Tag Archives: social media

A Content Marketing Spokesperson (or Influencer) Can Help Legitimize Your Business

A lot of business-to-business (B2B) startups and small businesses use content marketing as a 2legit2quitstrategy to generate new business leads and to increase search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. But it’s important to remember that achieving those goals can take a lot of time. And it can be frustrating if you aren’t reaching your desired results fast enough.

What’s important to keep in mind is that while emails may not be flooding your inbox just yet, you are still contributing to an important part of the purchase funnel – the consideration stage. So, even if most of your leads are still coming in through word of mouth, you can bet your sweet aunt Susan that businesses are evaluating your services through your website, blog, social media following and other content channels.

The key is to produce content that provides valuable insights and advice on how businesses can achieve greater results by tapping into your services. This does not mean directly selling your product. Instead, you should sell your vision and tips on best practices related to your industry.

Content marketing is also an opportunity to show prospective clients who you are as a person (if you are a solopreneur) or leader of a service provider. That’s why some of the most successful companies that use content marketing as a strategy have a person, or group of people, lending their voice and perspectives via a blog, social media or other content channels on behalf of the business.

After all, people want to work with others whom they like and trust. And if you come across as friendly, competent and trustworthy in your content, new clients who are evaluating your services will achieve peace of mind – knowing that their investment in you will pay off.

To give you an idea of how to do this effectively, I’ve put together a list of Canadian spokespeople and social media influencers who have successfully helped to legitimize their business to prospective clients through content marketing. Their storytelling skills, expertise and charisma help to showcase what it would be like to work with or buy services from their company. Check them out below.

  1. Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine (blogger, speaker, author, and social media influencer)
  2. Erin Bury, Managing Director of 88 Creative (blogger, speaker, TV personality and newspaper columnist)
  3. Tony Chapman, former founder and CEO of Capital C (now a motivational speaker, TV personality, columnist and consultant).
  4. Tara Hunt, Director of Audience Development at Totem (author, blogger, and speaker)
  5. Mitch Joel, President of Mirum (blogger, speaker, author, podcaster, radio personality and newspaper columnist)

Have a name that should be added to the list? Please share it in the comments section below. Or, send an email to andrea [at] therunningstart [dot] ca.

Image source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/


Planting Seeds for Business Growth

As a small business owner, I’ve learned first-hand that it takes time to spread seeds, growththe word about what you do and to generate new
business. And it’s a never-ending process. Since spring has finally arrived, I thought it would be a good time to talk about planting seeds for business growth. Since coming off maternity leave in January, I’ve been in business development mode. Below are some of the tactics that have worked for me so far.

Reaching out to existing contacts on LinkedIn

One of the first things I did in January, even before I hired a nanny, was reach out to old clients to see if they’d hire me again. I’m happy to say that some of them did. However, I still needed to do some work to replace client projects that were no longer in the pipeline.

One of the first places I went in order to generate new business was my contact list on LinkedIn. I started by strategically going through that list to pick which contacts might be interested in hiring freelancers. I then sent those key contacts an email via LinkedIn to let them know that I was back from leave and looking for work.

It has taken some time but some of those emails eventually turned into leads and ultimately paid work. I’ve also done a lot to pay it forward for other contacts on LinkedIn by making introductions for business opportunities where I was not the right fit. After all, it’s not just about growing my own business, it’s about helping colleagues grown their business as well. I believe strongly that what goes around, always comes back around in some shape or form. And it just feels good to see my friends and colleagues succeed.

Blogging and sharing on social media

Part of building my business back up includes scheduling time into my calendar to actively blog and participate in social media. This includes guest blogging on other websites, in addition to writing on my personal blog. Welcome!

It also involves talking to colleagues and current and prospective clients on Twitter. Of course, I’ve never been one to tweet to someone I’ve never met before and tell them about my services. To me, that seems too sales-ey and I don’t ever want to be too pushy with a new customer. Instead, I prefer to write about and comment on trends in the industry. If someone likes what I have to say, then they’ll reach out to me and I’ll take the conversation from there.

Re-kindling and nurturing existing relationships

In addition to reaching out to contacts virtually, I’ve been meeting face-to-face with people – even just to catch-up and find out what they’ve been up to in the past year. I believe that the more people that you tell that you are back in business, the more chances you have of them passing your name along if they know a colleague who is looking for someone with your skills.

Building momentum

Now that I’ve got some of my lead-generating channels running again, I can already feel the momentum of my business picking up speed. I am passionate about what I do and love B2B marketing because as I discover new ways to find customers, I learn more about how I can help other businesses to grow. Do you have tactics that work for planting seeds for business growth? If so, please share in the comments section below.

Message Lost in 140 Character Translation

“Clarity is the counterbalance of profound thoughts.” ~ Luc de Clapiers

Twitter is an amazing communication tool that allows people to share their ideas, jokes and HiResfavourite stories. It also connects new friends or business partners and provides us with direct access to celebrities and CEOs in a way that was never before possible.

But there is a downside to this innovative platform. And just like with e-mail, that drawback is often a user’s misinterpretation of the associated emotion or context related to a text message.

Earlier this week, I received what I thought was an offensive tweet from someone that I had met on Twitter. But because I couldn’t figure out what I had done or said to trigger a negative message, I thought it would be best to ask the sender (via the Twitter direct messaging service) to explain what they meant by their tweet.

It turned out that they weren’t being malicious at all. Instead, they were trying to tell me a joke. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t able to get the full context of that joke from such a short text-based message.

Afterwards, I was relieved and thankful that I had asked the person to explain their tweet in further detail. And their joke was kinda funny.

So, the next time you sit down to craft the next 140 character message that you think will enlighten or amuse your Twitter followers, try to think about how the end user might interpret it. Otherwise, you might confuse or insult someone without even knowing it.