Are You Excited About What You Do?
One of the hallmarks of the successful entrepreneurs and small business owners I've seen is that they absolutely love what they do. They commit to it, they include it in every part of their lives, and most of all - they're excited about it. I don't mean Tom-Cruise-jumping-on-the-couch excited; I do mean that there's a spark in their eyes, a deeper tone to their voice, and an infectious enthusiasm you can't help but notice and respond to.
If you've decided to become a small business owner, you've hopefully chosen a product or service that you're excited about. Make sure you show that enthusiasm for your product or service to potential clients, and even friends and family!
We all know on a basic social level, that someone who's happy and enthusiastic about what they do will be much more likely to do a great job - and we're more likely to have them work with us, or refer them to other people.
Here's some ways that growing your business can be fun:
1) Social media: since you're here, you already have an idea about how to use the internet to get more information - congrats! Now the next question is this; do you have a Facebook page, Twitter account or LinkedIn presence for your business?
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter let you reach out to people who are interested in your products or services. You can gain "fans" or "followers", and share your knowledge and enthusiasm with them. The "viral" nature of social networking will allow these folks to suggest you to their friends, and so you can share your passion about your business with even more people!
2) Blogging: Add a blog to your site! It can be incredibly intimidating to face that empty page at first, and try to think about ways to fill it. The trick is to remember that the folks who read it are looking for information that's relevant to them. So, if you're a woodworker, talk about types of wood, the history of wood furniture styles, what's involved in creating your pieces. If you're a mechanic, you can cover "10 Best Ways to Kill Your Car" as a way to help people take better care of their vehicles - you get the idea!
3) Forums: For every interest, there's a forum - probably several of them. Find one related to your business, read the postings - if the posters seem to be the kind of people you'd want to do business with, create an account, and establish yourself as a "go-to" expert. If you're a photographer, consider "bride to be" forums; brides and grooms always have questions about photography on their "big day", and it's a way to establish credibility, which is a key element in promoting your business.
Once you've gotten a handle on these tools for growing your business, you'll come to realize that budgeting an hour or two a day to them isn't nearly as tough as it seems at first. They're a great way to network, and expand your business presence in the minds of people you want to do business with!
If any of the terms discussed here feel like a foreign language to you - it's OK! If you have questions about them, click the "Contact" link at the top of the page and shoot me a line - I'll do my best to clear up anything you're confused about, and we'll get you to the fun part that much more quickly!