As regular readers of my blog will know I am passionate about small businesses and believe that the best way to start a small business is to use bootstrapping techniques. Bootstrapping means using money that comes in to your business to grow your business; avoiding taking loans or finance in order to start your business.
When it comes to marketing, bootstrapping really comes in to its own. With the growth of Social Media it is easier than ever for a bootstrap business to effectively market their small business start-up. Marketing involves word of mouth, building relationships and getting people talking about your business. What better way to do this than through social media? You can build your brand, build relationships and create trust all for very little cost.
There are numerous social media platforms around, and the most relevant platform for your business depends on your speciality. The social media platforms that I find most valuable are:
– Twitter – Twitter is a great way of finding like minded people to do business with, and connecting with people who could be a valuable asset to your business. There is quite a significant amount of ‘noise’ on Twitter, so it can be hard to find people to connect with. But perseverance and determination can pay off.
– Facebook – Facebook is a fantastic way to build a buzz around your business. If you create a Facebook page for your business it is a great place to direct people to in order to find out more about your business and to hear what you’ve got to say about your area of expertise. You can even customise a landing page for your website, like the one we have created for WinWeb.com here.
– Forums – Small businesses can find a great deal of custom and can build relationships through being active members on Forums. For businesses based in the UK I recommend UK Business forums and 4 Networking.
– LinkedIn – Linked In can be a good way to connect with like-minded business people, but undoubtedly works better for business to business relationships rather than those based on business to consumer sales. There is a wide range of functionality on Linked In, and it is definitely worth getting some recommendations from previous clients in order to validate both your work and your personality. People do business with people, so creating a personable Linked In profile can help tell potential customers more about you.
This is a very basic guide to the areas in Social Media that I feel are worth exploring. WinWeb.com offers a variety of Online Marketing services that can help you explore the best options for your small business. I believe in the future of Social Media, and so should you.