First things first. Check out my community bio for more on my background and what I think social media means for small businesses.
In this blog series I’ll help you spend 10 minutes a day making progress toward the goal of becoming a (relative) Social Media expert. What I write will be geared towards business owners running their businesses primarily offline and need to navigate this new terrain quickly. I hope to bring the blog posts for businesses like my clients—the owners of Veterinarian clinics, glass companies, local banks, jewelry stores, printers, accounting firms, etc.
Week One: The easiest and most basic way to use “Social Media” is for information and professional development. Somewhere out there, bloggers are writing interesting things about your industry, running a business, or about the customers you want.
Every day this week take 10 minutes to search for and find blogs you enjoy reading. Pay attention not just to the blog writer but also to those who are commenting on the blog. Subscribe to the ones you enjoy via email or RSS.
I already subscribe to a few blogs (Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ , Church of the Customer http://www.churchofthecustomer.com/ , Indexed http://thisisindexed.com/ , and The Viral Garden http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.com/ ). I found them by following authors I enjoy, searching for topics that interest me, and following links from other blogs I was reading. Google your favorite business author, search industry topics, or search your industry association Web site. By the end of the week, you should have found 1 or 2 new business resources.
If you already have blogs you subscribe to, are you reading them? Earl Nightengale once said you can become a world-class expert in any field by studying it just 20 minutes a day. Baby steps—we’ll start with 10. Get into your office 10 minutes early or take 10 minutes before bed at night and read them. Even if you don’t become proficient in navigating “social media” you’ll be a smarter business owner at the end of the week.