Invariably, small businesses & entrepreneurs suffer from the Roller Coaster Problem, which is simply a TIME PROBLEM – as in, not enough time to do all the things needed to make your business grow and flourish. The classic “roller coaster” dilemma goes like this:
- You have no work in-house, nothing promising looms on the horizon, and the wolf’s knocking on the door. TIME TO MARKET!
- You hammer away on the phone, go to networking breakfasts & dinners, and maybe even sponsor a booth at a conference.
- Finally, you generate a quality lead or contact, which leads to a meeting, which leads to proposed work, which leads to an assignment…SUCCESS! YOU’VE MADE THE SALE!
- The assignment begins and you throw yourself full-bore into getting the work done but, because you are totally focused on satisfying your new customer, YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO TIME TO MARKET & SELL THE NEXT JOB! Guess what happens next…
- You once again have no work in-house, nothing promising is looming on the horizon, and the wolf has returned to the door. TIME TO MARKET AGAIN!
In many ways, the roller coaster cycle is unavoidable for small businesses. As long as the Sell-It and Do-It responsibilities fall on the same person, inevitably something..and this something is always marketing & sales… has to suffer. And this is where a well designed Social Media strategy can help.
Social Media is essentially nothing more than ELECTRONIC NETWORKING & LEAD GENERATION. Certainly it takes some time to implement effectively, but this amounts to a small fraction of what you spend during the full-scale marketing frenzy you periodically undertake now. And let’s be honest…there is simply no way your in-person efforts can expand your network of prospects and grow your profile in the market like Social Media can.
A thoughtful & consistent Social Media strategy enables you to generate a continuous stream of messages & content to a new and expanding audience without kidnapping the time you need to devote to your current customers & assignments. Social Media doesn’t replace what you’re doing now – your personal involvement on the phone, networking events, conferences, etc., still yield their traditional benefits – but rather, it compliments these activities by filling in the gaps when you simply don’t have the time.
Social Media may not eliminate the roller coaster for small businesses, but it certainly holds out the promise of a smoother ride.