This is a guest post from Andrew Weaver, a photographer, blogger, and self described social media geek. He has an interest in helping others improve their lives both personally and professionally. He authors the blog Leave It To Weaver and you can connect with Andrew on Twitter.
I’m no social media expert. I’m not a PR maven. I’m not a marketing guru. I won’t show you how to get thousands of followers on Twitter.
I don’t have any New York Times’ best sellers. I don’t have a Fortune 500 company to tell you about. I can’t show you how to make millions sitting at home.
I’m just a guy with a dream. I’m going to wager many of you are in the same boat.
I have a love for writing and a dream of growing my photography business. The goal is to one day leave the daily 9 to 5 grind behind and to be doing what I love for a living. If you have the same goals, I understand that it can be difficult to know where to begin.
We live in extraordinary times. The Internet changed the game and social media brought the game to a whole new level. There has never been so many tools available at our fingertips. Geography is no longer a restriction. The list could go on and on. The point is, it has never been easier to start your own business.
If you have a day job that takes up most of your time, it can be a little tricky starting your own business. So how to begin?
If I were to give you just one basic tip, it would be to utilize social media. In today’s world it is imperative to have some form of online presence, especially when starting a business in your spare time.
Social media provides you with exposure and a cheap way to market your business. You don’t have to be on every site out there. Just a couple you can devote some time and effort to. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Pick your poison and start building.
Build relationships. Build conversations. Build communities. Build fans. Build your network. Build, build, and build some more. By the way, building is much different from non-stop self promoting. No one likes a border line spammer.
Think about this. Without social media how many of you would be reading Danny Brown’s blog? How many of you would know much about Chris Brogan without Twitter? How many of you would care that Guy Kawasaki uses ghosts of anything without social media? If you are building your business from scratch and very few people know much of anything about you, there’s no good reason not to utilize social media. Start building.
Finally, I’m going to throw in one last bit of advice for free. Get rid of the excuses. Whether it’s fear of the unknown or any other reason, quit
using lousy excuses for why you refuse to utilize the tools the Internet has to offer your business.
3 Favorite Excuses YOU Can Not Use
- No money. How many successful Internet startups do you know that opened with a huge budget? Quit using this excuse.
- No time. This will be the most tempting excuse if you have a day job. Quit asking about social media if you’re going to instantly turn around and say, “I don’t have time for that.” You can and will make time for anything you really want.
- No knowledge. It’s good to be knowledgeable in your field. It’s good to do your homework before you dive into a business in any field. At some point though, you have to dive in. You must get to work. Quit hiding behind your fear of starting your own business by saying you don’t know enough yet. Get to work and learn as you go.
You may just be a girl or guy with a dream, but there is no reason you can’t be working to achieve that dream. Social media is one of the best ways available today in helping you get there. I like how Seth Simonds’ bio on his Twitter breaks it down: “Drink some tea, ignore some experts, pursue your dreams…”