Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

Big-City Business

January 18, 2011
A colleague recently asked for advice about how to maintain clients in the DC area if you don’t live in the DC area. My situation isn’t exactly like hers because I didn’t start my biz in DC and then move out of town. I lived in DC for about a decade and made many contacts there. In 2000, I moved about two hours southwest of the DC area, but I maintained a full-time satellite office here for my DC-area employer. 
 
In 2008, I started my own communications business, and I find that my DC connections are still strong.
 
All of my clients are in the DC area, but all the work is virtual, so they don’t care where I live. Most of my clients are associations, and they work with contractors and freelancers from all over the country, and even some who live out of the country. (Personally, I did a lot of work when I spent a week in St. Lucia last February. My clients didn’t even have to know I was out of the country.)
 
I think my ability to keep DC clients can be attributed to a few things:
 
* Networking. I have both a personal and a business Facebook page. I also have Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Most of my clients are connected with me through one or more of these accounts. I use Facebook to stay on people’s radar, so when they have a project, they think of me. I do regular posts on my business Facebook page about what projects I’m working on so people can see my various work. Maybe they’ll learn about a service that I offer that they didn’t know about. I follow my freelance/small business friends on their social networking pages, and I promote them every chance I get by reposting their accomplishments and congratulating them, etc. I also still travel to DC regularly to meet with clients and friends who are in the biz. This might not be easy for everyone, but I specifically make time to do this as an investment.
 
* Experience at virtual work. Since my clients know I’m able to manage their work virtually, they’re more likely to recommend me for other projects. For at least two of my clients, I am the managing editor of their publications, so I’m doing more than just editing one book or article at a time. They know I can manage the production workload and the incoming content, etc.
 
* My website. I put up a very basic website (www.traeturner.com), actually a simple Yahoo template, so people can get a clear picture of who I am without actually meeting me in person. This has had an amazing impact. I made sure to include a client list so the DC prospects can see that other organizations trust me to do their work virtually.
 
* The right tools. One of my clients is a consultant for associations that want to go completely virtual. I maintain her blog, and it’s a resource of useful articles about how to make virtual work a success (http://virtualassociation.wordpress.com). I am not super high-tech, but I do use basic virtual tools like my Droid, Google docs, Skype and RecordMyCalls.com, which are great solutions to have in my toolbox when I’m talking to clients about their projects.
 
More and more employers and clients are comfortable about working with someone long distance, but you do have to make an effort, and be prepared to deliver.
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Change the World With Social Media

June 16, 2010

Social media savvy can certainly help you grow your business by reaching your target consumer, but nonprofits also have to get comfortable using this set of tools. E-mails, blogs, Facebook and Twitter are all tools that build relationships, and these relationships are key to driving change in a nonprofit world. In order to engage people in your mission, you have to open the door for two-way conversations about social issues, politics, community activities and more. Check out Beth Canter and Allison Fine’s new book The Networked Nonprofit: Using Social Media to Power Social Networks for Change

Caf, Half Caf or Decaf — Define Yourself

February 23, 2010

Recent mochachinos with a friend who’s also a new entrepreneur sparked a conversation about his company’s new blog. When I asked him about the blog’s strategy, he responded, “What do you mean by strategy?” If you’re going to dive into social media as a promotional or added benefit to your organization, you must think about the purpose of your efforts. If you use valuable time to blog, tweet or post to reach your audience (and I really think you should), it’s essential to be strategic. You’ve got to devote time in your work week to do it, but you’ve also got to determine what persona suits your organization’s social media needs. Read Lisa Barone’s ideas on choosing the right voice for your Twitter account. Which Type of Twitter Account Should You Create? | Small Business Trends.

Analyze This

February 11, 2010

Now, more than ever, access to data and the ability to analyze it means everyone should know how to use basic data tools. If you’re competing in this recession for a job, for clients, for growing your membership or raising money for your nonprofit, it’s not enough to know how to create your own Facebook page, e-mail blast or Web site. You also have to know what to do with the data these tools generate. Sure you can create a Facebook ad, but can you track how successfully that ad drives traffic to your site? In this tight economy, don’t expect your employer to pay an IT specialist to do this on your behalf. Richard Baily talks about these data-driven and other need-to-know skills for future career success. Culprit

What You Need to Know About Facebook

February 8, 2010

FacebookIt’s surprising how many of my friends, family and colleagues still think Facebook is a teen zone for cyberbullying mean girls. But like so much technology that starts out sounding like novelty (A computer in my house? A phone in my car?), social networking has quickly become a powerful way people connect. If you think your business or professional reputation doesn’t have a place on Facebook, then you should think again. Check out Rich Brooks’ article on how you or your business, church, association or book club can find its place among the posts, tweets and blogs. Social Media ROI: 5 Steps to Social Media Success

4 Essential Traits for Social Media Success in Your Career

February 5, 2010

Amybeth Hale, an AT&T staffing manager, recently met 17 young professionals who use social media to advance their careers. She writes that the up-and-comers share four characteristics: they value authenticity in building relationships, set trends in their communities, take risks and give back. http://mashable.com/2010/02/03/social-media-success-traits/