Why bother…?

By: Lisa Marie Koebcke

One of the healthiest and most auspicious things anyone can do is to ask questions. Of course, it helps to ask questions about really just about anything, but that can get a little daunting in the long run. The trick is to ask the right questions about the right things, and one of those combinations is questioning ‘Why?’ we do the things that we that we take for granted.

The answers can be extremely eye-opening.

The best thing I’ve learned that people can do to improve themselves or their business is to go back to the fundamentals. When things seem tangled up, overburdening, and beyond anything short of a mental marathon to comprehend, it always pays to tackle the problem one step at a time. And I mean ONE step at a time:

  • “Why am I selling the product that I’m selling?”
  • “Why am I selling it to the demographic that I have been?”
  • “Why have I been advertising in this way?”
  • And one of the most powerful ones of course, “Why is that the best way?”

Two topics I found myself fundamentally questioning are social media and tradeshows. Two notions that should come as second nature to any business owner. But… Why? I mean, it’s obvious that you should attend tradeshows, and any company in the today’s world either avails itself of social media or absolutely fails, but I found myself questioning just why these two things are so important? Because everyone else has been doing them for as long as anyone can remember? Why is that? Why is getting out there and being more proactive and invested in your business a fantastic investment, and why is social media such a necessity in order to get your message out successfully?

On a whim, you can burst out some answers that may be half true, or you might just reconcile a notion of understanding by repeating what someone else has said on the topic, but anyone looking to really succeed in what they’re doing should know why they are doing it. And I mean REALLY know. Once you really sit down and think about it, you might arrive at the same conclusions. But even still, it never hurts to remember what your goals are in order to sharpen and refine them. Doing this makes the steps in achieving those goals that much clearer.

With all this in mind I decided to sit down and really think about…

Why is social media important to my business? First and foremost, it’s free! I mean, you can hire a social media management company, and I’m sure you will see return on investment, but why not give it a shot on your own? The more you use it, hopefully the easier it will be. The standard posts will work for a while, but in time you will need to up your game and get creative to out-post your competition.

Social Media, is no longer a passing fad that is only used for posting high school prom pictures, duckface selfies, internet memes, and family Christmas cards. For business, it is no longer optional, it is instrumental in the growth and sustainability of your business. If done right, it will build solid relationships within your industry and others. In addition, it builds company culture, promotes your brand as a self-aware and trendy, and although it is work related, let’s face it, it’s fun. It’s a quick step away from spreadsheets, reports, documentation and the day to day grind. It’s a quick measurement tool to discover your reach, followers, likes, comments, page views, retweets, mentions, and engagement.

Social Media marketing helps cross markets that you may not be targeting with traditional marketing. It can start a conversation with someone who you would not traditionally market to drive new business and industry trends. Running targeted ads will help track active engagement based on location, demographics, behaviors, etc. across social platforms will help you gauge customer sentiment.

Why do we still attend tradeshows? The easy and most common answer is to increase professional knowledge by attending educational seminars, talks, and otherwise. In today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, the only way to stay in the game is to invest in your professional development. It is more desirable to be learning in a classroom and getting hands-on, professional training designed to teach than struggling on a job site while wasting time and money.

And good ol’ fashioned networking is necessary to make contacts, build partnerships, as well as to expose yourself and your brand to gather leads for new business. Putting yourself out there is not only essential in building yourself and your brand, it can actually be fun. You can’t rely on social media to do everything for you, there is something to be said for a handshake and a smile.

The notion of “Keeping up with the Joneses” holds true today. You need to get out there and see what competitors are up to, putting your hands-on products and talking to the engineers that developed the next best thing is better than reading about it on LinkedIn.

But the best of business owners take it to the next level. They get engaged, and they have fun. And I think the most important part is to have fun with like-minded peers. Be sure to attend the cocktail hours, meet & greets, and press events, it’s a good way to unwind after walking show floors and attending classes.

I recommend doing this for any number of things that you do on a daily basis, from business especially to personal as well. Remembering why you’re doing something is a great reminder to keep doing it, and is a powerful tool for motivation and goal alignment.

Thanks for reading!