Nine years ago this month I launched my business on an unsuspecting public. Nobody had warned me at the time that in addition to being an accountant, I had to be social as well!
Much has been written recently on how to use [insert favourite social media application here] to win the hearts, minds and business of new and existing customers. Being a non-typical Generation Xer and an early adopter of computer / internet technologies, I’m loving the opportunities being opened up by Social Media.
When I first started my business I joined the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, breakfast referral groups and so on. Every so often I’d go to networking events which were not unlike what I imagine speed dating to be like. Get as many contacts and business cards as you can then move on to the next group.
I had far greater success with the regular meeting groups which weren’t JUST about speed networking. I’ve always preferred to establish some kind of rapport with someone, and this doesn’t happen during a 30 second conversation in a noisy room.
If I felt I knew a bit about the person, then I would be more likely to do business with them. And for me, this is where the strength and power of Social Media lies.
Why I’m Loving Social Media
Over the last few years, most of the friendships I’ve made with people have been online. As a result, I’ve come to know people all around the world and even had the pleasure of meeting some when travelling overseas. This non-confrontational method of communication suited my anti-social self down to the ground.
As a result, I’ve found it very easy to slip into a similar style with my social media interactions. Getting to know like minded people via Twitter, Facebook and so on has led to new connections which have already led to new business.
Face to face interaction obviously is still required, but breaking the ice online first has made it far easier for me personally to make new business contacts. And there is no doubt that social media will change the way we all need to do business.
This video is in a similar vein to one I posted previously (with the same backing track too) – and is deserving of a whole blog post discussing some points it raises!