As busy entrepreneurs and business owners we know that time is extremely valuable. There are a lot of things that we need to do and there are many things that we should be doing, but can’s seem to find the time for. One of the most valuable assets an entrepreneur can have is an audience. So how do we stay engaged, involved and available to our audience while keeping up with all of things that we have to do? More importantly, how do we motivate ourselves to do more? Here are a few ways that I have found extremely useful in keeping up with my audience.
1. Twitter chats. It sounds insane, but it is one of the best way to communicate with your audience. Every week I host a thirty minute Twitter chat where students, entrepreneurs, business owners or anyone with a question can come and communicate with me. I ask them questions, they ask me questions and my audience get’s a chance to feel heard and appreciated. It is also a great way for me to stay up on industry trends and thoughts from various perspectives.
2. LinkedIn groups. Contributing regularly to LinkedIn groups within your industry is a great way to keep up with your audience and increase your audience. If you use LinkedIn groups and post one or more questions a week, it is amazing the feedback you can receive from your community. It also allows for you to contain the conversation, which makes it easier to respond and engage with people who respond.
3. Newsletters. This one may be more obvious, than again, maybe not. Most entrepreneurs have a mailing list or have started to create one. There is nothing wrong with sending career and business updates to your friends, fans, family or customers. Reach out once a month or once a quarter, but reach out. People want to know where your career and your new business ventures have taken you. Craft a simple, heartfelt email and let everyone know what you’re up to.
4. Twitter lists. This is my favorite way of staying connecting with people. I list them off into various Twitter lists, based on how I know them or what they do. Then once a week I will go into a different list, scroll down the feed and favorite or retweet things. This remind my audience and my network that I am still around and that I care about what they’re doing. It’s very important to stay interested and engaged with your audience and network’s happenings. You never know where their careers could have taken them or how you both may be able to help each other.
Networking and making connections is easy, keep those connections alive and engaged takes work. Take some time after you have done everything that you had to do in your day and think about what you should be doing. Who should you be connecting with? Who haven’t you heard from in awhile and why haven’t you heard from them? Don’t let yourself be forgotten and don’t forget about other people. In the startup world, who you know can sometimes be everything you have.
Cynthia Johnson (@CynthiaLIVE) is the Director of Social Media Marketing forRankLab, a marketing agency in Santa Monica, CA. She is the Editorial Director and on the Global Board of Directors forSocial Media Club. You can catch Cynthia’s weekly Twitter chat, #TheSMGirl, on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. PST, where she discusses social media marketing and PR. For more information go to cynthialive.com. Cynthia Johnson uses her difference to make a difference by connecting the world through social media.