Not only do our members run their own businesses, but they also help others to be successful in theirs. For example, this week, our Roberta Perry and Angela Carillo were featured panelists at the Newsday Connect Small Business Seminar: The New Normal: Growing Your Business in a Digital World. (Newsday is a paper in Long Island, the area where Angela and Roberta live and work.) Here is a collage of their experience. (Angela is wearing green.)
Here are a few of the most salient points Roberta made about growing a business in “the new normal.”
- Virtual is REAL. Roberta (who manages a website and a retail store) pointed out the importance of treating our virtual connections as good as we treat our physical ones. The new normal requires you to use technology to welcome your customers. Just as you would physically welcome people into your retail store, you must virtually welcome people into your online world – your website, Facebook page, etc.
- Respond to everyone Well, maybe not literally everyone, but Roberta shared that it is critical to reply to people when the comment on your blog posts, Facebook updates, etc. This shows you are listening, so even if you can't get to every single comment, it sends the message to every single contributor that you are paying attention and that they are not just wasting their time commenting in a forum where no one is paying attention to them.
- Integrate your personality into your online presence. Roberta encouraged everyone to make sure their online presence reflects their personality. Know what your reasons are for having a business and being online, and incorporate those reasons into your online interactions. Everything you do is a reflection of your brand, and people who connect with you online should quickly be able to see who you are and where you ar coming from when they visit you anywhere online. Your brand must reflect who you are as a person!
Rapid advances in technology really do mean that there is a “new normal” almost every day. Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs cannot hide behind mixing bowls and laptops and expect the Internet to magically produce sales. We must learn how to make the digital world real for ourselves and our customers. This is the new normal, and it means opportunity for all!
Judging from the pictures, Roberta and Angela had a fantastic time. Judging from the valuable insights they shared, a lot of people are better equipped to grow their businesses in our digital world.
Check out Angela on Facebook at Alegna Soap and check out Roberta on Facebook at Scrubz Body. Visit Roberta's store in Bethpage, New York, at 328 Broadway.
Angela blogged about here Newsday experience here.
Oh! Roberta tells me that she also gave IBN some shout outs from the stage. I am honored to serve. Thanks Roberta!
Best and Success!