Starting your own business is a daunting task. What with the lack of steady income, health benefits and a boss to blame when business is bad. Still, more and more people seem to prefer that to getting stuck in a company where there’s tens and thousands of people, no space for growth and a life lived for weekends alone.
A decade or so ago, being an entrepreneur would also have implied a lack of connectedness with others that have a similar job title. But in today’s world, being connected is everything, even (and especially) in the entrepreneurial world. Focusing on social media alone, there are endless platforms on which modern day entrepreneurs are connecting with one another.
If utilized correctly, being ultra-connected in the entrepreneurial sphere holds many opportunities. But it also has its challenges. So let’s take a look at these opportunities and challenges focusing specifically on the social media.
Social media is a great tool to connect with other entrepreneurs. It means that you’re not alone in the world anymore and that you can rest assured that there are many others like you out there. It even gives you a chance to talk about the trails and tribulations of starting a business and perhaps share tips, strategies and plans for starting up a successful business.
Most importantly, however, social media creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to forge new connections. These connections could become business associates or lead to like-minded individuals working together in the future. Making a special list on Twitter, for example, of other entrepreneurs and interacting with them about relevant topics is one way of connecting and many business owners will confess to keeping an eye out for potential business partners on Twitter.
Another great opportunity that connecting on a social media levels holds for entrepreneurs is to show the world the person behind the brand. In today’s world, the consumer doesn’t only shop for a brand anymore; they shop for a reason why the brand exists and a form of personal touch connected with the brand. Social media gives entrepreneurs the chance to include a few personalized moments into their public lives to show the world that they’re passionate about their goals and that they live the values of their brand.
Social media can also help entrepreneurs to do affordable research. People love raising their opinions on social networks; all you have to do is ask them. In turn, it gives the entrepreneur a chance to deliver personalized customer service.
A great challenge that social media connectedness does, however, pose to entrepreneurs is that everyone thinks they can do it. But just because someone has a profile on Facebook, doesn’t meant that they can communicate a brand’s identity successfully on social media too. It’s just as easy to damage your brand on social media than it is to empower it.
The same goes for the entrepreneur’s personal connections. In many ways, they can still benefit from doing communication skills training that will teach them how to communicate professionally in their new entrepreneurial circles. Social media is so incredibly digitally orientated, that it’s easy to forget how to communicate well with others in a face-to-face situation. And it’s very important that, if entrepreneurs choose to stay connected, they must be able to present themselves well in person.