Social Networking for SOHO or Sole Proprietors

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and others, have completely transformed the way businesses connect with customers, clients, independent contractors, and others. In fact, many sole proprietorships operate almost entirely by way of social networks.

Photographers and designers post their work on Flickr or Tumblr, for instance, with links to their own websites, where potential clients can contact them for work. Many independent contractors use LinkedIn to connect to companies with jobs to fill.

Consider ways that you can use social networks to your own advantage to publicize your company, reach customers, or conduct business. One powerful strategy is content generation. Online content that promotes you and your business can reach a large audience at little or no cost.

A New York musician posted a series of entertaining short tutorials on jazz improvisation on YouTube, with a link to his site, where would-be jazzers can purchase an instructional video or sign up for individual lessons conducted via Skype. Some business consultants have learned the same trick, creating white papers on new business trends that attract potential clients.

Check out this checklist of great ways to promote yourself and your business — and get free publicity — using social networks and your online presence.

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