On this gloomy, rainy Monday in Vancouver, I’m finding work is slow. I just wrapped up a bunch of projects and I’m relishing my free time, but instead of wasting it in front of the TV (I might just drown if I left the house!), I’m online reading about social media, online marketing, and all the available tools and resources that are available to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
This post isn’t about promoting those tools, or providing you with a how-to on social media and online marketing. That isn’t my forte by any stretch. I’m just thinking a lot about how to promote my business by making really small changes in my online presence, and making the most of slow work days.
For example, I made sure my social media accounts were easy to locate, by ensuring the URL extensions were all either “writeahead” or “jessoman”, my two online personas. And, of course, I started this blog.
Although I know how important online marketing is for small businesses, I can’t help thinking about how passive it is. Improve my SEO, connect all my social networking accounts, keep my web site and ads up to date, and hope people will flock to my web site and hire me impulsively. I can stay inside and out of the rain, and I can still make money! In reality, these efforts might result in one or two small jobs at best, and one might question whether they are really worth my time. In fact, I read an article not one week ago that described all the ways in which consultants waste their time by engaging in business development activities that have no impact.
But here’s the thing: going through these exercises makes me think critically and strategically about my business, something I don’t often have time to do. It forces me to consider who my target market is, how best to reach them, alerts me to competitors, improves my own brand awareness. For this reason alone, engaging in social media is worthwhile for me, even if there is very little financial return.
The fact is, the smarter entrepreneurs are about their business development, the more likely their efforts will pay off, even if the return on investment is indirect. So, off I go to continue reading! (okay, maybe I’ll brave the weather and go for a jog as well).