“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
? Brene Brown
As someone who comes from a family of business owners, I often reflect on what it was like for my Grandfather in his day. He ran a small hardware store and lumber yard in a time long before the Internet or social media. Reaching his customers took a different form of networking. He had to be present in the community, building trust and relationships in person. While we still do this, we have the added advantage of building and networking online. Times change and with that change comes vulnerability.
Word of mouth now exists across the web, with reviews, social media posts and the success of our websites. There is no doubt that times have changed since my Grandfather honed his craft.
Since I consider him to have been a wise man, I think it’s possible to learn how to help my clients adapt and change by learning something about how he did the same. What, during his life, was as new and evolving as social media and the world of online reviews are today?
Television might provide a clue. Born in the 1930’s, it’s safe to say that Grandpa grew up with radio. By the time he was running a business, however, television was a new medium taking the nation by storm.
I don’t know if my Grandfather ever used television to advertise his business, but he was unquestionably aware of its influential power. By the time his grandchildren were born, television was the most common way for people to learn about a business, local or otherwise.
It’s common today for businesses to utilize the power of the new mediums, brought about by the internet. It’s also common, however, to hesitate. I once had a client tell me they didn’t claim their Google Business listing because “if we don’t use it, we won’t get negative reviews.” I was able to show him that reviews of his business already existed, with or without his consent to claim the page. A switch to a proactive approach helped his company to successfully manage and respond to reviews, including those less favorable.
If you aren’t using your website, social media and business listings to promote your company, you’re running a risk of missing out on the positive outcomes these solutions provide. Partnering with an agency that has experience managing these platforms is a small investment with big rewards.
We’re all vulnerable online. How we choose to address that vulnerability defines us and the businesses we’ve built.