SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & SOLO ENTREPRENEURS: How to Level the Playing Field

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Every person reading this blog is now a participant in social media.  After all, this is written by an individual, not broadcasted at you by a traditional media company, and thus is a true example of user generated content.  As we become users of social media, whether through finding old friends on Facebook or connecting with new colleagues on LinkedIn, social media is slowly becoming part of our daily life.  And if we have ever been in a job search, social media becomes increasingly important for us to utilize as part of both an online and offline networking strategy.  Have you ever thought about monetizing your social media presence?

The Internet introduced to us new names, Amazon to begin with, that utilized the Internet as their entire platform.  Amazon never had a retail brick-and-mortar outlet and still doesn’t.  If the Internet can be used as a platform for business, why can’t social media?  Obviously, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter themselves are companies that couldn’t exist without us, the user, providing content to them and sharing it with others.  How can we start leveraging these social media platforms to either help expand our small business or drive a new entrepreneurial idea to monetizing fruition?

We can, both you and I.  Why?  Because just as the Internet leveled the playing field when it appeared, Web 2.0 and social media are re-levelling that playing field allowing small businesses and solo entrepreneurs to compete with companies that have a larger presence in real life.  Why?

Social media was created for and is about people, not businesses.  It is about becoming an Influencer and a Thought Leader and winning the trust of people.  And when you achieve that, which is possible through your expertise and authentic sharing of information and Paying It Forward, a blogger like Chris Brogan can become a New York Time’s bestselling author overnight.  Well, it took Chris several years of blogging and community outreach to achieve that status, but, indeed, he has achieved the mighty status of a Trust Agent in which he writes about.

Sure, Toys R Us has a big brand name and can attract hundreds of thousands of people to their Facebook Fan Page in a few days, and that will be hard for any company to compete with.  But Fortune 500 Companies have the most to lose because an Influencer can ruin their brand image overnight.  Small businesses and solo entrepreneurs have the most to gain because we don’t have that legacy baggage which could weigh us down and sales can only increase.  It is in this environment where something as trivial as a local taco truck can now become a nationally franchised operation simply by using social media as their platform to engage with their customers.

What does that mean for you and me?  We are in the era of the Portfolio Career.  You may want to dabble at monetizing your social media presence while working full time somewhere else, for instance.  Whether you are in transition and trying to make ends meet, an entrepreneur with a passion and a great idea, or a small business that is truly providing value to their customers, through social media you can exponentially increase your reach and, with that over time, your sales.

I am proud to be speaking on this subject in depth with an Experts Connection Webinar that is hosted by the premiere Executive Career Management company Netshare.  I am ecstatic to be able to share my own personal experiences as well as how I have helped other professionals and companies to level the playing field through social media and increase their audience and grow their business.  This will be a 90-minute webinar on December 16, 2009, and will cover the following:

  • About the different types of sites that exist …Word Press/Blogging, YouTube, Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter…and what is right for your business.  For instance, does every company really need a Facebook Fan Page?
  • Why a blog is the centerpiece; the essential element to any strategy.
  • How many professionals are monetizing their knowledge through social media with little upfront investment.
  • How to create your strategy and how to take your first steps to implement it.
  • How to assess the success of your social media marketing.
  • About social media advertising and the potential for demographic segmentation.

Anyone who knows me or has read my book on LinkedIn knows that I genuinely try to deliver value above and beyond your expectations, and this webinar will be no different.

For more information and to register for this webinar, please go to the Experts Connection homepage.

I look forward to sharing my experience and expertise to help YOU get to the next level in social media marketing.  If you plan on being on the webinar and have any questions that you would like me to cover in advance, please comment on this post.

Thank you!

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Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
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