Competition is really very tough in today’s market. A lot of companies are vying for a customer’s attention that small business owners are usually at a disadvantage from larger companies. Bigger businesses usually have larger marketing budgets that let them reach out to a wider customer base. One way to level out the playing field is for small business owners to take advantage of social media marketing.
In our case study, a start-up business approached his target market, and asked them if they knew a good accountant in their area. They had one of three responses: No, I don’t know an accountant; yes I know an accountant; or no response.
Invite the hiring manager to connect with you on Read my blog. Even if you don’t end up being offered the position, you still want to remain in contact with the hiring manager because of the networking opportunities. So, this is a good tactic to keep in your back pocket for when you haven’t heard from him or her in a while. Make sure you personalize the invitation note.
People like Twitter because it’s simple. It allows you to get to the gist of the subject instead of having to read or watch a video, etc. Yes, people are that impatient. That’s the microwave society we live in where we want something and we want it ten minutes ago. But you can use that to your advantage when you think of social networking in those terms. By using Twitter, you’re able to give people a bit of what you’re talking about so that they can click on your link to find out more. But if you want people to respond to your Twitter, whether you’ve Tweeted directly or you’ve had it updated through Posterous, you need to intrigue people with the Tweets you leave.
Follow-up, follow-up – You probably have a bunch of business cards somewhere on a drawer or on your desk from people you met last year at networking event. Did you use those cards in anyway to build your network and grow your business? For sure if the cards stay in your drawer you won’t get any business or referrals from those people. Pick-up the phone, call them to learn more about their business, ask them how you can help them. Give them advice, resources or referrals. Meet them for a coffee, contact them on a regular basis with a phone call, a greeting card, send an article of interest, send them your newsletter, or connect them with other people. Track what you do to make sure you are always in communication with them.
Customize your resume whenever possible. You don’t have to go crazy customizing it, but if there is a word or phrase that keeps popping up in a job posting, add it to your document.
As for searching offline, things are harder and more complicated. You can search newspaper archives, and even go to your local library. If things appear to be hidden when you are sure something is going on, you can always try a private investigator. When you decide searching offline has gotten you nowhere, return to your computer and find sites that can give you free criminal background checks as a point of reference if there is anything to be found.