Your Two Most Underutilized Entrepreneurial Tools
The Phone and LinkedIn. You could stop reading this article, because the answer is simple and right in front of you. Today, consumers are inundated with text heavy communication. Step back and then Step Up, to get you network on!
1. Most Underutilized: The Smartphone — Call
Ladies and Gentleman. Let’s pick up the phone and then CALL. (Yes, call.)
Text-messaging is not an alternative to using the phone when calling would be considered rude. You would not take a call in the middle of a movie, a performance, or a meeting, and likewise, you should not send text messages. — Emily Post
While today’s smartphones are capable of countless options, remember that basic etiquette works best! People can hear a smile, over the phone. And style still matters. Calling and conversing could be the difference in receiving overly helpful information or being directly connected to the Venture Capitalist you seek, or not. More so, if you ever find that don’t want anyone to read/hear/forward your conversation, speak directly!
Beyond effectively communicating, entrepreneurs should find enterprising ways to use their phone including mobile payments (Square), ready-to-pitch presentations(.pdf or via website), and time management apps such as Sunrise and Evernote!
2. Most Underutilized: LinkedIn — Connect
Move away from social media that is not a revenue driven or could become a revenue detractor. Focus your social media efforts on creating the life or job you want. Investors, Artists, Startups, and Companies are looking for Leaders. Ask anyone making power moves, social media platforms are getting people connected, on purpose.
Most specific, LinkedIn! It isn’t just your profile and your coworkers or college roommates. LinkedIn is a tool for business development and consumer interaction. If used effectively, you can grow your network with little cost and within the comfort of your own home.
Best Practice #1: Put yourself out there! Consider reaching out to those who you are interested in creating business. Maybe you are seeking to join a non-profit board or funding for you latest startup, do you research and then connect. NOTE: Ensure you are well-prepared with all items that could be considered bias, if neglected (e.g. flushed-out ideas, research, pitch or business plan).
Best Practice #2: Connect or Follow people that you read or admire. Everyone, from your favorite fashion blogger, business role model, to podcast financier, likely have an account. If that doesn't work, try Twitter or about.me. Whatever’s clever.
Best Practice #3: Join Groups. One of the first “random” people I connected with was Shelby Mason of Bootthights. She provided me with pivotal advice, which lead to inventing the world’s first perfect sock. I have connected with so many more great people since then!
Best Practice #4: Reconnect! Yes, life gets busy. We work, we sleep. But there are few tools better than LinkedIn to re-engage with cherished business acquaintances. You can stay engaged by liking and commenting on interesting things that you network shares with you, too!
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Frederick Jason is a technology enthusiast and expert on young and urban professionals. He is the Founder of YUPPIE, one this year’s most anticipated publications. He is also the CEO of Dashing, the startup that invented the world’s first perfect sock, in both dress and casual styles – improving your body’s equilibrium. The company is currently interviewing investors in its first round of seed funding.