Can Social Media Help? Only When You Connect With Like-Minded People

tap into like minded people for social media to workA few weeks ago I entered the “Chase Mission Small Business” 250K Grant Giveaway. Chase,  collaborating with Facebook has a website which gives you the ability to search and vote for your favorite small businesses locally or across the USA.

I thought… I have over 1000 friends on Facebook and over 5500 followers on Twitter, so to get 250 votes in a few weeks should be a snap, Right? Wrong!

Only a few people saw my posts on Facebook and voted. A few on Twitter and even on Savor the Success, a network of women entrepreneurs, a few of us voted for each other.

After considering this, I thought, what am I missing and why do others have over 250 already and I only have 90? Then I saw a Tweet with the hashtag#missionsmallbusiness” and realized I hadn’t tapped into the right sweet spot, the right network. The people who had entered! I spent two days voting for other small businesses and they all voted back! Small businesses helping other small businesses, of course!

Marketing, social media and brand strategists always talk about knowing how to reach the target market and I just realized that not only did I tap into a large circle that would help me as I help them, but we were also introducing ourselves and learning about wide variety of great small businesses all over the country! I have a lot of new people to follow!

Good luck to all that entered and I’m so glad I relearned this important lesson, it will really help me when I need to target other specific groups!

A Gigantic Business Lesson From A Gigantic Pumpkin

A Gigantic Business Lesson From A Gigantic Pumpkin

Guest blog post by Mike Michalowicz

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike MichalowiczOrdinary pumpkins are kinda, well, ordinary. When Halloween comes around you likely go to the farm to pick out a nice round one for the porch. But besides that, you pay little attention to pumpkins. That is until you see a story of a mammoth pumpkin in the local paper. You know what I am talking about; one of those prize winning, nearly a ton, behemoth pumpkins.

Those guys (and gals) who grow them? They have a secret, a business secret that you need to know to grow your own colossal success.

Here is their strategy:

Step One: Start with promising seeds. The record-breaking pumpkin farmer is highly selective of his seeds and always picks the ones that have the best growth potential. Similarly, a wildly successful business starts with a promising seed. Instead of trying to take advantage of the latest trend or trying to convert a hobby into a business, the successful entrepreneur launches a business at the intersection of their passion, strong customer demand and their ability to systematize the entire process. When these three elements overlap, the entrepreneur has found their giant seed.

Step Two: Feed the strong sprouts and disregard the weak. The first sign of a gigantor pumpkin is a strong, healthy sprout. The farmer focuses on caring for these promising pumpkins and ignores the other less promising sprouts. In similar fashion, the most successful businesses focus on growing their best clients and the similar prospects. The “weak” customers and prospects that distract, demand and disregard are turned away or referred to a competitor.

Step Three: Use less water, more often. A farmer of ordinary pumpkins dumps the same amount of water on each plant, once a day. It’s too much water for the moment, and evaporates way too quickly. Effectively the plant drowns for an hour and is dehydrated for the rest of the day. A farmer of mammoth pumpkins waters her plants regularly in smaller amounts, adequately quenching its thirst frequently, sometimes as often as five or six times a day.

Entrepreneurs grow their businesses quickly by using the same strategy. Instead of running a broad one-size-fits-all marketing campaign once, they run a steady “drip” campaign targeted at their best prospects and clients for years. This persistent niche presence makes the entrepreneur’s company the perceived leader, because to the targeted prospect, they are everywhere.

Step Four: Focus on the root system. While the whole pumpkin plant has importance, the root system provides the steady stream of water and nutrients the plant needs to live. A few days without sun and the plant will survive. A few days without the root system and the plant is rotting in the field. The farmer of colossal pumpkins focuses on a healthy root for the entire life of the plant.

For entrepreneurs the root system that “feeds the business” is a steady referral source. Instead of asking for referrals from clients (which, if any, typically yields bad leads), the entrepreneur behind a colossally successful business concentrates his efforts on generating leads through complementary vendors. A growing, complementary vendor network is the strongest root system a colossal business can ever have.

Step 5: Relentless pruning and weeding. Those who grow extraordinary pumpkins ensure that not a single weed grows in the patch, because every time a weed starts to sprout it takes away water and light from the colossal pumpkin. Smaller pumpkins on the colossal vine are an even more insidious threat. That’s right—if a pumpkin is small, weak or showing blight, the farmer kills it instantly to ensure the colossal pumpkin gets all of the nutrients.

Similarly, the entrepreneur who grows mammoth, industry-dominating businesses has a maniacal “kill” strategy. Often the weeds and diseased pumpkins blocking an entrepreneur’s path to success are labeled as “opportunities.” The successful entrepreneur kills any new distraction or “opportunity” that does not serve their “colossal pumpkin” as soon as it appears.

Even colossal pumpkins die eventually. This is the nature of the game (or is it “the game of nature?”), yet death doesn’t phase the colossal pumpkin farmer. When the pumpkin dies, they come back harder next season with a brand new seed with “great pumpkin” potential.

Colossally successful entrepreneurs show this exact same trait. Even if they follow formula detailed in my new book, The Pumpkin Plan, some ideas, products or services run their course. And when this happens, just like the blue-ribbon pumpkin farmer, the “Pumpkin Plan” entrepreneurs reappear next season with a new super seed.

Mike Michalowicz - author of The Pumpkin PlanWhile following The Pumpkin Plan yields successes more often than not, it is not a guaranteed success; there are no guarantees in farming, or in business. The only thing you can be sure of is, when you set out to grow ordinary anything, be it pumpkins or businesses, you’ll end up with just that: ordinary. You can never build colossal success on something ordinary. Guaranteed.

The Pumpkin Plan is a method that shoots for the moon, which if nothing else, will at least land you a few stars. And on a few occasions, when luck is on your side, you will defy what is “possible” and grow the biggest winner of the season.

 

By Mike Michalowicz, author of ThePumpkinPlan

(I have read an advance copy of this smart, well written and organized book and highly recommend it. It will change your business and your life! Here’s to our colossal success! Order it today! – Susan)

Broadcast Louder Has Even BIGGER Plans – How You Can Help This Mission Succeed

Many of you know about Broadcast Louder and my mission to help small businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed in their goals. I’m grateful to all the amazing speakers who have participated since last year and the line up for this coming Summer and Fall’s webinars are fantastic.

But you know me, I have even BIGGER plans!

Broadcast Louder has even BIGGER plans.

This is where you can help me out. I’ve applied for a 250K grant from Chase because I want to expand “Broadcast Louder” in so many ways. One big dream is creating a full day event which will be round table discussions for all, learning by doing, and of course some awesome guest speakers. I would also love to hire more employees.

Would you please vote for this venture? We have to get to 250 votes and there are only 3 weeks left to vote! You only need to vote one time and if you can share it with your friends, I’ll be so grateful.

“Help Me, Help You.” Thanks so much.

1. Go to http://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/
2. Click the login + support button
3. Put “Susan Newman Design” in the business name search window
4. Click “Vote”!
5. That’s it! 30 seconds and you only need to vote one time!