Are You Connection Rich? How to grow your local business.
Connection Rich: When value is generated by making connections.
Is your business connection rich? Are you utilizing every possible avenue to increase your company’s visibility and reach new customers where new customers are looking? Let’s take a look at what you need to be designating a full time position to for your business to survive and thrive in 2016.
1. Social media. For many — if not all — small businesses, connecting with customers, prospects, suppliers, and others via social media can deliver tremendous value. It is always suggested that you hire a professional, like everzocial, to assist you in covering all these basis on a consistent and daily basis.
To get connection rich using social media, you need to understand who you are trying to reach and what your goal is when you reach them. In other words, it wouldn’t make any sense to consider established customers and brand new prospects in the same way. Further, you might establish social media relationships with suppliers as a way to improve your competitiveness; suppliers may, for example, use their social media channels as pipelines for insider tips and other useful industry information.
Taking this a bit further, Alignable is one social media platform whose purpose it is to create and enhance relationships between businesses. Connecting with similar small businesses can be extremely helpful, for example, when you’re trying to determine which cloud services would best suit your business.
2. Review sites. When you’re using your social media accounts, you’re broadcasting information about your small business and trying to spur people’s interest. When customers say something about you on a review site — or their own social media accounts — they are taking over the microphone. You need to recognize these instances as opportunities to create connections.
An important attribute of being connection rich is to recognize that it’s not just about your direct connections, it’s also about the onlookers and others who will hear things via word of mouth. Take advantage of the review sites and even create strategies that will point your customers toward positive reviews to start a conversation among people that will cover to positive revenue for you.
3. Forums. Forums are probably the most overlooked avenue for engaging prospects in becoming connection rich. Some successful small businesses have started because their owners first established themselves as experts on the forums. However, the point to stress here is that you should engage on as many good forums as there are that relate to your business, and your posts should be very helpful and knowledgeable. To be ranked as an authority you have be an authority.
Create time each week or hire a designated Marketing professional, like everzocial, to browse relevant forums and look for posts that pose questions or discuss problems. The connections you make while interjecting can be very valuable in the long run of your success.
4. Local community. Old-fashioned local networking should never be overlooked in this age of high-tech, web-based connections. For many small business owners, their local connections are by far their most important.
Have you noticed that all the highly successful local business leaders are heavily involved in community business groups along with other local events and organizations? Do you think this is merely coincidence? Do you think they had achieved their level of success before they got involved with the community?
Social Media and SEO and a great Website Design are merely the tools you have to have full time in order of survival. The roots of your business and how it grows are strongest at its personal core; the people and personalities behind the business that are worthy of being connection rich. Many newcomers start out as unknowns, but by working with community groups they make names for themselves as both knowledgeable and trustworthy. Establishing yourself in your local community will pay big dividends over the years. These are investments you’ll make more with your time than with your money. The Beatles were a success in Liverpool first; then they hired a manager to market them and they went global.Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Contact us today for free assessment of your online needs and goals.
5. Employees, family and friends. Connecting with all the individuals in your business and personal lives is extremely important. Your family and close friends should be among the biggest boosters for your small business. This means that you should be certain they understand what you do and have even experienced it themselves.
They should be shopping at your store or using the service you provide whenever possible. Then, when they know people who need what you provide, you’ll get a recommendation.
This is extremely important with your employees. You need to develop these connections so well that they go beyond mere employees and become brand advocates who are ready to put in a good word for your small business even when they’re “off the clock.” This means you must treat your employees well, give them opportunities to advacnce and have input regarding the direction of your business: If you don’t listen to your employees, you can’t expect them to speak up for you.
Your business is your business. No one cares more about your business than you do. Your business should be taken very seriously and should be met with great passion and exhilaration. Do your part to grow your company in the community face-to-face and get involved with other local business owners that are also growing. Hire smart. Delegate all tasks other than your sole focus of increasing your revenue. Utilize all your connections and turn them into revenue boosting tools that you can press like buttons to generate sales and new customers. Being connection rich isn’t just about having the connections, it’s about using those connections to further your business and grow your revenue.