Do you love to promote yourself and your business?
Few of us do, according to Caroline Cummings. The Eugene-based entrepreneur, social media professional and speaker told a group of nearly 80 women – and men – at the Corvallis Chamber’s Women in Business meeting March 24 that self-promotion is important for you and your business – and can be fun.
“What are some reasons why women don’t promote themselves?” Cummings asked. Answers from the audience ranged from lack of confidence to thinking women shouldn’t be perceived as overbearing to simply not knowing what to do.
The most important piece of information I gleaned from her talk – a way to rationally overcome most objections – is to create a self-promotion plan, so you can take advantage of both offline and online opportunities. Much like we plan a website for our clients in advance, Cummings advocates creating a plan for how and where you will promote yourself. Doing so can also help you spend your time wisely and keep from over-promoting.
Another point she made was that utilizing social media does take time, but it’s time you need to invest.
“People used to say that no one would check email every day,” she said. “Now you can’t be a business owner without checking your email every day.”
Cummings said she spends about an hour a day with social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and a WordPress blog. Others she has worked with spend as little as 30 minutes, and some spend more depending on what type of business they have.
“You can’t afford not to spend the time,” she said, explaining that social media now is like email used to be perceived, but it will become more and more vital in the future.
Note: Cummings runs popular Social Media Bootcamps for business owners. The workshops are often in Eugene but I talked to her after the presentation and there are likely to be some held in Corvallis this year. At Visual People, we love helping people set up and plan their use of social networking, but Cummings can help you understand its value and learn worthwhile tactics for using it effectively and regularly.