Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with @DeborahShane. Deborah Shane is a branding strategist, social media consultant, featured writer and speaker. Author of two books, her new book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Value and Humor Get You Through Anything, is a blog to book collection of 56 articles about, careers, social media, branding, marketing, professional advancement and her award winning book from 2011 Career Transition-make the shift. Deborah’s articles have been featured on Small Business Trends, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Careerealism, Women For Hire and she is a go to resource for the media on NBC, Fox, CBS. For more info, visit DeborahShaneToolbox.com
SmallBizLady: Why is sustaining small business success so much harder today than ever before?
Deborah Shane: The competition is fierce. People have more choices. The pace of trends and change is happening much faster. Information is moving at the speed of light. It takes much more to be in the game and stay ahead of what people expect -marketing, networking, sales, social media, running a business, growing a business, innovation, creativity.
SmallBizLady: What are top qualities successful people share?
Deborah Shane: Vision-they have their accomplishment sights set on specific goals and targets.
Commitment-they really want to do what they are doing.
Passion-they really “love” what they do.
Organization-they have processes in place to keep them on track.
Resourceful-they can find ways to solve issues, problems and come up with solutions.
Flexibility-they bend, go with the flow, adapt, adjust to the expected and unexpected.
Willingness-they are open to trying new things to get differing results.
Sense of Humor-they keep things in perspective and find some levity in difficult things
SmallBizLady: How did you come up with the idea for your new book: #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything?
Deborah Shane: I was looking for a way to repurpose evergreen content, that I had been writing over the past few years and re-present it to a different audience. For content marketers who create original content over time, the question of what happens to great content that isn’t current but is still relevant is a challenge. So, I created an eBook collection and gave it a theme and a name. I also wanted to provide some answers to the age old question to people always “asking why” they need to do certain things but still wanting the results. As a consultant and strategist, it’s ongoing fodder for my content topics.
I also wanted to create a quick read, easy access collection of ideas, resources, tips for the mobile, on the go person that sometimes needs a jolt of energy, inspiration or motivation. So it’s an eBook on Amazon, Nook, iTunes and iBooks.
SmallBizLady: How does continuing education and professional development tie into relevance and advancement especially today?
Deborah Shane: We create and deliver the most value when we are learning and using the most up to date, latest trends, best practices, technologies and approaches that give us an advantage and edge for our customers and communities. The more we read, create content, go to conferences, webinars, events, and network, the sharper we stay.
SmallBizLady: How can social media play into this professional relevance?
Deborah Shane: Social media is required, not optional today. Small businesses need to include Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ into their small business marketing mix and also have a professional profile on LinkedIn. These are the standards and ways people can find us, learn more about us and more importantly, the ways we can present ourselves to the public. “If you don’t create, it there’s nothing to be found”. Just Google yourself and see how you and your business are branded. Social media for small business is a major activity and an ongoing trend that is yielding BIG results. Businesses that don’t use it are considered passé. Social media can do wonders for sharing your experiences, knowledge, credibility and leadership. Social Media for small business is a great example of #trusthewhy: because it’s a key part of our marketing world now.
SmallBizLady: Which social media platforms are best for small business?
Deborah Shane: All social media is about “show, tell and share”. LinkedIn is a must to establish your professional profile and career story. Use LinkedIn to share that story using their information sections and post regularly on it. Twitter and Google+ are great for sharing tips, research, statistics, blogs, information and events. Facebook is where we get to be more personal, personable and show our personality more, but with caution. Instagram and Pinterest are your more visual content platforms. Showing a great visual image is always worth a thousand words!
SmallBizLady: How about blogging, podcasting and video to keep your business top of mind?
Deborah Shane: These are also pillar media today. Blogging and video are more popular than ever and future trends suggest video will continue to be a key content media. People are insatiable for good, informative, educational content. Why not have some of it come from YOU? Longer blog posts and shorter videos are trending, as on Vine. Tout and Flipgram are awesome for picture videos. Podcasting is another media that has seen huge growth. Sports, music, business, food, niche content are all featuring podcasts which is 21st century radio, except it’s archived and available whenever people want or need it. The power of listening to the spoken word, at one’s convenience fits our mobile life. My podcast is at 444,000 downloads.
SmallBizLady: Talk about why you focus on fundamentals and values. Don’t people know this and rely on them already?
Deborah Shane: Yes and No. They know about fundamentals and values, but oftentimes forget to apply or use them in their current life, problems and circumstances. People get lazy, want to cut corners and find shortcuts to success. The process is the process; there are no shortcuts to lasting success. Success accrues over time and experience. It is always the timeless, tested fundamentals and values that we defer back to, that give us the answers, solutions and process.
SmallBizLady: What are some of the specific ones you highlight in the book?
Deborah Shane: Honesty, accountability, ethics, willingness, creativity, innovation, humor, networking, marketing, referrals, organization are some of the key ones, but we highlight 56 articles and feature 56 fundamentals and values! There are so many that we use regularly, if you really think about it.
SmallBizLady: What was your strategy and plan to organize the 56 articles, and hashtags in the book?
Deborah Shane: I looked at the main topics my expertise specializes in and organized the articles around certain content themes. There are 4 Sections.
Section 1–Go Inside and Use What’s Already There-this section focuses on developing ones internal, personal qualities such as happiness, ability to change, discipline, professional habits, values, personality assets.
Section 2-Best Practices for Self Marketing-this section focuses on how we put ourselves out there, self-market and the branding tactics that we use, combining face to face and online marketing activities. These articles talk about building likeability, credibility, using social media, blogging, attending events, communication skills.
Section 3-Career Advancement-this section’s focus is on building our fundamental professional skills such as accountability, staying focused, commitment, networking, sales, referrals, and building relationships.
Section 4-15 Guest Contributors feature articles on their main expertise-including you, Tory Johnson (How to Shift Your Mindset), Dan Schawbel (Millenial Branding), Joe Pulizzi (content marketing) and many more.
SmallBizLady: How can someone apply the #trusthewhy idea to their own situation?
Deborah Shane: Anyone can improve their attitude, situation and advancement if they really want to. Small business success starts with a strong desire and commitment to move your business where you want it to go. . There are some recurring themes in all the articles in the book.
Relevance on all levels is a key value and asset that you can sets you apart.
Be the best you that you can be NOW
Use the best practices that are available today in your industry
Don’t rush solutions; they unfold over time through applying timeless professional fundamentals and personal values.
Commit, re-commit, review, refine your business and career frequently.
See change as a door not a curse.
Monitor all your processes and make sure they are working for you.
Accept the way things are, not as you wish they would be – and adapt.
Don’t fall behind. Try to keep up when things change so fast and frequently.
The “why” is about what’s happening right NOW, and that is the only reality we really have.
SmallBizLady: You have 25 Free and Low Cost Ways to Market Yourself Now.
Deborah Shane: Follow me here on Twitter @deborahshane.
Go to my website: DeborahShaneToolBox.com, and go to the Contact Section and fill out a contact form, and reference SmallBizLady and I will send it.
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.