Small Business Owners – Your Personality Counts

Posted on 29 April 2010

Claire Chapman

Claire Chapman

On April 28, I sent out this tweet: “So who’d like to write an opinionated guest post on my blog, “Spotlight on Marketing”?” Claire Chapman, the UK Social Media Coach, responded immediately, and I invited her to write a post about something to do with small-business marketing. Here’s what she wrote (thanks Claire!):

 One of the things I constantly harp on about is the fact that it’s social media. Social for me is all about connecting, interacting, and being real and authentic (and a big shout out to Kay who practises what she preaches here!). Being social is where, as a small business owner, you have a huge advantage over other, larger and more traditional organisations. These big organisations have a corporate structure; potentially have a social media policy on “how things should be done around here”, and are often risk-averse. For risk-averse, read: “We’d like to gain the benefits of the extra channels of social media, but without the inherent risk of opening the conversation.”

Now – this is not true of all big businesses – many are doing a great job being out there and socialising their message and building both their corporate brand and helping their customers get their problems fixed quicker. Our advantage in being a small business is that we can cut through the office politics (if there are any), and we can respond faster and with real knowledge of the issues and challenges our customers face, and the language they use. We also have nothing to lose – and everything to gain – by being ourselves.

By being authentic, by responding, by helping and by adding value, we can build our personal brand into one that builds trust. When we built trust, and when we use social media to get our name, what we do and how we can help out there in a clear way, it’s making that choice of who to do business with so much easier. So starting with adding value and following the 5 R’s can really make you real, out there in a virtual world:

  • Read (listen to) what is being said by the people you follow and search out tweets relevant to your specialist subject.
  • Respond to people who message you, reply to you, mention you and re-tweet you. After all, you’d do this in real life, right?
  • Re-tweet (with attribution!) great content that you know your followers will love.
  • Reach out regularly – connect with new people, see how you can help and answer questions.
  • Be Remarkable – remark on what others do, and create content that starts conversations.


Claire Chapman is the UK Social Media Coach (follow her on twitter). With a coaching background and a love of communication, Claire helps answer the “What, when, why and how” of social media for business owners, with a range of social media coaching, strategy and training sessions.

1 Response to Small Business Owners – Your Personality Counts

  • Hi Kay

    Fabulous – thanks for the opportunity to write on your blog! Such a pleasure. I’ll look forwards to reading some more blog posts from guest authors in the future!


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