How To Build Business Prospects – Black Enterprise

How To Build Business Prospects

How to network your way to success
Photo: Shutterstock

As the President and CEO of Curvy Girlz Lingerie, Precious L. Williams is dedicated to providing stylish lingerie for plus-size women. The New York lawyer turned entrepreneur launched the company in 2011 to be the ultimate shopping experience for “full-figured fashionistas” like herself. She is an inspiration to small business entrepreneur’s nationwide on the endless possibilities of being bold enough to follow one’s dreams. Not only are her garments sold on her website but on–who called Williams a game in plus size lingerie.

The 35-year-old Williams has a lot of customers who support her business online and her Curvy Girlz Lingerie parties held in metropolitan cities such as New York, New Jersey, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Chicago.  But in over the past couple of months she has been building up a following on social media.

Social networking has a lot offer small business owners, especially in the way of reaching new clients or customers. The first rule of thumb or law of karma has always been to “follow others and they will follow you.”  Indeed, that is the first thing Williams did.

Obviously, as a small business owner you can’t spend every waking moment using social media, but you should commit some time daily, or at least several times a week, retweeting, commenting, liking, mentioning, replying, and sharing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and the like.

Here Williams shares five mistakes that entrepreneurs can avoid that could kill business prospects and will make social networking more effective.

  1. Always Trying To Sell. “I’m not always putting up a sales pitch because people will not buy. They want get to know you first. They want to know what you are doing all the time–are you always grinding, are you speaking at events, do you have a great party planned,” Williams says. “Every morning on Twitter I do ‘A rise and grind sunshine. It’s 4’clock in the morning and I am preparing pitches. What are you doing?’ People tend to respond back. Posing a question is a great way to engage with your audience.”
  2. Being Too Personal or Not Personal Enough. You have to find the right balance. “You have to be a real person,” says Williams. “You want to tweet information but you also want to tweet some updates about your personal life. People connect with people.” Williams uses pictures and video to make connections. “I do a lot of behind the scenes videos and photos. I will post pictures of what I am wearing that day and ask people what they think–that the sales pitch.  I don’t go out and say buy this but I getting people talking about the product and that generates interest and lead them to my website.
  3. Not Being Useful, Interesting, or Entertaining. Everyone wants to know things that will help them or interest them. If you’re not offering that you won’t get their attention nor will it lead them to buy your product or service. “Another way I am building up a following on Facebook is that I do Marvelous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, What Makes You Feel Sexy Thursday, and Far Out Friday,” adds Williams.
  4. Scheduling Your Tweets. It is okay to schedule your tweets, but don’t make the mistake of setting a time for all of them. Your followers will pick up on this and it could a turn off for them. “Another problem that it is not as engaging,” says Williams. This especially is the case if you are not around to respond to a question someone might pose. “Your responses should be timely.”
  5. Leaving Your Profile Pages Incomplete. You want to have your company information, logo, other links, and images on your profile pages in Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. That’s where you will pique interest in your company from potential customers, says Williams. In addition to your company logo or banner, upload past or present events and photos to draw the attention of people toward your profile page, she adds. Your profile is part of your branding and sales tools.