Ali’s Second Blog

There is a young business entrepreneur named Ali who had heard all about the benefits of social media. Have you? Are you confused? Not sure where to start or have started but feel its not going well?

My friends were always busy updating there social status and had quite a crowd of followers all eager to talk to them. So, being curious, I decided to find out more and took the plunge into the bizarre world of social media networking.

I was confronted with many doors with names such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Some she had heard of and others, such as Elixio, Kiwibox and Pingsta I had not. I tried to get into one of the doors but I found that I just couldn’t fit in!

What was I to do? Which was the right social media platform for me and my business? I began to despair and thought others must feel like this too? I know I am not alone. Having a strong brand identity is the key, make sure your brand has a logo that is social media friendly.

With multiple social media choices and different methodologies for each platform, the one thing that must remain consistent is your brand. It’s the essence of your business, the look and feel, your voice and mission. With consumers having more options than ever before, if you want to stand out, define what your brand stands for.

I also realised that not only do I need a brand but she needs a direction too – a way forward with which to drive my business and her clients businesses.

Think about what you really hope to achieve from social media. Engaging business contacts? Mentoring? Building brand advocates? Or an incentive for new customers. Whoever you decide to target with social media make sure you have a clear sense of purpose.

It can be hard to interact with people and many businesses give up at the first hurdle, but remember that every brand had to start somewhere and you can’t expect to be popular straight away.

As I reflected upon my efforts and realised that social media could help my business to develop and reach out to customers and business contacts, but that I needed to think carefully about how best to use it. It was no good having lots of different accounts, so she needed to focus on the social platforms which would best suit me, where my customers were most likely to be and devote my energies to these. I needed to be professional in my outlook, yet approachable at the same time. Patience was also important, I couldn’t expect to be a success overnight but must keep on updating and keep her updates relevant and interesting with incentives for people to share and like.

Armed with all this information, I felt confident and happy and with that she suddenly found herself back at my desk, knowing exactly what I was going to do next!

Ali’s first Blog

Each year in the UK, more than 500,000 people start a business of their own. Some are natural-born entrepreneurs with a fantastic idea they turn into a successful new venture. Many want to earn more money or be their own boss. Some seek greater flexibility or a more favourable work-life balance. Many simply have no alternative, perhaps after losing their job.

Starting up a business can provide you with a more rewarding life, but there are no guarantees. The start-up survival rate remains low.

However, the good news is many new businesses do survive and if you take care of key start-up tasks properly and in the right sequence, you can get your new venture off to a great start.

A great way to put the feelers out is to join a networking group – locally to where your business is, I started in Salisbury. Networking is a great way to spread the word that you are a new start-up and to gain support from others who have already been through the process you are undertaking.