A couple of years ago our son, who is a Generation Y/millennial, told me and my wife that he was quitting his job as a reservationist at an airline and going into business for himself. My wife and I gave each other that look of “uh oh—are we going to have to help support him?” Fast-forward two years later, and his business is doing well and he’s staying busy. I asked him how he was getting so much business. His answer: “Social media, dad.” He displays his work on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He doesn’t pay for advertising and yet is able to provide an income for himself.
Being on the tail-end of the baby boomers, I don’t completely understand all this social media stuff. But I’m impressed with how it’s working out for my son, our business and others. Even some of our clients who are Generation X—born between 1965 and 1980—ask us if our business is on a social media site. My answer is yes, but my kids run it. In fact, my kids set up my personal Facebook account and my LinkedIn account.
If you are thinking about using social media to advertise your work, watch what you say...even though your business site may be professional, remember, having any presence on the Internet means you are under scrutiny more than you think.
Heck, I thought it was amazing when I got my first fax and voice/text pager, then a “brick” cell phone. Next the internet came along and wow, it was a whole new world! Now the latest buzzword is “social media.” If used properly, I believe there are benefits for small business owners looking to expand and seek more business without the expense of advertising.
If you are thinking about using social media to advertise your work, one thing I’d like to emphasize is watch what you say. Too often individuals put way too much information on their social media sites. By this, I mean ranting and raving and just sharing too much information that should be kept personal, not aired all over the Internet. So, even though your business site may be professional, remember, having any presence on the Internet means you are under scrutiny more than you think.
So how do you start your own social media site for your business? Ask your kids! Well, that’s one solution. But if you want help, look to your peers that already have social media accounts that you are impressed with, ask them how they set theirs up and then build your own site with pictures of your work.
Make sure you have permission to take pictures of your work when posting them on the Internet, as not all end-users will want such images posted. Add in your contact information and you are on your way to generating business on the Internet. While you’re at it check out FCI’s accounts (you can find links at the top of the fcimag.com homepage) and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube!
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