The big question is no longer: “Should I be on Facebook, or My Space, or Linked In? (or one of the many other social networking sites “out there”) That question has been answered in the affirmative – for anyone who wishes to remain relevant in the “New Economy” of the early 21st Century. Most “experts” suggest that one should chose 3 of these sites and concentrate your efforts on those three.
The new big question is: “What the heck should I do when I get there?”
I have been asked this question a number of times in the past 6 months. The best answer I have to date is: spend time and learn your way around.
Each of these sites has its own culture, applications and “niche” for your marketing plan. However, there is no “one size fits all” strategy for using these sites in your marketing. The only way to know how to use Linked In for your business is to play with it. Facebook has been used successfully by many to help grow their business, but it took them hours and hours to find what worked for them. These sites can be a great way to connect and get your message out to others; but you gotta “tweet” if you are going to Twitter.
Consider the time spent to be an investment in your education. At least you can attend class at your desk.
Summertime cook-outs, non-profit cook-offs & autumn tailgating are all great opportunities to advertise with an apron. After all, who wants to get sauce all over their party duds? No one! You can do them a big favor by providing the temporary cover they need to look the part of the cook, even if the results leave something to be desired.
Use an apron to tell your customers and prospects that you have them covered – literally.
Here is a bonus spin on this weird idea of the week. This fall, hundreds of grade school students are going to be painting, glueing and creating messes in art classes all over the area. Question: Would your local school appreciate some donated aprons to help keep their students clean? If your business has anything to do with children, art class aprons provide a wonderful opportunity to build brand awareness in an environment that builds credibility and good will.
Charlie Girsch has a pretty good gig. He has created a career for himself in the toy invention business, which means he gets to spend his days thinking of new ways to play. Fun work if you can get it, but damned difficult to be successful in it.
Charlie is one of the best and he shares many of his secrets in a book he wrote with his wife(Maria Girsch, Ph.D) “Fanning the Creative Spirit”. This book is full of practical “creative”stretch” exercises and activities that help one increase their creativity and innovation quotient. I highly recommend you purchase a copy of his book and put it on your desk for when you need a burst of inspiration.
To give you some idea of the exercises you can use to “stretch” you creativity, here is something you can try over the long weekend coming up – Try, for one day, to do nothing but truthfully complement or say something nice about everyone you talk with or meet.
Believe me, when it comes to picnics or time spent with the relatives, this exercise will require you to think quickly and creatively. Good Luck.