Its almost the new year! You know what that means, time to set resolutions–but this year, I am doing something a little bit different…I am setting resolutions and sharing them with the blogosphere. Why? Simple–accountability. I have just recently committed to blogging at least once a week. What helped me stick to this has been a group of ladies I met during a twitter #blogchat: @wendypgreene @ShamilaJiwa and @DniseSonnenberg (I recommend you follow them 😉 Taking that a bit further, I thought it would be good to share at least some of my goals and report on the results throughout 2012. Here we go:
- Blogging: I started this one early. My goal in 2012 is to at least blog once a week. As a small business its important to have a voice in the market place. More importantly, blogging helps small businesses establish themselves as experts in their field. And my favorite, branding, branding, branding….by blogging you are able to establish and re-enforce your own unique brand. This last point is key because it helps to validate your value proposition to existing and potential clients.
- Networking in-person: My goal for 2012 will be to either attend two networking events or to meet at least two people for coffee. The networking events that I want to target are primarily for small businesses. I will report on the events on this blog and give my overall impression. I have found that networking in person helps me close business much faster. I also want to establish a networking calendar to help me keep track of events/meetings. This will be in addition to any co-working I currently participate in.
- Networking online: Admittedly, I am a huge twitter fan. My plan is to leverage that tool to continue to meet new people online and try to take the relationship offline. My goal will be to have conversations with at least five new people online per week. Tools like twitter allow me to have access to people that I would not normally have contact with either because they were not in my network or were located far away. I also want to leverage Linkedin much more than I have done so in the past. I plan to post comments to at least two Linkedin groups per week and interact with users on the site.
- Partnerships: Another goal of mine is to establish stronger partnerships. A few organizations I have identified are the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Arlington Economic Development Center and the Shady Grove-JHU campus. The first quarter of 2012 will be dedicated to developing strong working relationships with these organizations. In addition, partnerships can help validate a business and add social proof that can be used to leverage and close sales.
- Workshops: I plan to hold at least three workshop days in the first quarter of 2012. The workshops are designed for small businesses to learn how to stand out in a crowded marketplace. The goal is to teach small businesses how to differentiate their product/service from the competition. This will give me an opportunity to have one on one face-time with organizations which can also help close business.
- Webinars: An extension of the workshops will be a series of free webinars for small businesses. I will try to do these weekly but may have to do bi-weekly. These will focus on how small businesses can market their product/service and reach their target markets. As a small business its impossible for me to be able to reach every potential target. Webinars will give me the flexibility to reach business at any time and any place. In addition, they will also allow me to showcase my knowledge and add to my “expert” status. Topics will include defining your market, finding low-cost marketing channels, understanding the competition, social media and much more!
- Email list: Creating an email list has been something I have been avoiding. However, email is still a great way to reach people. A lot of people are not regularly using social media. Moreover, business email is something that most people regularly check. This also helps small businesses stay top of mind with their existing and potential customers.
Ok that was a lot! We will see how these go and I will report on how well they are working. What are your goals and plans for 2012? How are you going to achieve them? How are you holding yourself accountable?
Comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! On twitter: @npersona