The business blogosphere last month was buzzing with all sorts of juicy tips and tricks for small business and marketing. Below are my top ten recommended articles from the hundreds I stumbled across. Topics range from entrepreneurship, ethics, copywriting, social media, email marketing, and creativity. Amazing stuff! Check it out!
Great article on what to do when you feel stuck–when you don’t really have anything to do because you’re waiting on something before you can move forward. My favorite tip: phone a friend. Give a business (or even personal) contact a call and get his or her feedback on an issue you’re dealing with. People love to help. Give them that opportunity.
If you really need convincing (please tell me that you don’t), this article gives you solid, business reasons why you shouldn’t lie to people. Don’t care much for ethics for ethics’ sake. Lying is bad for your business. If you’ve found yourself lying, do the smart thing and apologize before you dig yourself a deeper hole.
Turns the tables on the notion that social media is a waste of time. Social media can also be an amazing time saver. My favorite tip: “get feedback.” I do this all of the time. Post a question on Facebook and ask your friends (or “fans”) to give you their input. You’ll be amazed by the ideas you get.
A great how-to piece on how salespeople (or business people in general) can keep more of the commitments they make. My favorite tip: “keep a scorecard.” Salespeople are concerned about other ratios like “the closing ratio,” the ratio of sales you get out of opportunities you have. How about measuring a “commitment ratio,” the percentage of commitments you keep out of the ones you’ve made?
All too often, businesses just slap text onto places that need text, like their websites. They don’t often consider how important the subtleties in word choice actually are. My favorite tip in this article is the first one: “meta titles.” If people find your webpage in a search engine, you’ll want to be very clear about what the webpage is about in the description. Otherwise, most people will ignore the link.
Great list of thought leaders in the social media space who know what they’re doing and have proved it with results. Each of the ten speakers listed is coupled with a video clip of their speaking. If you want a quick introduction to social media for business, watching all of the videos in this article is a great way to get it.
People like variety. When you’re trying to connect with people on social media, they will become quickly annoyed if all you post are links or pictures of cats. Diversify your content. This article has examples of different kinds of status updates. My favorite: reveal something personal. Many brands post nothing but industry updates or soft-sell ads. Post a picture of you and your employees have fun at the office. Be real.
How good of a conversationalist are you? Do people feel slighted, ignored, bored, or awkward when you are speaking with them? This article has some great tips to cure poor interpersonal skills. My favorite: “listen and then validate.” Not exactly parroting. But summing up what the other person says in your own words to let them know you’ve understood what they’re saying…and that you’re interested.
Great articles on the “do”s and “don’t”s of getting on social media for the first time. My favorite is a “don’t”: “not responding.” Here’s the thing. Either you get on social media and actually stick around to interact with people…or you don’t get on at all. Because, when you put your feet in the water, people expect you to swim. If your there for customers ask questions, make sure you are there to give responses.
Email can be the most powerful communication platform for you as business professional…if you can get people to read it. This article, in addition to giving you a great format for structuring your emails, gives you tips on how to write them in such a way that people actually open and read them. My favorite tip: “address the most important information first.” When people read emails, they want to get through them quickly. Get to the point and be as concise as possible.