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Why Communities are Essential to Growing your Startup

Written by Craig Charley – Tue 21 Jan 2014

Communities are your best social media tool when starting a business.

Stop shouting into a void and start communicating; they are a great way to engage with potential customers, investors and brand advocates.

Offline networking is still a powerful tool but online communities can give you a global reach and are often more time and cost effective for your limited resources.

In this post you'll find out why communities are so vital and how you can start using them.

Startup Communities

To learn more about using social media & communities to grow your business and engage with consumers and influencers, come on our Social Media workshops and Blogging courses. Together they will give you a powerful toolset to boost your brand online.

Why It's Important

You've started new business with a new idea. How do you get people to care? 

You could spend money on advertising, but it would have to be a very good campaign to convince prospective buyers to take interest in a company they've never heard of.

Social proof is a strong selling point; it's not surprising why social media platforms are trying to take advantage of it with social ads (your friend X like our product) and why consumers are so protective of how their actions are used as social proof.

Recommendations are most valuable when they come naturally. It's easy to tell the difference between a genuine review and one prompted by a promotion or giveaway.

If you can create a community around your business or convince an existing community to take notice of your business then they will do a lot of the hard work for you, giving you the initial investment that you can later use on advertising to grow outside of the community.

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Making an Impact - Opening Presentations

Written by Andy Trainer – Mon 11 May 2009

A great presentation will grasp your audience's attention within the first 30 seconds. If you don't you could lose them. There does need to be a balance though, over dramatic starts to presentations and speeches can backfire. Your audience may remember the sudden drama, but often cannot recall what the speaker actually said. You need openings that will make the audience want to listen to the rest of what you have to say. In other words, the stunning start to the speech or presentation has to be something you say, rather than a dramatic device.

Research shows that the most effective attention grabbing start is an anecdote; a personal story, you could make them laugh, but be careful not to bee too cheesy or make a joke, try it out on your colleagues first. Trying to be too serious, or setting the agenda right at the start is a sure way to lose attention. Personal anecdotes are a great way to start a business presentation - even serious ones.

If an anecdote isn't appropriate try starting with a question or a quotation, a surprising statistic or controversial statement about the the subject.

Things to avoid to open your presentation or speech include, role plays or anything where you are trying to be 'clever'.

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A Telephone Presentation

Written by Andy Trainer – Thu 05 Mar 2009

A telephone presentation is unique in many ways and many people will never have the need to give one. However if the situation occurs when you have to give a telephone presentation then you will be glad to have been prepared.

Preparing a Telephone Presentation:

One of the fundamentals of a telephone presentation is to be prepared for the worst. For instance if the connection was bad or there was some kind of interference it is a good idea to have the person’s telephone’s number at hand in case the line goes dead as it won’t look good if you are unable to phone them back.

Some find this added dimension to be more relaxing, as they can no longer see their audience. However in this climate your choice of words and voice tone become imperative. It is still important to prepare as usual, and to have some form of cards or notes at the ready for guidance to help you not lose track.

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