Are you starting out as an entrepreneur, and like many of us, have limited resources? Here are my 3 favorite starting points that are valuable AND free:
1. Score Big with SCORE.
If you are an entrepreneur you must check out SCORE (http://score.org), which now brands itself as “Counselors to America’s Small Business”. Historically, SCORE comprises of retired executives (what the “RE” in SCORE stood for) who volunteer to mentor business owners. If you need help with any aspect of your new business, consider first asking a mentor for some advice. Even for legal and financial/tax-related issues, a SCORE mentor can help you with some talking points and questions you should ask when you do visit an attorney or tax adviser.
If you google my name “jane chin” you’ll find about 80% of the page results are my results. There is another Jane Chin the golfer and many other Jane Chin’s throughout the world.
However, I admit that “Jane Chin” is not THAT common a name as, say, “Jane Chen”. Still, my example for now can illustrate these realities when getting your name out on the web:
If you look at the page results, you’ll find that 8 out of 10 search results on Google is me, but what I want you to pay attention to, is what makes up these results:
- Four (4) out of 10 comes from my websites (personal, professional, and company)
- Two (2) out of 10 comes from my social media profiles (in this case, LinkedIn and Congoo)
- One (1) out of 10 comes from my listing as a published author in an industry journal
- One (1) out of 10 comes from a press release my company has submitted in 2006
This should give you an idea of a potential starting strategy to getting your name “out there” on the world wide web! In other words:
- Create your website(s)
- Create your social media profiles (as many as you can stomach)
- Get published in your industry’s journals, magazines, newsletters
- Announce yourself
If you click on the second page of Google’s search results (at least, as of July 2008), all the results are from my website or related to me (and not another “Jane Chin”). This can give you a clue to the follow-up strategy when getting your name out there, but I want to focus this article only on starting out.
3. Monitor Yourself and Your Field.
An effective way to generate ideas and stay on top of your field of interest is to sign up for Google Alerts using keywords. Every time a news item or article is published online you can get a list of topics delivered to your email. I create a Google Alert for my name to see whether anyone else is referencing me or something I wrote in cyberspace – this is a valuable and free monitoring tool for your own PR as well as for competitive intelligence purposes.
I realize that there are many, many more valuable and free resources that can benefit all entrepreneurs especially those of us on a budget.
What are your favorite three? Please share them with me by commenting in this article!