Business is Personal
As you know, I aspire to be the social media czar for every small business in St. Louis; I talk to current and potential clients about staying top-of-mind and interacting as much as possible. With that said, I can’t help but marvel at how little time I spend on my own business’ web presence. Coming from a working class family in a rural town where people are modest, self-effacing, and honest to a fault, the work of building Me historically has not been a strength of mine. In the cliched nature analogy, self-promotion is a baby bird cupped in my hand, and I’m handling it gently while it’s still so young.
When social media is used to promote a well-defined brand, it’s fun and easy to represent that point-of-view to the business’ target audience. Harder though, is defining that brand in the first place. I’d much rather work within a system of checks-and-balances than as queen of my own mind. But I know in time, I will capture the voice that represents me best.
So if you’ve stumbled upon my website and wondered how a social media business with such a naked page could possibly know what it’s doing (lol), hopefully you’ll see it the way I do–evidence of my commitment and focus on client satisfaction.
If you’re thinking about expanding your business’ community footprint, send me a message here, via email (amanda/at/localsocialweb/dot/com — substituting the slashes and symbol words for the ‘at’ symbol and the ‘dot’ symbol), or through my Facebook page — www.facebook.com/localsocialweb.
Meanwhile, I’ll be right here, taking care of clients and occasionally working to resolve my paradox
It’s been too long since my last post. Here’s why:
Last month during dinner when my husband told me our server had crashed, I didn’t think anything of it.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the server is where your whole website is stored? I didn’t.
Imagine my surprise when I tried to access my site and was redirected to a blank page. I looked in every reasonable Google-type cache thingy I could think of. I scrambled to find my content but there was nothing left. Very discouraging.
So I took time off from web presence development and worked on other stuff. I started new projects for a new client. I started doing Twitter. I went to a wedding. Stuff I might not have gotten around to if my website hadn’t disappeared.
Luckily my husband is a techxpert*, and possibly part sorcerer, because this week he found every post I had written and uploaded this snazzy design (Illacrimo, in case you’re wondering . Isn’t he wonderful? I am thankful to have such a brilliant and considerate man as a partner.
What are you thankful for this week?
*techxpert=tech + expert. Because of my ego, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person to ever come up with this word do you think it’ll catch on?
It’s been a crazy few weeks–I’ve been out of commission due to a persistent case of tendinitis in both arms. Very painful and very bad for business! Even now, I’m not supposed to be near a computer, smart phone, calculator, violin, can opener or anything else that requires the use of my hands or forearms. You can imagine how Not-fun this is!
It hasn’t been a total loss, though. In my down time I read a book, enjoyed my family more, and visited my hometown. It’s definitely been a lesson in achieving balance between my work and life.
Take home message: Do not fight with the click bar on your computer–the click bar will win, and you will make several trips to the chiropractor.
Also, sometimes the accidental vacation is just the break you didn’t know you needed
This week has been a whirlwind! Here’s what I’ve been up to:
Whew, it’s been a busy day; I squeezed two important meetings into a 3 hour block. Here’s how it happened:
An experienced business advisor worked with me on branding and pricing. I wasn’t sure how she would respond to my proposed rate structure, but but she said I was right on! She also shared insights gleaned from years of self-employment that I can use immediately. Very satisfying meeting indeed.
The next meeting was a little different. Not in a bad way, just more of a risk for me. Until now work has basically dropped into my lap, but this week for the first time I personally approached a potential client. Boy was I nervous! Plus my two boys were with me, so it was complete chaos. But somehow I secured a second meeting, which took place today. Even though I was nervous, I had a great time learning about the potential client’s business and explaining how social media can enhance its relationships with its customers.
I’ve discovered that courting a new client is a lot like dating a new person: you try to make yourself look more presentable and your goal is to paint the most flattering picture of yourself possible. Finding your match is exhilarating, and rejection can feel awful if you let it. But you can choose not to take it personally. In both business and dating, you take away new insights that make you a better person.
As for the potential client, things are still up in the air. But we agreed to meet one more time, so I’m taking that as a good sign. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
Well it’s been a fun week. I’ve been busy moderating the Facebook page for my primary client. The thing I’m feeling especially proud of is that I was able to redirect an unflattering conversation in a satellite (but unaffiliated) Facebook group. Another development is that I was able to convince my client to permit posts by other people on the Page. Since our announcement a week or two ago, we’ve had several promising interactions: one fan shared a link, and two or three others have asked questions about product availability in the store. I have been in frequent contact with my client to ensure that questions are answered accurately and in a timely manner. When a question is posted, I communicate with the client and obtain the information needed to respond appropriately.
In addition to my client work, I’ve been working on my business LinkedIn profile, Twitter account (@localsocialSTL), and Facebook Page (Local Social Web). Check out the link I posted on the 21 tools to attract and engage your audience) I’ve also been working on creating business cards, website interface, Paypal and invoicing options. My current invoicing system meets my basic needs right now, but I will need to upgrade soon.
On the personal side, Friday night I attended a performance of the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra (SLPO). Not only was the music wonderful, but I got to see two friends of mine on stage!
What have you been working on this week? Did you get to do anything fun in your “free” time?
It’s been an exciting day. After six weeks of intense work and late nights, I’ve completed an important multi-pronged project for my primary client. Tonight I get to relax, eat a hot fudge sundae, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment for a job well done.
What are your plans for tonight?
Hello out there! Is this thing on?
This is my first foray into the world of small business. In my working class family where everyone is subordinate to someone else, self-employment is practically unheard of. This is a risk. But I believe the payoff is worth it. I’m excited to get started on this new (ad)venture!
The best thing about being self-employed is that I’m in control: I can choose who I want to work with. There is no middle manager; I answer directly to my clients. I make decisions and execute them immediately; there is no bureaucracy; there are no legal hoops to jump through. I do it and it’s done!
If you need help getting things done online, call or e-mail today. We can talk about your options, setting up a Facebook Page and Twitter account for your business, professional profiles for Facebook and LinkedIn, business blogging, creating website content, ghostwriting, and much more!