Saturday, April 03, 2010

Social Media For Business In Newcastle

A big pat on the back for Wayne Lennan on hosting the recent workshop for select business owners introducing social media marketing for business.

Here's a slideshow of what we discussed.

For those who don't know Wayne, he specialises in risk management products for families and businesses (life insurance, income protection and trauma cover etc) and has been quick to see the value in providing access to good information on the changing business environment, to his associates and business clients. The world of business is definitely changing, and as was discussed at the workshop, many businesses are noticing the change, even if they are not yet developing strategies to deal with it.

To demonstrate this change, one of the participants told me after the presentation, that his way of opening discussions with new people used to consist of networking, and setting up appointments with people he'd meet in networking situations, and meet them for coffee at a future date to run through what he does. He's finding now though, that people will take his card then go look him up on the internet and check him out before they decide if they will meet with him or not. This creates a major shift in the way that he must operate, and as he said "I'm not on the internet ... so it's like I don't exist...!" Not existing is bad enough. Being found online and not in a positive way, is another face of the same issue.

Whether we like it or not. Whether we want it to be that way or not... people are working in ways that are quite different than they were just a few short years ago.

Kudos to Wayne Lennan for taking up the challenge and sharing some insight with his business network.

Business is never going to be the same again, and all the things we knew about what 'works' is up for change.

One of the topics I covered in the presentation was the lack of ability in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley, to buy things from local companies via their website. Lots of examples where buyers with money in their hand ready to purchase locally, via a website, are greeted with nothing but blank space when it comes to finding a local business wanting to take their order, judging by the searches on Google. And yet other businesses showing up from Sydney, Adelaide, you name it - for purchases we'd like to buy from a local merchant.

This should be an issue for anyone serious about developing their business.

The really sad thing? Newcastle and the Hunter Valley could be blitzing the online world and setting the standard for business in the new world order. Our businesses could be building their sales and reducing overheads in ways that would fundamentally change they way they do business, and improve profitability (and value of the business) dramatically.

It's been said that Newcastle business isn't 'hungry' enough.

I wonder if that's true.

You can find Wayne Lennan on Facebook here

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