UConnEBV Social Media Frenzy – We’re on Twitter!

A Social Media Neophyte Learns to Love Google+

I found this article by John Warrilow at BNet the Interactive Business Network

This is an interesting comparison between Facebook and Google+. Google is getting into the social media game, with a business focus.

Please take a look at this article. Maybe you'll find Google+ fits your social media needs as a start-up vetrepreneur.

And while you're at it – sign up to follow us on Twitter @UConnEBV

VETERANS “ABOUT US” It Ain’t Braggin’ If It’s True

7 Ways to Write a Better ‘About Us’ Page

I came across this post by Jeff Haden on the BNet Interactive Business Network recently. Something he wrote struck a chord with me "Writing about yourself is hard.  Writing about your business can be even harder."

This is very true. I know from personal experience, and from working with other veterans. We're proud of our service, but we find ourselves tongue-tied when it comes to describing what each of, respectively, did. That's because we think in terms of the team, or the unit, and of collective mission accomplishment. In general, we are reluctant to accept individual recognition or accolades. We're not comfortable in the spotlight.

Early early on in our military careers – within the first week of bootcamp, I'd say – we learn "It's not about us as individuals."

But as an entrepreneur, it is about "you." And your business. You have a story to tell. You are what's best about America. Your customers should know that.


Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk


There are hundreds of millions – maybe billions – of websites. And still, only about 40% of businesses have an internet presence. Just being on the ‘Net is a strategic differentiator and a competitive advantage for an entrepreneur!

But how do you differentiate your website from the competitors? Let’s stipulate search engine optimization strategies and traffic direction strategies – once you have potential customers looking at your website, how do you turn clicks into customers? What do you say that everyone else isn’t saying?

Or from a potential customer’s point of view – why would they choose your business – choose you – over a competitor?

The list below is reproduced from an article posted by Jeff Haden on Bnet, the Interactive Business Owners Network.

  1. “Innovative.”
    Just about every company claims to be innovative. Most aren’t. You don’t have to be innovative to be successful. But if you truly are innovative, show me. Describe products you developed. Describe processes you modified. Give me      something real — then I’ll know you’re innovative.
  2. “Service provider.” Everyone who meets a need is a service provider. When I fill up my car the gas station is a service provider: I need gas, the station provides it. “Service provider” says nothing. If you sell gas, tell me you sell gas. If you design commercial office spaces, tell me you design commercial office spaces. If you’re an Internet Service Provider, fine — otherwise, use plain language and tell me what you really do.
  3. “Proven track record.” Almost every company has a track record. It may be good, it may be bad, but everyone’s track record is proven. Give me facts and figures instead. Share on-time performance rates, or waste percentages, or under-budget statistics… let your track record be proven by your achievements. Don’t have any achievements yet? No problem; you don’t have a track record either, so it’s a moot point.
  4. “Unique blend of…” If you’re KFC your recipe may be a unique blend of herbs and spices. Otherwise, someone, somewhere, is also doing what you do. You may do it a little better, but you aren’t unique. Describe why you’re better.
  5. “World-class.” Usain Bolt: world-class sprinter. Lindsey Vonn: world-class skier. Makes sense — but what is a world-class company? Who defines world-class? The fact that you provide (or hope to provide) products or services to a global customer base doesn’t mean you are a world-class company.
  6. “Collaborative approach.” You won’t just decide what’s right for me and force me to buy it? Wow! If your process is designed to take my input and feedback, tell me how that works. Describe that process. Show me exactly  how we’ll work together. Don’t just claim we will.
  7. “Outstanding customer experiences.” Providing an outstanding customer experience is important; if you don’t, you’ll fail. The problem with this term is it describes a general phenomenon. How will my experience be outstanding? Tell me what I can expect that will make my experience so outstanding.
  8. “Dynamic.”
    If you’re “vigorously active and forceful,” I prefer you stay away from me.
  9. “Myriad solutions.” This phrase is everywhere. I think the intent is to say, “Boy, we do a lot of stuff.” To me it comes across as, “Basically, we’ll do anything you are willing to pay us to do because we haven’t figured out our business model yet.” Some companies might actually provide myriad solutions. If you’re one of them, break those solutions down into categories, list the categories, and then describe each one somewhere else. But don’t talk about solutions. I want you to solve my problem; tell me how you will. Solutions has become a buzzword and is therefore meaningless.
  10. “Results oriented.” Really? I will get what I pay for? Wow — I assumed you would focus on something more important than results. Thanks for letting me know!

There is a common theme in this list: use plain language, and prove it. Provide facts and numbers. Vets understand this concept – we recognize it as "if you're going to Talk the Talk, you have to be able to Walk the Walk."

This article, while not definitive, is a start towards thinking about what you want to include on your website.