4 Lies About Social Media

Everyone knows that the best way to get a job is to leverage your network. And almost everyone knows that social media is a great way to build your network. But many of you are making lots of social media mistakes. I know because so many people tell me that social media is a waste of their time. They’re wasting their time, and continuing to make mistakes, because there’s a set of common lies about social media that people believe about in.

Here are those social media lies: Continue reading 4 Lies About Social Media

Can SMB Owners Make Social Media Useful?

Can SMB Owners Make Social Media Useful?Though the buzz is strong, a study released last month from Citibank and Gfk Roper found that 76 percent of small business owners don’t find social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn helpful in generating leads and business. In fact, 86 percent said they don’t use social media sites to get advice or information. Instead, they’re relying on search engines.

According to the results released last month [emphasis mine]:

‘Our survey suggests that small business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses,’ said Maria Veltre, EVP of Citi’s Small Business Segment. ‘While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them.’

And I think that’s how the recent survey results should be taken — small business owners are still feeling their way in.  It’s not that social media isn’t helpful. It’s simply a learning curve. Continue reading Can SMB Owners Make Social Media Useful?

How Creatives Can Use Social Media For Personal Branding

How Creatives Can Use Social Media For Personal Branding

As a creative professional you have every opportunity to leverage social media to your advantage in your career. More than any other profession, creatives are judged on both the appearance of their work and their personal appearance. Creative professionals include people who work in industries like design, advertising, media, art, and more.

Most creative professionals will change employers many times over their careers. Many will also work as freelancers or start their own companies. This constant change has given rise to the need to present a cohesive story about your personal brand.

It’s not very hard to establish and maintain a personal brand, and the importance cannot be overstated. It’s important that, as you move from project to project and you become more well known, you have an established voice across the Internet. That way when people hear about you, they can readily find out what you want them to know. Here are some simple steps you can take to begin establishing your own personal brand. Continue reading How Creatives Can Use Social Media For Personal Branding

20 Best Resources to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

20 Best Resources to Get Your Startup Off the GroundLet’s face it: as an entrepreneur, the odds are stacked against you. Most businesses fail after the first few years, and even if you do manage to survive, that doesn’t mean your business will redefine an industry, become profitable, or change the world. Getting off on the right foot is essential to navigating a startup from its infancy to profitability.

Luckily, there have been countless entrepreneurs that have gone through the same toils building their own businesses, and most of them are happy to share their experiences to better prepare you for the journey ahead. In addition, there is now an array of social media and web apps that no entrepreneur has ever had access to before. Together, these resources can give you the edge in a fast-changing business world. Continue reading 20 Best Resources to Get Your Startup Off the Ground

Higher Growth Businesses Spend More on Marketing and Shift Marketing Online

Higher Growth Businesses Spend More on Marketing and Shift Marketing Online
Graph of Start-Up Success

As one of the survey partners we were able to get access to the survey results — and I thought you might find some of the key points to be interesting.  The subject of the survey was the recession and online marketing efforts by small businesses.

Here are three key points from the survey: Continue reading Higher Growth Businesses Spend More on Marketing and Shift Marketing Online

10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business and Close More Sales

10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business and Close More Sales
Close more sales… live like a pimp!

10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business and Close More Sales

Every small business marketer wants to be intentional about their marketing — ideally, marketers should have a marketing calendar.  Truth is, many organizations do not.

It’s 60 days before the end of the year.  There’s still time to take steps to close out the year strong. The following ideas work around any time of year, but help when they are tied to significant dates or celebrations.  Your results may vary, but most of these are fairly easy to do.

If you pick 1 or 2 of these, and do them well, it could change how your business finishes the year. Continue reading 10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business and Close More Sales

100 Green Small Business Tips

100 green small business tipsBack in September, we asked our readers to contribute their best green business tips.  We wanted you to share your ideas for going green in your small business.

As usual, the Small Business Trends readers came through. We were able to collect 100 awesome green small business tips.  We listed all 100 tips below which have been divided into 4 categories; Conserve, Recycle, Go Paperless and Adopt Green Practices. Please click through all of the pages (above or below the post) to see all 100 of the green small business tips.

If you prefer, you can also download all 100 green small business tips as a PDF document: 100 Green Small Business Tips.

Without further delay, here are 100 green small business tips for your small business with the contributor’s name, website and Twitter handle included. Continue reading 100 Green Small Business Tips

Do You Have What It Takes to Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

Do You Have What It Takes to Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

Over the past few weeks I’ve heard a number of people comment about their desire to take your hobby into a business and start up their own business and begin working for themselves.

Being passionate about something can often be a terrific motivator, so the thought of turning a much-loved hobby into a money-generating small enterprise can be very tempting.

While there are many hobbyists that have successfully turned their passions into successful businesses, a hobby-based business may have limited market scope, thus making it difficult to support its growth and viability.

If you find yourself at the cross-road of whether to turn your hobby into a business, here are a few things you need to think about before hanging the shingle outside your door, as well as considering if you have that entrepreneurial drive to support your business’ development and growth. Continue reading Do You Have What It Takes to Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips

10 Small Business Social Media Marketing TipsCapacity – especially to plan and execute effective marketing strategies – is a big challenge for every small business. In this post, I’ll offer 10 suggestions for how small businesses can supercharge their marketing efforts by leveraging social media. For each suggestion, I will discuss a basic strategy – for those who simply want to get their toes wet, as well as an advanced strategy – for those who want to spend a bit more time and go a bit deeper in their social media marketing efforts. These tips are based on my experience leveraging social media marketing for my company, crowdSPRING.

I suggest you begin by outlining clear goals for your social media marketing efforts and figuring out how you’ll measure success. Once you’ve outlined your goals, let’s look at 10 great ways you can begin to leverage social media for your marketing efforts: Continue reading 10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips

Why Get Personal? How Your Online Personal Brand Can Help Your Job Search

Get Personal In Your Online Job Search
Get Personal In Your Online Job Search

Why Get Personal?

You may not be comfortable with the idea of adding a personal dimension to your professional identity. After all, aren’t the two supposed to be kept separate? Maybe in the corporate world, but as a job seeker, you’ve got to sell yourself as someone recruiters and employers want and/or need.

Getting personal has real benefits: Continue reading Why Get Personal? How Your Online Personal Brand Can Help Your Job Search