A few years ago I lived in a quiet Dallas neighborhood. My wife and I had a beautful house with a beautiful landscaped yard. Little did I know how much my world was going to change in a few short years.
I left my corporate job and started my own business. Then my wife lost her job. Property values climbed and so did our property taxes. Soon our mortgage payments ballooned too. Our American dream was becoming a nightmare. We fought and we struggled to pay our bills. Finally we sold the house. We divorced. 18 years of marriage gone down the drain. A new life was beginning for me whether I wanted the change or not.
At this time we moved my grandparents to a nursing home too. Grandma asked if I would take care of the “Perkins house” for them. I told her I would.
Perkins is a sleepy little town 10 miles south of Stillwater, Oklahoma with a popluation of about 2,300. Now I grew up in Oklahoma. But I grew up in Tulsa. Not a rural community. In Perkins I felt like an alien who just landed in a strange red dirt world.
Social Media Changes My Life
All alone with my dog, my grill and the glow of my computer screens, I signed-up for a couple of dating websites. Most people don’t talk about dating websites as “social media.” But they are. After a few dates, I met a great girl. We’ve been dating for over 2 years now.
On Facebook I reconnected with people I graduated high school with. In fact, we just celebrated July 4th with about 10 other couples . . . all through the magic of Facebook. It was a blast.
Through Twitter and LinkedIn I’ve met a lot of great people in the business community. New clients are finding me and learning about what I do. It’s been a great experience so far. And I only see it expanding and growing more.
So what does this mean for you, the small business owner? How will this help you dominate your space on the web?
In Dallas, I was a member of a networking club. After a few meetings I started to get leads and new business. But it was a slow process.
Armed with a blog, twitter and facebook, people get to know me faster. Trust is built quicker. Therefore business relationships are able to develop faster. New clients get to know you and trust you at an accelerated rate. Your business grows.
Don’t get me wrong, it takes a lot of work. I write on my blog regularly. I tweet. I meet people face-to-face (that’s where the real magic takes place). I generate a constant communication flow and I’m involved. I try to help everyone I can through these social networking tools. I don’t “sell, sell, sell.” I “help, help , help.” Then the business finds me.
I recommend you start a blog. Start a Facebook page for your business. Set-up a LinkedIn page. You don’t have to do it all at once. Buy a book or take a class. Get started and do your best. Then start on the next one. Your business contacts will start expanding. Your business will grow. And before you know it, you will be kicking the big boys’ butts.
“Giving You the Power to Fight the Big Boys!”How Social Media Changed My Life by Doug Stewart