Good Morning friends.  Hello 2012!  I’m happy to be starting off this New Year with you and it seems we are already well on our way. Are you ready to make some changes this year and grow your business to a new level of health, support, and success?  I know I am.  How about we work together on that, shall we?

Well that’s a nice lead-in to my topic for today, because it’s all about CONNECTION.


by pistocasero © on flickr

{The talent here is spectacular. Click on any image for a link to purchase that print or see more.}

Ok.  Let me back up a moment.  If you are just joining me here, I’ll fill you in real quick.  This week I’m exploring my New Year’s Goals {Resolutions} and am bringing you along. Each day this week we can delve together into a different topic: CONNECTION, OFFERING VALUE, ORGANIZATION, FOCUS, and FOLLOW-THROUGH.  Along with these topics, I’m going to be offering resources, suggestions, and even a freebie. Plus, I’d love your feedback on this too!  Let’s make this a discussion.

Alright. Back to CONNECTION.

This is what business is about, right? Well, for most of us, we need to connect with people in order to have a profitable business. It’s also part of what makes owning your own business so rewarding – genuine and meaningful connections with other human beings.  Connection comes in different shapes and forms, although now days, we can pretty much categorize them into online virtual connection and offline in-person connections.

This year, I’m going to focus and get better at both. I’ve been ok with connecting so far, but I think I have a lot of room for improvement.  I mean, this is what really drives a business and brings in new customers.

You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t connect with people, you aren’t going to sell anything. Nobody is going to know you exist.

So, what do ya say?  Do you want to do some connecting with me?


by James_Chan © on Flickr


Let’s start with the online connections since that’s how we are connecting right now.  Here are a few ways we can connect, right here, right now.

Facebook – Do you have an account? With more than 800 million active users worldwide, I hope you do!  If so, let’s share links. Comment on this post to share your page or like my business page and I will do the same for you. I’ve actually met some pretty great people this way.  It’s about networking and mutual benefits.

According to, 5-10 posts is the ideal number of posts per week for a business page. Just make sure you are OFFERING VALUE (a topic for later this week).  What’s more, businesses who post less than 2 times per week get lost in the crowd and are really not effective.  So post away, but don’t be careless.

Want more great info?  Visit  Really. They are chock full of great info like, Facebook Tips for Success.

Twitter –  Gotta have it! The number of ideal tweets per day varies depending on who you ask, although I would say that the numbers are about equal to facebook. However, as with any social media, don’t forget to include your friends.  I don’t think that re-tweets really count for those numbers, because you are spreading valuable information and helping out your fellow business owners.

If there ever was a rule for social engagement, it may be give more than you take.  That is, spread the love and share what other people are offering more than you solicit your own business.  

If you put off the “all about me” vibe, people will take notice and not in a good way.

Another great way of connecting via twitter is with Twitter lists.  I’ve put together one called “Grow Your Business” and I’d like to recommend that you subscribe to it. Don’t do it for me.  It’s a conglomeration of some of my favorite business coaches, inspirational leaders, and social media experts.  I look at it all the time to gather more great info for my own knowledge database.

Of course, that only touches the surface of social media platforms.  There’s also Linked-In, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, DiggInstagram, Quora, Foursquare, Google+, Youtube to name only a few.  Don’t get overwhelmed.  My advice?  Pick a few and stick with them.

{Tip} With all of that in mind, I have one thing to say to you.  Don’t be shallow.  These social media platforms can be a bit overwhelming, but the key is to use them to create real personal interactions. Don’t just re-tweet or share links, respond to others.  Let your personality shine through.  Comment on blog posts in ways that extend the conversation.  Offer value to others.  Compliment and recommend.  Share.

Remember how I talked about connecting by adding value?  One person that I recently met who does this REALLY well is Caylie Price of Better Business, Better Life. She’s been offering free online reviews of other people’s internet presence.  I was extremely impressed with her review of Blossom Design Studio as well as her review of my photography company, Twin Satori.  She really spends time digging and showed her in-depth knowledge by politely suggesting how businesses can improve.  It’s really brilliant actually. She offers valuable information to others, while at the same time granting them exposure on her website.  BUT, she’s also positioning herself as an expert, promoting her business, and offering something that others are going to want to share.  Can think of a way to connect with others at a deeper level, like Caylie does?


Now it’s time to unglue yourself from the computer and get out to make real personal connections.  I struggle with this one.  There is something mighty addicting and fun about social media.  But every time I unplug and meet others face to face, I am rewarded in more ways than one.

Illustration by Pisto Casero for the poem MAY by Chad Sweeney for the Air Poetry Magazine Issue 1 Summer 2011 (Minnesota)

Illustration by PistoCasero © on Flickr

I think the key here is to network. You can start by doing that online using something like, to find groups and meetings in your location. Check for small business networking groups or groups of professionals related to your line of work.  But then GET OUT and meet people face-to-face. For instance, are you a landscape contractor?  Maybe there is a gardening club you can join or give a talk to.  They may have a big project they need built, or know someone who knows someone who needs something, you know?

In Cochise county, were I live, we have an amazing resource called the Small Business Development Council that is part of  Cochise College.  Not only do they give free guidance to businesses, but they also host a great deal of valuable events, like social media marketing days.  Last time I attended one of these, I met a bunch of new people and many related to my line of work.  It’s a great way to connect and many cities or towns have something similar.  Google it 🙂

Believe it or not, one of my most successful away-from-the-computer encounters has been the local farmer’s market.  I met a former graphic designer who started her own business selling chocolate and organic food.  She is no longer doing graphic design, so she offered to send work my way.  The lesson I learned here is that it pays to get out and meet people, even if it’s in a place you don’t expect.  ALWAYS have business cards on hand.


So, what’s your secret to creating meaningful connections?  Please share with all of us via the comment bar below.  You’ll be helping others and you can leave a link to your business. You can also share on my facebook business page

And don’t forget to stay tuned for the next topic…OFFERING VALUE.

One last thing.  Do you need help setting up your social media accounts? I can help you get them set-up and rolling. Contact me for more details.