In an online community of mom business owners, Annie posts,
“Animal print bows and scarves have just arrived for Spring! Stop by Annie’s Accessories this weekend to get yours before they’re gone!”
“Hi guys! I’m so grateful to be part of this community of mompreneurs. I am a mom of 2 boys, and my business is a children’s clothing boutique in Miami, FL called Urban Sprout. I have a great space and I think it could benefit many of you. If you are in need of cool outside-the-box venues for a live event, let me know if you’d like to come see the shop. I’d love to support your businesses in any way I can. To see more about Urban Sprout and what we carry (there’s also pictures of the store), go to urbansprout.com.”
Which post are you more likely to leave a comment on?
Which person are you more likely to remember?
Which business are you more likely to visit?
Is it obvious?
Annie shows no interest in anyone else – it’s just straight up self-promotion, focused on what she can GET.
Jennifer is more personal, sharing that she’s a mother of 2. She tells you what city her shop is in. But most importantly, she’s focused on what she can GIVE.
Who do you think will benefit more from the group in the long run?
By focusing more on what she can GIVE, Jennifer will easily attract interaction from other group members.
Annie’s post will likely get lost, pushed down the page by other posts.
In my local mompreneur networking group, South Florida Mompreneurs, I’ve recently had some requests by group members to clarify the posting guidelines.
I’ve struggled with this because I want to encourage and foster open communication and free exchange. Censoring others’ posts does not interest me in the least.
But – for our group to maintain its value and be a space where seeds are planted to grow into rich connections, support and collaboration, it is incumbent on me to lay down some rules. So here goes:
— South Florida Mompreneurs is a virtual space for South Florida-based women juggling the role of mom and entrepreneur to connect, share recommendations, exchange business advice, network, and support one another. In the spirit of support, positivity, and mutual growth, please be mindful of these posting guidelines —
1. Whenever referring to another member of the group, use her ACTUAL NAME (and link it).
2. If you are asking others’ to “Like” your business page, “LIKE” theirs first.
3. If you want feedback on something, provide CONTEXT around your question and GRATITUDE for any answers you receive, even if you don’t like them.
4. If there are others in the group in the same industry as your business, RELEASE any inclination to think of them as a competitor. Rather, brainstorm on ways you can COLLABORATE so that you can benefit both of your businesses.
5. If you have an opportunity to meet the members of your group IN PERSON, make it a priority. If your group has regular in-person meetings, even if you can’t go regularly, go when you can.
6. Always lead with what you can GIVE. Whether it’s something your business can offer to other businesses, moral support you can offer to another business owner, or a resource you recently discovered that’s made your life so much easier. A new productivity app? Accounting software? A discount code for new business cards from your favorite vendor? SHARE these things. You have a great idea for another member of your group? Tell her! She doesn’t have to use it, but she’ll appreciate your sharing it.
7. Keep completely irrelevant posts OFF the page. If you’re looking for recommendations for weaning your baby from breast to bottle, a business networking group is not the place to ask.
This last one’s not a rule, but a good idea. Whenever possible, make an effort to inform the group of benefits you’ve enjoyed by virtue of being in the group. Another member referred business to you? You collaborated with a graphic designer in the group for your new logo? You’ve joined forces to host an event with another group member? Go back and tell the rest of the group. This fosters the spirit in the group of interaction and collaboration, and will inspire other members to engage within the group. Not to mention you also benefit your business by keeping other group members informed about what you’re up to!
Do you have other guidelines you would add? Tell me in the Comments below – I just might add them!
Do you have a story about how a positive and giving post in a business-related social network has generated a business opportunity for you? Tell me about it in the Comments!
And if you’re in South Florida, we’d love to have you join us. Join the South Florida Mompreneurs Facebook group here, and get on the mailing list here to stay up to date on our events! (Our next event is Monday, May 6, 2013 – for details and registration, click here).