You Should Be Here
James Governor shows once again why, if you are a small business owner or even just looking for a job, you should be actively discussing your topics and your industry in industry forums or even the blogosphere. To some degree, it can be like shouting upward at leaden skies to try to break through to the key people that you need to reach. If you are an active part of the industry's discussions, key people that might not otherwise look at you are likely to hear about you from people that they will see and hear.
When you look at entrepreneurship posts and small business, many of them are trying to sell you on some new must-have gadget or service. Likewise, many of the job-hunting posts try to sell you on whatever the newest social networking site is.
The truth is, if the major people in your industry are joining ]insert site here], then you may need to join. Your task is to get the attention of those who are most likely to need the things you have to offer. If you have a small business, you need customers—individuals or companies or government agencies that purchase the product or service you offer—to choose you as one of their vendors. Likewise, for a job-hunter, you need one or more employers to choose you as one of their "human capital vendors".
For job-hunters: the choice of wording there was intentional. To the company, you may be just an employee. But you need to see yourself as an independent vendor who has a close relationship with a particular customer. The reason for that is the competitive world market for labor. An employee puts in his eight to ten hours every day, and then goes home, drinks a couple of beers and sits in front of the television until bedtime. An independent vendor, on the other hand, goes off to prepare himself to offer new products and services. He will look at his marketing plan from time to time, trying to find ways to make himself more valuable to his current customer(s) and to potential customers he may seek in the future. He may even decide that a particular customer will never value his products and services enough, and therefore begin looking for new customers.
In either situation, you need to reach out to those who use what you offer. Whether it is blogging, social networking sites, or joining the local Jaycees and chamber of commerce, use the tools that are already available to get your message in front of those who need what you have to offer.