Weekly Column: 2017-12-15
Recently, through mentoring programs, I have felt the earnestness and enthusiasm of the mentees. I remember how I wanted to run my own business from when I was that age. However, I did not always have a clear goal, and only had the confidence that I would succeed, so I felt lost on how to start. I had no one to help me get a bearing on my directions and was only rushing forward to success. I am still heading towards that goal, I have never forgotten my sincerity of that time. Seeing the mentees now, I recalled how I felt ten years ago and wondered what advice I should give them. When I first met these mentees, I gave them this advice:
“First, make yourself known, and use social media aggressively.”
Social media is an online platform that allows people to freely communicate and share information while creating and strengthening social relationships through networking. A few examples that anyone would know are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Because its ripple effect is significant, many people use social media as a marketing tool. Online marketing which utilizes this is more effective than offline marketing while costing less, so many people actively pursue this.
The reason I put so much emphasis on social media is simple. It’s because it is the most efficient way to create and build up a brand for yourself. If people do not know who I am, would they want to do business with me and buy my products?
No matter how good your dreams or goals are, if you don’t do anything with them, no one will know. If you are passionately driven, but you work by yourself, who will acknowledge your work? Your priority should be to express them, and the easiest way to make yourself known and advertise yourself to others is a PR strategy through social media. More people than you would feel awkward about promoting themselves as they feel self-conscious about what others think of them, but if you do not take these first steps, you will not be able to get anything done. Advocating your brand is constantly informing people around you of your value. In order for others to remember you, you must take these aggressive actions, and if you would like to ultimately be successful, promoting yourself should be your first priority.
I remember the trials and errors I experienced when I first started my online business because I did not know these facts. At that time all I had was Twitter. Now, I have about 100,000 followers, but then, I did not know how to increase the number of my followers because social media was not as active as it is today, and I did not know the art of posting. All I posted was about my products and services, but no one reacted to my posts. Perhaps the results were just too natural. Because my greatest goal was sales, I was just waiting for people to find me rather than try to approach them first.
When I realized why there were no reactions, I first followed them to listen to what they had to say. Then I empathized with their postings, commented on them, sent tweets, joined groups, and perhaps I made a way for them to continue to search me out. In that way, my followers grew one by one, and one day, they started to become my customers. That is how I promoted my brand through social media, and the sales that had not moved an inch for four years exploded exponentially. I was able to see the fruitful results of my efforts.
Using social media to promote yourself may perhaps be advice that is a bit plain. However, I have been able to create many opportunities by sticking to these basics, and now I am in the midst of building a strong brand. Although anyone can do it, it is a good idea for young prospective entrepreneurs to know beforehand the most efficient strategy for branding that no one else can do for them. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook or Instagram. If you continuously promote yourself by updating people on how passionately you are working, someday opportunity will come knocking. Good fortune ultimately comes from your mental attitude.