It's easy to get lost in never never circle, like, follow and link land. I recently wrote a post on this topic “I Google+ circled, followed, liked, linked, bookmarked you, now what?” I have a suggestion for the “what”! Get focused on your business and your audience my friends!
It's important we don't forget the reasons we are doing social media. How about the reasons you are in business? Remember those goals and objectives you set a short seven months ago for 2011? Well, guess what… you only have 5 more months to execute and achieve them.
If you spend all of your time circling, liking, tweeting and searching you're not likely to come close to achieving the goals and objectives that could potentially change your business and life.
If you know the social networks have started to consume your brand and are getting the best of your typing fingers and business brain then it's time for a wake up call!
13 Tips To Get Back to The Basics of Business in a Social World
1. Revisit your WHY! Remember the reason you started your business? What was it? To have more free time with your family? To be your own boss? To prepare for a permanent vacation in Hawaii or Bahamas? Whatever it is dig it out and embrace it. Nothing will inspire you more to get refocused than a good dose of reality to the reasons you started in the first place.
2. Dream BIG! I am not joking on this one. When you set goals and objectives have a balance of being realistic yet push yourself. Some amazing things have happened in our business the past month. Had I not set big goals it would have never happened. Had I not continued to march on to a dream and vision that many said I wouldn't be able to accomplish without an army of helpers I wouldn't have made it. Dream big but set a solid plan to get there. If you set your dreams low you're less likely to achieve them anyway!
3. Do a sanity check on your business plan. How are you tracking to your goals and objectives? Are you on track? If yes, how can you push yourself a little harder to ensure you cross the goal even faster or better than you planned? If you're not on target how can you ensure you get there? What is holding you back? Do you need to readjust your plans? Working to a plan with goals and objectives that are unrealistic will do nothing for you or your business. Plan yer work and work yer plan as granny says!
4. Embrace flexibility. Assess what needs changed in your business. Being agile and dynamic in the online and offline world is critical to success. If the plan isn't working, your audience isn't responding and the sales simply aren't coming in the door then do something about it. Don't sit there every month looking at the check book and bank balance and cry. Do something about it. Get off your toosh and get to work my friends!
5. Don't go it alone. Leverage your community. Tap in to a local meetup, Chamber of Commerce, networking group or neighborhood friends. Don't cram your depressed self in the virtual office all day waiting for the entrepreneur magic genie to come save you. Surround yourself with positive people and you'll be amazed what you will accomplish. Hang out with nine brokes, chances are you will be the tenth!
6. Assess your time spent on social networks. How much time are you spending tweeting, circling, linking and following. What is the return? Could you cut down the time spent and still achieve the same end goal if you focused a bit more? My guess is yes! Do a realistic analysis on how much time you spend over a week. Then look at the things on your list that aren't getting done that could be helping you grow your business.
7. Set a time block for social networking. I have started doing this. Yes, I still tweet while standing in line at the grocery store. However, I don't let it consume my entire day. Limit yourself to set number of minutes or hours a day on the social networks. This will help keep you more focused and ensure you focus on the right areas. Set goals for each session. Will it be focused on showing some social love to your audience and followers? Will it be learning from some of your favorite thought leaders? Or will it be focused on engaging with your community of loyal followers and ensuring you are providing them with inspirational, educational, and relevant content that adds value to their day!
8. Get back in sync with the needs of your audience. Have you become too self centered and focused on growing your online community? What is it really that your audience, clients, followers and community needs from you? Have you been providing it? What content could you write about in your blog that could help them become more efficient and achieve their goals and objectives? How can you better connect with them? How do your products and services line up with their needs? If you lose track of your audience and clients it's a recipe for disaster. Keep them front and center stage of focus!
9. Do the product fit check. Are your products and services satisfying the needs of your clients, prospects and partners? What is your sales closure rate? Are you losing deals because you are pricing too high? Could you raise your prices and focus on fewer clients but provide better service? Could your products use some repackaging to better meet the needs of your target market? Be confident in making the needed changes to your portfolio of offerings. We have been working on a repacking and positioning of our offerings for just this reason. Our business is growing and enabling us to better scale and meet the needs of our clients. Therefore, we are now ensuring our entire business and services delivery model aligns.
10. What's your ZOOM FACTOR? What is it that makes you unique in the eyes of your audience? Why should they pick you over your competitors? Is it product differentiation? Service? Innovation? Thinking that you can stand out from the crowd based on service alone these days is slim. Buyers want more. They're willing to take a risk often times if they think a product or service can help them zoom factor. You must look at all aspects of your business, product and services from the eyes of your audience. Do a quick competitive analysis. You might be surprised to find that what you thought was so unique is actually not so and that everyone is doing the same thing. Focus in on your core strengths and how you can leverage them to help your clients and online community go zoom!
11. Provide some new online goodies for your readers. How long has it been since you updated your website? Or how about provide a new whitepaper for download? Why not take a few of your top read blog posts and combine them into one whitepaper. With a little work, some reformatting you could have a new whitepaper to offer for download that could require an email opt-in to achieve. If part of your issue in meeting your objectives is not enough leads, then this one little paper could potentially bring you more leads than a month of networking, no joke!
12. Time for some video! How about taking out that webcam you purchased six months ago but haven't used. Be creative and start adding some video to your online mix! Finally use that YouTube channel you paid to have customized! Video is an excellent way to reconnect you with your audience. Let them know you are going through an evaluation of your business, your content and that you'd like their feedback. Take them along with you as your business goals. It enables them to celebrate the successes and help you when you need a friend to stand tall. Video doesn't have to be perfect. A webcam will do just fine as you get started!
13. Get integrated. You know I can't end a blog post focused on business without reminding you how important it is to align your social media with your business. Avoid the random acts of marketing (RAMs) at all costs! Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business. Stay focused on your objectives and ensure your efforts and time spent on the social platforms is aligned to such. Are you guilty of RAMs? Don't just throw up a Facebook page, LinkedIn group or Twitter account and expect to see results. Set goals for your social media overall that is aligned to your business goals and objectives. Set goals and an audience engagement plan for your overall social media plan as well as for each platform and audience you are focusing in on. The more you integrate the better results you are going to see. Do NOT put off integration until next year. Do it now and you'll see the benefits far before the end of 2011!
How is your business coming along in 2011? Are you tracking to goals? Have you done a half year check in to assess where you are and how you can ensure success in 2011? What tips can you offer for others?