Connecting to people professionally online and offline is very important for small business owners. Being a member of Ladies Who Launch has been very beneficial for me as I have gotten a lot of clients through the group. I joined LinkedIn
over a year ago without really knowing what to do with it. Then I
realized that I can use my existing network to make a formal online
connection. This is great for giving and receiving recommendations.Recently, I got a new client who found me through my LinkedIn
profile, so it is worth to take the time to build your brand online!
Here's a bit from Bright Surfer who also raves about LinkedIn and other social networking sites.
The best place on the web for professional networking is LinkedIn.
Their site is very well designed to appear mature and businesslike. The
major functions of the site work very well for people connecting with
their professional networks, and the site has a very good reputation
among professionals (who generally find MySpace and communities like it
a bit juvenile for their tastes). Here, you can connect with all of
your professional friends and family, and it is highly recommended that
you use this site to connect to your clients, vendors, and major customers
as well. You cannot go wrong with offering a connection, and you can
benefit tremendously from using LinkedIn to keep track of people, their
skills, their professional experience, and their business preferences.
Judith George is a member of the New York Incubator and the owner of Reel Invitations.
I was immediately intimidated with the question, “What’s your revolution?” Now, I know that’s not a very Ladies Who Launch thing to say. But I was. Stating my revolution is no small thing. I hadn’t been so hot at New Year’s resolutions so how could I possibly have a revolution? And if I did - would it be good enough? Or big enough or would it happen fast enough that
it would even qualify as a revolution?
It’s much too easy for me to get caught up in the feeling that things aren’t happening fast enough for me,since I’m a recovering member of the “I should be further alongat this point in my life” school. At the beginning of20 07 I thought I thought instead of talking about all the things I needed to do but didn’t have time to do. Now, Itake another approach. Every day I would give myself one task to do that would help towards growing my business. It could be an email, phone - anything - just as long as I’m crossing something off my list.
This might not seem like a revolution but it’s my quiet revolution. I’ve been working with my web designer Katie-James to get my new website Reel Invitations up and running. I’m stringing the small steps together. I like to think of how actors are often portrayed to be “overnight success” when I know better. That’s just what the media would like us to think. Most likely, that actor has been taking it one day and one audition at a time. Preparing for their time. Any hopefully my quiet revolution is doing just that for me.
Eleanor Seaman is a member of the New York Incubator. You can check out her dresses at I Miss The 70s. She tell us about her Incubator Experience.
The incubator was wonderful. Everytime I was there, I got an injection of positive energy and meet fabulous women with emerging business who I could bounce questions off. My product is
a cotton tie-dye dress - a contemporary alternative to Lily Pulitzer. This dress has a splash of color with a touch of bohemian and lots of personality. It's the warm weather staple for women of all ages. Refined yet groovy which makes them irresistable. Girlie and feminine, but as comfortable as sweats!
People ask variations on this question frequently. I have a short and simple answer that may help clear the fog: biz blogs are challenging to write (especially to write well) because they require a balanced combination of personality and professionalism.
That may not seem so difficult on the surface of things, but think about it. Most of us have our “professional” voices, the way we sound on letters to our clients, on our websites, and in our elevator speeches. We also have our regular, or “personal,” voices, the casual way that we talk to friends and family. From our early moments in the business world, most of us were trained that the two should not mix.
A little bit of my theory: our culture has evolved from a community-based marketplace of corner stores where everyone knew the shop owners, to a more isolated marketplace where the transactions were kept fairly sterile. This is where the “professional” voice came from.
In the last few years, it seems to be evolving again, back to embracing the concept of personal connection. Now huge companies like GE are writing business blogs to reconnect with their clients on a more personal level.
How is this relevant to you? Well, if you’re an independent service provider, your entire business is likely based on a strong community connection, and the goal of your biz blog should be to bolster that sense of connection with your current and prospective clients. You want to find a way to convey a sense of your personality through your blog, and yet you want people to take you seriously as a professional service provider. This is why biz blogs are so hard to write (well).
So what do you do? You learn a new way of writing--create a new voice, one that embodies the spirit of you within a business context. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s certainly possible. I’ve been toying with the idea of having a business blogger support group, in part to help people work on this challenge.
Rachel Whalley is a business blogging and writing coach based in Seattle, WA. Check out her other pearls of wisdom at www.writewithmeaning.com.
New York Incubator member Jenny Kraft has designed a project for Crate & Barrel. According to her email things are going quite well:
I did a tradeshow in January that went really well; made some good contacts with a lot of fashion, home decor and stationery companies. Sold more at that show than at the past 2 combined, so things are going well.
Congrats to Jenny! You can see her work and purchase Verde Dinnerware by clicking here.
Last week's New York Times features an article, Barons Before Bedtime about young (kids and teen) entrepreneurs. It is never too early to get kids interested in businesses. You may want to check out more teen trends at YPulse.
Since the rise and fall and rise again of the new economy, the face of the
American dream has gotten younger, richer — and more homebound. With the news
full of 20-somethings who are making millions of dollars with ideas hatched on
their laptops and in their dorm rooms (as the founders of YouTube, MySpace and
Facebook have done), more and more teenagers are hoping to become the C.E.O.'s
of their own companies, without ever leaving their bedrooms.
To read the full which is now under the velvet rope of Time Select, click below.
Hi. The revolution for this year was quitting my day job. It actually happened just before the holidays, as I wanted to enter the new year with a clean mind to fill with new dreams. This is something I've been thinking about for over a year and asking anyone who will answer how they did it.
Normally I don't tease-post - the kind where writers give the first few lines of the post and then want you to click away. But I'm doing it tonight, only because my writeup on my blog became kind of a long, quiet piece on finally giving notice at a job where I work with good and inspiring people and have learned so much. So if you want to read it, here's the teaser, and you can click to get it in full.
I bought myself flowers today. Roses. White ones. I know that Valentine's Day is getting closer, and I should wait to see if the man buys me flowers, but it's only February 2nd, and I needed to stop and buy myself, and my new office, some flowers. Because I gave notice at my job. Two months of notice, but notice nonetheless. Since then, I've been completely bombarded by my to-do list, and it is taking over my life. So I bought roses just because they are beautiful and I can stop and stare at how the petals curl and pucker around each other.
If you didn't know, I work for a very respected nonprofit that helps women and health professionals make informed maternity care decisions. I manage their website. And various other things that come with being one of six people working for a national organization, such as configure emails, manage databases, insist on systems to track publication inventory.
Before the holiday, I finally spoke a decision that I had made long ago, but became too complacent to make. Normally when I make a life altering decision, it is a defensive decision, like the next move after a fiance decides he's not ready to be married.