, Twitter, blogging… A facility for writing and a good working knowledge of social networking is essential for today’s entrepreneur. The aim is to engage with potential clients and be “seen” to be active in the social networking environment.

Following on from the first three marketing tips out of the seven steps to starting out – let’s look at the fourth one: Well, this is my favorite one for sure, but that is because I absolutely love to write – it is a passion that I found rather late in life, and as you can see from my blogs it is one that I am making the most of – catching up for all the years I lost I suspect. The thing is though that writing is one of the most powerful marketing materials. With the advent of the internet and more recently ‘social networking’, your writing skills (or if you don’t have them, your marketing guru’s skills) are of paramount importance. I use my blogs on blogger.com as well as the posting of the blog on my own website and on Twitter and on Facebook. Posting the blog, by means of a “url link” onto Twitter and Facebook ensures that I get visitors to my website. The blogs give out useful information for free, to anyone who cares to read them, but the primary target is Small Business Owners or Entrepreneurs, and as people read what they think pertains to them, they are drawn to read more and more as my blogs cover a vast variety of subjects.

The blogs are therefore used to educate potential clients and persuade clients to not only avail themselves of the ‘free information’ but that help is but an e-mail or a phone call away, should they need it. My website also contains the links to the various articles that I have written for newspapers and/or magazines as well as YouTube clips of my interviews on various television programs. All of this is used to promote my business and most of it cost me only the time that it took to research the material (usually for my own or a client’s needs) and then to write the article. Not a bad marketing budget, even if I say so myself. So it is worth everyone investigating it for themselves. Most small business owners are ‘specialists’ in what they do, or passionate about what it is that they do, so why not share some of that passion and some of that information – it will draw people to the product and/or service that you provide.

Then comes engagement – and no, I don’t mean the marriage type – I mean where you have the interest of the other person and you engage in conversation with them. Getting an appointment with someone you have met whilst networking or someone who has been referred to you is of the utmost importance, and obviously the sooner it is done the better. Invite them for a cup of coffee and have an informal chat. Find out how you can be of assistance to them and tell them how they can be of assistance to you. Remember to keep it reciprocal – it’s the best and most profitable way for both parties.

That’s it for this week folks – next week we will look at the rest of the points.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@viljoenconsulting.co.za or http://www.viljoenconsulting.co.za

Small Business Forum

The Small Business Forum is an independent network of entrpreneurs and small business owners established to encourage and support the creation, growth and development of small business in South Africa.

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