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Networking for Small Businesses - Part B



I believe one of the best strategies to use as a small business is to acknowledge your failures (or probably, more accurately, your weaknesses in marketing and promotion) and to straightforwardly ask your trusted seller friends for supportive help.  My belief is there are people in the online selling community who actually do enjoy being leaned upon for guidance. 

When I say that like that I think most people say to themselves "Nah, that help is impossible to find" and/or "My situation is unique and IF I do get some tips they won't help me."  My friend Taylor (Native Naturals) made a comment recently that pointed out the internet world has a "me, me, me" attitude.  She also reminded me - somewhat darkly - that "not all" pass along information to assist.

Believe me there are folks out there in cyberspace who are willing to help who don't require much of anything in return.  Further, and probably most importantly [and the not-so-obvious reason I am writing this blog post] I believe there are online sellers who are thankful for trustworthy friends that value their judgment and wisdom and are pleased to have seller friends that offer them pay-it-forward opportunities.

I have a lot of Facebook friends and Twitter followers who are small online sellers.  Many of my closest friends are amazing artists selling their handmade creations but not all of them.  Some folks I know online and via social media are WAHMs listing general merchandise items from their closets to raise some extra cash to support their families.  A fair percentage of them are reselling when they find opportunities to list stuff like HTFs, OOAK heirloom treasures or consignment shop finds.

What We Know Is

When groups of sellers get together in online spaces to support one another collectively I believe a synergy happens that is almost unbelievable.  "What we know" is kind of amazing to see in other words, especially when it comes to finding solutions to common problems.  So if you want help ask a trusted group of online sellers for help and make a commitment to get involved with collective promoting!

After visiting my friend's stores and surfing cool posts on Facebook I get that success and completed sales (I call them "SOLDS") have a lot to do with finding niche markets that exist and simply just going for it with trying to sell things online.  What I find over and over again (and admire) are those small good-guy online sellers who display a true passion for marketing and genuinely want to succeed with what they are doing business-wise.  

I am not saying I spend a lot of time looking for promotions via social media that are smashing successes.  I like to see that kind of thing when I come across it but I am pretty sure the frustration of listing stuff for sale online and only hearing crickets in their stores is a real problem for many.  Simply put, that downer is a big part of "What We Know Is" too and is why networking with other small sellers is so criticial. 

I think moral support is worth more than gold so I suggest you go looking for it as a high priority task when you go online to try and sell things.



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Reader Comments  (12)

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Native By Designz   | August 27th 2012 at 1346093065

Very spot on, Brian! You captured the essence of what it is to try to sell online. Without moral support from other Small Businesses, you may as well be sitting in the dark.
Royal Presence
Royal Presence | August 27th 2012 at 1346102231

So true, we all learn and grow from one another. Small Business entrepreneurs need to develop and nurture their relationships as much as possible. Sometimes it's funny, because in this ecommerce world, it's amazing how one can feel connected with certain other peers. It doesn't matter the category of products, what matters is the connection, support and authenticity.
RedHeadedGypsy
RedHeadedGypsy | October 8th 2012 at 1349703031

Sellers connecting and nurtering each other......what a concept. I've been around the net long enough to remember when information sharing was actually commonplace, now.....not so much. That may be because some sellers today are a bit more cutthroat and looking to undercut other sellers out of jealousy or greed so people tend to have their guard up. It's unfortunate but all the more fulfilling when one connects with genuine, caring sellers eager to exchange ideas and knowledge. Thanks to Brian for showing us the way to reaquaint ourselves to seeking out nurturing relationships.
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MCatherine   | January 9th 2013 at 1357738746

Keeping the Light for each other is absolutely key Brian, and you are one of the premier LampLighters! Here's my Collective Cheer for SBO's: All for One and One for All!
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MCatherine   | February 2nd 2013 at 1359824255

MrsMysteryGal
MrsMysteryGal | February 15th 2013 at 1360989395

I think moral support is worth more than gold so I suggest you go looking for it as a high priority task when you go online to try and sell things.
Very well said... !!!
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Brenda Di Domenico Moultrie | June 10th 2013 at 1370918555

so true..its not something that can be done alone..having a support network of friends is the way to go..make good friends..meet every day..I love that part..and promote whatever it is we want to promote..even if its not for sale..a thought..a recipe. or even a hug or a smile..
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sue zupnyk | June 11th 2013 at 1370951311

So very true...without the help and support of networking friends it would be very difficult for me to succeed.
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Jodie   | June 11th 2013 at 1370963008

wow Brian, so true and well said, we all need each other to succeed. Thank You for this post
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Dana   | June 11th 2013 at 1370993418

Great post! I'm glad to have you on my team! :)
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Deborah Leaverton   | June 12th 2013 at 1371072901

Aha, therein lies the greatest problem of a small business. It's so hard to find help when you don't have a budget for advertising and so on, but no one wants to offer you help from what they've learned. It's great to find online groups like https://www.facebook.com/groups/NetworkingTogether/ where everyone helps one another!
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MCatherine   | June 9th 2014 at 1402378314

Sharing your post and mine. AND, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine on you too!

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