On Thursday morning, I hauled myself out of bed at ridiculous-o’clock-in-the-morning to attend We Mean Business 2010 at Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
I went there to represent the Purley 2.0 project under the guise of my ‘business’ Social Purley. My aim for the day was a) to informally convince more locals to use twitter and b) raise the profile of Purley as a place for prospective investment/interest for businesses.
The day had two seminars. The first was run by @markshaw of Shaw Consultants who spent 90mins educating attendees on the merits of using Twitter for business. Although the talk was quite elementary, it was needed and it was great to see so many people leaving who were clearly empowered to harness the selling power of social media.
To sketch out some of Mark’s points briefly:
- 105million Twitter users (read: customers) in the world…
- …therefore business needs to be where customers are
- Business relies on ‘word of mouth’. Twitter = digital WOM.
- Search functions means you can find custom quickly
- Easy way to draw traffic back to your website
- It’s free
- Can be done in 15 minutes over the working day
- It’s fun
- Can be used for impromptu focus groups
- Great for creating brand advocates
Moral of the story: use twitter.
The second seminar was ’18 steps to being a successful entrepreneur’ by the MD and owner of the hugely successful BestOf franchise, @nigelbotterill. Big Nige was a hugely enthusiastic northerner and hearing him talk was like a cross between an episode of Emmerdale and Working Lunch. I’m not going to summarize all of his points but the main thrust was: utilise the web effectively (pay-per-click, google maps etc), do what you love and wake up early to do it. Safe.
The best bit of the day was making connections! 🙂
Although I wasn’t able to chat to her for long, it was fantastic to meet the co-ordinator of the event @maudalleyne as well as Paul who is in charge of the @allaboutcroydon twitter account. Both of them were approachable talkative people who have a great heart for business and Croydon that goes beyond the ‘day job’.
Through mingling and talking to people, seeds were also planted for future plans. As soon as @james_brooks and I can get some free time to hit the streets of Purley and do some filming, I managed to secure some free broadcasting sessions with croydontv.co.uk – now if only I could Denzel Washington for a cameo role…