THE IDEA of promoting another business’s
work may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a
great way to build a solid social media presence and build interest and loyalty among
your existing and prospective customers
Small and medium-size businesses
have a tremendous opportunity to form
relationships with their fans—and soon-to-be fans—by establishing themselves within
their industry and the community they serve.
Promoting the work of others who serve and
participate in that community establishes
your business as one that’s friendly and supportive, and it primes your audience to want
to hear more about what you have to offer.
Touting the work of others also opens up an
opportunity to strengthen your own professional network.
Here are some tips for how to promote
KIM WERKER: THE CREATIVE SPARK
is the author of
Make It Mighty
ACCORDING TO HubSpot, a website for
marketing tools and advice, the second-most-viewed page on a business website
is the “About Us” section. Visitors first
visit your home page to see what your
business offers and then want to know
who you are. Are you someone they want
to do business with? Do you seem trustworthy? The “About Us” page is the perfect place to answer their questions and
help make the sale. Here’s what you
Your story. This is your chance to
make your business stand out by building
a personal connection with potential customers. Include why you started your business, the problem you had and how you
tried to solve it. Add your expertise and
any press, awards or degrees that will provide credibility.
Your company information. Include
your company’s mission statement and
values to show you care. Highlight your
best-selling products, share who uses
them (your target market) and how your
products or services solve their problem.
This is to help customers identify and see
how their similar problems can be solved.
Visuals. Visuals tell your story quickly
with impact and provide deeper engagement. Show customers who they are
choosing to do business with by including
a photo of the founder(s) of the company.
Videos are growing in popularity because
of their ability to build an authentic emotional connection.
Call to action. What do you want the
person who is reading your story to do? A
call to action should be an offer giving the
potential customer something of value in
return for something else. Depending on
your sales style, a more assertive approach
would be a “Buy Now” button and a link
to your shopping page. A softer approach
would be to provide an incentive such as a
discount on customers’ first purchase or
free shipping once they sign up to receive
email notifications from you. By nurturing
customers through email, you have the
opportunity to create a long-term relationship.—Rachel Olsen
A website page
MOST ADULTS experience uncomfortable situations at work. While no
workplace is perfect, it should never be
a place where you feel distressed. Your
boss is acting inappropriately if he/she:
1. Openly talks salary. This is
private and confidential information.
Others shouldn’t know what you’re
being paid, regardless of the intent of
2. Reprimands you publicly. While
you may have made an error that deserves
discussion, a good employer will handle
this professionally and in private.
3. Has unreasonable expectations.
Your boss should clearly and regularly communicate performance measures and work
expectations, assist when needed and set reasonable deadlines.
4. Often talks personally. If conversation
veers to the personal too frequently, be very
brief in your response, then change the subject back to business.
5. Makes inappropriate references.
Comments that make you squirm—“This
other businesses’ work alongside your own.
; Explain the why. Always include a brief
note about why you’re sharing what you’re
sharing. Are you moved by it? Do you find
it clever or well designed? Do you think it
solves a problem your audience might have?
; You don’t have to promote your direct
competitors, but it’s a good idea to note
what others in your industry are doing to
serve your shared community.
; Stray across strict boundaries. If someone in a seemingly unrelated field is doing
something you can relate to your community,
; Don’t tie everything you share back to
what you’re doing or your own business. It
will read as disingenuous and turn off people
rather than attract them.
; Avoid sarcasm. It’s impossible to guarantee your fans and readers will know you’re
not being literal, so it’s best to just say your
piece directly, and with a smile.
; Do interact. Chat with the businesses
whose work you’re sharing, and chat with
your fan base about it.
Praising the work of others not only
shows the customers and clients you want
to reach that you play nicely with others, it
also shows them that it’s important to you to
exist in a connected, supportive world. That
kind of feeling can lead others to promote
your business in kind, and to support it
through sales. C
Six lines your
boss should never
cross at work
report is as flat as your butt”—are wrong.
6. Implies that sex, race, age or religion
is a factor in performance. None of these
things have anything to do with your ability
to do your job.
Assume your boss is unaware of the
offence and have a constructive, factual conversation. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
Vera Asanin is a keynote speaker, president
and publisher of Your WorkPlace (yourwork