The thread that yielded not one but two pieces of new business in a day
Some years ago now I had the pleasure of working with a good friend in my then business communications business.
Despite being only a few years older than me, she would often throw me a pearl of business wisdom that I hadn’t yet come across.
One of the most memorable was that ‘there were no friends in business’.
Naturally, being the optimist I was, I scoffed at her remark.
But of course, anyone who’s been in business long enough knows that there is more than a kernel of truth in the phrase.
Or so I thought.
Surprise friends in business
Because just last week, two Facebook friends from the other side of the continent and who I hadn’t seen since the early 80s, were kind enough to award me their business. And both within 24 hours of each other.
One would hope that my track record and folio also had something to do with it, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
The point is I would never have even got a look into this business if not for Facebook.
Here’s how it occurred.
Sharing the business love
I’ve often blogged that we small business operators should not be shy about telling Facebook and other social media connections about the good news in our business.
I don’t mean the sledgehammer, desperate approaches some have adopted. More the ‘this happened in my business today and I’m proud of that’ variety.
Admittedly, I have more difficulty sharing not so good news. Quite clearly word spreads quickly online and the last thing any smaller business operator wants is to not be in the running for some new business because of a fear of business collapse and subsequent project incompletion.
But perhaps that’s a little paranoid.
Either way, I always make a point of sharing good business news with my personal connections and always offer to assist anyone who needs some help with their digital world.
It was the latter I proffered just a few weeks back.
Help on its way
A fellow I went to school with in regional WA posted that they were finishing up consulting work to open their own restaurant.
Naturally, I offered him the best of luck and offered to assist with any website or digital marketing requirements. I didn’t really expect his business as such – just any advice he might need with these aspects of his business.
Within a few days, he messaged me and asked if we could hook up to discuss his website plans. Of course, it was no problem at all.
At the end of said conversation he asked if I could provide a quote which I duly did.
But it was the next move that caught me completely by surprise.
Another school friend I hadn’t seen for the same amount of time and who had seen my post to the original friend messaged me about their own website and how much it needed renovating.
Before I knew it, a similar conversation ensued and an order was received within days
So two very nice, unexpected pieces of business within 24 hours of each other and with a turnaround of a week.
It’s very tempting to suggest these were an overnight sensation, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve actually been subtly discussing my business with my social network for many years now. And these weren’t the first pieces of business to result from that.
They are just great examples of what can be achieved if you are prepared to do those two things:
1 – Make it clear what you do in your business and share its good news
2 – Be generous with your time and offer to assist those who might require it
‘Oh but you would have got this business anyway’ I hear the cynics cry.
But that is not the case at all. There is no way that these two friends would have known my vocation or my whereabouts without Facebook. The span of 35 years and 2500 kilometres is simply too distant for them to have found out any other way.
Now my challenge is to ensure that they get a great result out of my work or I will be in danger of receiving the other extreme of viral marketing – the bad review!
This good news story also illustrates the importance of your personal connections in business. They really are your frontline when it comes to spreading important word or mouth.
Or in this case, word of mouse.
In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig Reardon is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team, which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs in Melbourne and beyond.