This past week was a big week. First a major review of my new book came out on the website one of my favorite business magazines Black Enterprise with the title: “Now Read This: Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, If entrepreneurship is your objective, Melinda Emerson offers a step-by-step road map” which was written by Alfred Edmond Jr. Editor in Chief of BlackEnterprise.com. As a first time author, it was a real thrill to read a review like this.
I also had an amazing opportunity as “Smallbizlady” to be a presenter at Jeff Pulver’s #140 Characters Conference; Exploring the State of Now in New York City. My assignment at the Twitter conference was to talk about how Twitter has changed small business. I only had ten minutes, so I had to make it count. You know my advice always focuses on actionable steps, so here’s the video of my talk from #140conf. Many people have looked at this clip and retweeted it, and I thought you would enjoy it.
Here’s some tips help you grow your small business using Twitter:
Know your niche customer: Before using Twitter to promote your small business it is really important to know your customer, and more importantly know where your customer hangs out online. Make sure anyone could determine who your customer is by reviewing your Twitter stream.
Give to Get: Twitter and all of social media is about giving to others and adding value. When you help others by promoting their content and programs that will attract people and incentivize others to do so.
Use 4:1 ratio: Be slow to overtly sell on Twitter. It really can be the kiss of death. Here’s a rule of thumb: Promote other people’s content 4 to 1 over your own.
Participate in Twitterchats: One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise in a non-obnoxious way is to answer questions about your expertise. I host #Smallbizchat every Wed from 8-9pm ET on Twitter for emerging entrepreneurs. Many participants and guests attract many followers after delivering great content on a Twitterchat. How to participate in #SmallBizChat:
Use @ replies: Open tweets build relationships on Twitter. Do not just retweet articles, reach back to the person who wrote them and start a conversation.
Use Direct Messages: Well-written direct messages (DMs) particularly automatic direct messages can get you business. Perfect your 140 character commercial. Tell your followers who you are and what you can do for them. Do not to give links or ways to connect to your blog, Linkedin or Facebook. It’s the equivalent to drive-by networking.
Engage & Interact: You would not ask someone for business the day you meet them don’t do it online either. Build real relationships and the sales will come.
Consistency & Persistency: The key to building your business on Twitter and any other social media network is showing up consistently giving quality information. Push yourself to listen and give your expertise. You will grow your brand little by little everyday. Follow these simple tips and you can’t go wrong with Twitter.
Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #Smallbizchat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-By-Month Guide to a Business That Works was released by Adams Media in March 2010.