You’re an entrepreneur on Twitter. Great. You can broadcast all your insights to an interested audience. But, it’s also a great place to find out what else is happening in the entrepreneurial world. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking for new connections, here are the top 10 accounts you should be following on Twitter.
1. Richard Branson
The founder of Virgin is quite familiar with Twitter. He tweets a lot. If you’re looking for some nuggets of wisdom delivered directly to your feed, Richard Branson is the guy to do it.
2. Guy Kawasaki
Guy is an author of many marketing and business books. He’s seen behind the curtain at Apple and Google. He’s great at finding interesting material to share online, giving you a wide array of knowledge to look through.
3. Anita Campbell
Anita is the founder and CEO of Small Business Trends. The Small Business Trends blog curates info on small business resources, trends, and advice. Anita isn’t limited to text-based posts, either. She curates podcasts, videos, and more for her audience.
4. Bijan Sabet
If you want to stay up on to date on the latest technology, Bijan Sabet is the guy to do it. Bijan is a board member for Twitter. He’s also a partner at Spark Capitol. You can also take a look at his personal blog, http://www.bijansabet.com.
5. Seth Godin
If you’re an entrepreneur who hasn’t heard of Seth Godin…where have you been? Seth has written several bestselling books on entrepreneurship and marketing. Like many on this list, he has a personal blog at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/. Don’t miss it.
6. Caterina Fake
Caterina is the co-founder of Flickr and Hunch. She has the unique perspective of a woman entrepreneur. She tweets about her success as an entrepreneur, which can be inspiring and give you something to aspire to.
7. Brad Feld
Brad is the managing director of the Foundry Group. He invests in software and Internet companies. And, while he might not invest in your company, it gives you the chance to get into the mind of the investor. Also, he shares investments and trends to watch.
8. Cindy Ratzlaff
Rather than an entrepreneur, Cindy is a marketing strategist (her Twitter handle is @BrandYou, after all). She has created award-winning marketing platrforms. Forbes named her one of the “Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” if you need another reason to follow her. If you want some marketing tips, this is the place to go.
9. Jason Fried
Jason is the co-founder and CEO of 37Signals, which is a software for small businesses. His tweets focus on revenue generating business ideas. He also interacts with some of his followers, so don’t be afraid to reply to any of his tweets of interest. You may cultivate a relationship.
10. Randi Zuckerberg
Yes, that Zuckerberg. Randi is Mark’s older sister. She has a media company and likes to tweet about tech tips and technology. She’s also a writer for Wired magazine. You can never go wrong with that.
Who do you think is an essential Twitter personality every entrepreneur should follow? Share in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow @BizTV,.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re always pitching, always selling, always ready to take advantage of the opportunity. Not every attempt will be successful, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t interested. Maybe you need to change your tactics in getting to that yes.
Whether investor, influencer, or customer, these tips will help you get to yes with whoever you’re talking to.
1. Tighten it up
How are you representing yourself? Does it look sharp, tight, and put together? This doesn’t just mean you need to get your suit fitted before you go into your next meeting (though you should definitely do that, too). Check your website. How does it look? Is it extremely outdated? Websites and social media are becoming more and more important as a representation of your company. Just like you spend time on your own appearance, spend some time on the appearance of everything else. Trust me. People will check.
2. Build credibility
Google yourself. What comes up? Does it show who’ve you’ve worked with? Does it show the kind of people you’ve worked with? Can you get a bead on your reputation based on your results? Unless there’s a specific non-disclosure agreement, you should be proud of the people you’ve worked with and for. Don’t hide your clients. Don’t hide your reviews. Use other people to build your credibility so you can prove you are respected in your field.
3. You are not alone
Cold calls are hard and networking can only take you so far. You need to start with your immediate network. Break down your immediate contacts and see if you can take them out to dinner or drinks. If they can’t help you, maybe they can help you brainstorm.
I know this seems pretty obvious, but sometimes, people have a hard time saying yes if there’s no question. Be specific about what you’re requesting. Don’t just ask for money, ask for an amount. Don’t just ask for a referral, ask them what they thought about you and where they would be willing to share it. Giving people a call to action isn’t just lip service. Sometimes, you need to lay out exactly what they’re saying yes to.
5. Use everything
You can reach pretty much anyone these days. Whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or website, you should be able to find the people you want to talk to. If you aren’t on these platforms, you should consider getting up to date with them. It’s not just a place for people to socialize casually. Business contacts can be made on any platform nowadays. You need to be ready to jump across the board. And, because some of these social networking sites are less formal, you might have a little bit of a better shot.
But, be aware of who you target. You don’t want to be pitching Richard Branson over Twitter. It will just make you look bad.
What are your tips to get to yes? Have you found something that absolutely DOESN’T work? Share in the comments!
While he didn’t announce his candidacy, Jack Dorsey has expressed an interest in running for mayor of New York some day. If you aren’t familiar with Dorsey, he helped co-found Twitter. He also had a hand in founding Square. You know. That little white box attached to the iPad Mini in all those new coffeeshops that you swipe your credit card through.
Dorsey is valued at around $1 billion dollars, but he wouldn’t be New York’s first billionaire mayor.
Mayor Bloomberg, New York’s current mayor, will be exciting his post on Jan. 1, 2014. Dorsey did not say he would be looking to enter the race then. Bloomberg has had some questionable laws passed, including the large soda ban that was overturned by the judicial system last week. On the positive side, New York’s population has reached an all time high. Bloomberg is also a former entrepreneur.
As far as Dorsey’s experience is concerned, Square was started in 2010 and now has 400 employees and a partnership with Starbucks. Twitter surpassed the 200 million user mark in December.
In January, John Catsimatidis, owner of the Gristedes grocery chain, announced his candidacy for mayor. Brian Sullivan, the founder and creator of PUR water filter, ran for governor of Minnesota. Founding father, inventor, and entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin didn’t mind throwing his hat into the political ring. Even Mitt Romney had an entrepreneurial background. And, probably the biggest name in entrepreneurs turned politicians, is Ross Perot. Perot founded EDS and then Perot Systems before his run for the presidency.
Many say that small business owners and entrepreneurs represent the American spirit. The entrepreneur is often seen as someone with a can-do attitude, a head for innovation, and an almost stubborn dedication to their vision. Is there something politicians and entrepreneurs share? Or are entrepreneurs drawn to an ideal? Whatever the reason, America has a long tradition of entrepreneurs turned politicians and that isn’t about to change.
What do you think? Do entrepreneurs make good politicians? Will the city of New York adopt Jack Dorsey as quickly as everyone else adopted Twitter?