Social media is about conversation. You must speak out to promote your business. But many small business people feel awkward talking about their business to the world. This two-part series helps you find your voice to speak about your business. In this article, you learn the causes for your awkwardness. In the second part, you learn how to find the most powerful things you can say about your business.
- Before You Start: You have a business you want to promote through social media.
- Learning level: 1 | Social Media Basics
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
There are a lot of reasons why promoting yourself and your business may not come naturally to you.
- You are naturally shy so you don’t like to point out even the obvious things about your business.
- You are unsure of yourself and so you don’t speak because aren’t sure what to say.
- You are confused about what other people find valuable about your services and products.
- You are reserved and you want your work to speak for you.
- You are waiting for someone else to speak for you and recommend you to the world.
But the reasons don’t really matter. What matters is that you find a way from where you are today to where you want to be. And that means overcoming these obstacles.
Take a little time to look for examples of businesses that promote themselves well. Look carefully at what they say and how they say it. When you find something brilliant, borrow it. But while you are looking, also take note of what doesn’t work in your opinion.
Here are the two things that many businesses get wrong when promoting their services and products.
- Describe your business from the inside. Have you ever landed at a website and couldn’t figure out which of the website menu options contains the information you want? It isn’t your fault. The person who wrote the website copy wrote about the company from the company’s perspective. They didn’t think about you and what you were looking for when they designed the structure. You are not an insider. That’s why you couldn’t figure it out.
- Describe what you do with a label. Lots of people give labels instead of describing what they do. What’s the first thing that crosses your mind when someone says they are an “expert” or a “visionary” or a “thought leader?” These labels are not helpful because no one can explain what an expert or visionary or thought leader actually does or how they provide practical help for your business. David Meerman Scott talks about meaningless language to avoid in his Gobbledygook Manifesto.
Now that you’ve looked at what can go wrong, in the next article we’ll cover how to break down what you do to create a positive way to talk about your business.
Your turn: What kind of self-promotion mistakes you do see small business people making? Can you add to the list of things not to do?