Self-Promotion — More Than Social Networking

Yesterday, I wrote a bit about the impact of social networking on the business world and why you should consider leveraging it for your own business growth. But I also want to keep reminding you that there are several other tried and true methods of self-promotion that you will find a good idea to pursue in addition to social networking.

Remember the importance of developing a good “elevator speech.”

Just in case there’s someone reading this that doesn’t know what an “elevator speech” is, it’s a brief descriptive summary of what you do that you can deliver in the time of an average elevator ride.

If you can’t summarize what you can do that succinctly, you don’t have a good handle on it in your own mind.

Not to mention that if it takes longer than that to tell, few people want to listen. If you’re concise but provocative, people will trust you to tell them more without boring them.

A good elevator speech also usually requires you to have a business card ready in case the listener does want to hear more.

Forums and signature lines.

I’ve remarked before on forums being as valuable as social networking sites.

In fact, they are networking sites, they’re just not dedicated to any kind of socializing. They’re shared interest groups, highly niche-focused. So, you can join to share your interests and expertise and get ideas and answers from others in the group with varying levels of expertise of their own.

As with elevator speeches, you want a sort of business card handy if the online exchange of questions and answers gets folks curious about your business. It’s usually not allowed or at least frowned upon to blatantly self-promote, but you can develop a strong, appealing signature line (sometimes you can include an email address) that encourages people to contact you off-list.

Speaking, writing and teaching.

Speaking before groups related to your niche is a powerful way to introduce and promote yourself. It’s even more powerful if you have a book, other written materials, or DVD/CD media that you’ve published, which establishes you as an expert in your audience’s mind. Be sure to check out Toastmasters International to learn and develop as a speaker.

Even if you don’t speak, having a book or some other medium of presentation of your expertise in physical form can in and of itself bring in clients or customers. Note that I mean actual physical products, not merely ebooks.

And, sometimes better than speaking, teaching in person or in teleseminars or online, not only brings in folks who will want to buy products related to the teaching, it brings in folks who will pay you for teaching. Getting paid for self-promotion is a great two-fer.

Social networking is changing the world and the business world

Recently, we’ve been seeing how Twitter, Facebook, mobile texting and citizen journalism in blogs has had an impact on sociopolitical issues and events in the middle east. Social networking is making big changes in how we interact with the entire world, as well as in our own communities, schools and organizations.

It’s so powerful an influence that it’s becoming a little scary. It’s also a proven method of making business work in new and wonderful ways. With all it has to offer, it is more than a little surprising that businesses large and small are not using it or using it ineffectively. Yes, more and more organizations are using social networking sites, but most are putting their efforts into advertising and promotion rather than the actual “social” and “networking,” activities.

Fortunately, very small businesses with little or no budget for advertising have caught on to using the social networking sites for building trusting relationships with potential customers and clients. And thereby building their reputations, brands and business.

For those who are finally getting on the bandwagon with social networking, I’ve published a guest article today on very basic and critical considerations in making good moves in social networking. It’s called “Sowing the Seeds of Business With Social Networking,” by Nancy Marmolejo.

Another resource you should look at is Social Networking Watch, especially their section that covers the statistics on social networking. It will give you an excellent picture of how important it could be to you to get involved.