6 Ways to Use Social Media as an Entrepreneur

Person using a tablet and social media to share images at a desk, image used for Edward Eddie Dovner blog on how entrepreneurs can use social media

In a previous blog, I’ve discussed why social media is important for entrepreneurs, so now I’d like to discuss how you can actually use social media to your advantage as an entrepreneur. Social media allows you to compete with much larger companies when you’re first launching your business, because you can connect with consumers through social media platforms and get the word out about your brand, with minimal cost. You won’t have to spend a fortune on marketing and advertising and can instead use that money to better your product or service. Follow these tips for the most effective ways to use social media to help your business.

Create a support system

One of the greatest parts of social media is that it allows you to connect with other people no matter where they live. You’ll be able to find other entrepreneurs and people in your industry that you can begin cultivating relationships with. They might just be starting out like you or maybe they have a lot more experience. Regardless, it’s important to build a support system of people you can learn from, bounce ideas off of, and get advice from. Look for groups to join on social media where people discuss the basics of entrepreneurship and your industry. These groups instantly connect you to many like-minded people.

Connect with your target audience

A huge part of marketing is identifying your target audience and then working to attract their attention. How you get their attention depends on the demographics of your target audience. Luckily, plenty of research has been done on the demographics of social media sites and when are the best times to post on different platforms. Learn who your audience is and what accounts they use and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble as you begin your social media marketing.

Interact with followers

Consumers love interacting with brands on social media. It makes them feel that the company actually values its customers and listens to their input. Reply to comments your followers make and consider holding a Q&A session or hosting a giveaway. Getting your followers involved on social media makes you and your business seem more familiar and creates interest in your product.

Push your brand

Social media is vital to establishing your brand, whether it’s your personal or professional one. Carefully think about the image you want to convey and craft it. Keep your brand succinct so your followers have consistency. The more familiar your brand becomes and the more often consumers see it, the more likely they are to patronize your business.

Feature new products and services

When you’re releasing a new product or service, use social media to create buzz about it. Post pictures and short blurbs in order to get people interested. Consider creating a short video explaining what’s great about your new service or showing what the new product does. It’s much cheaper than traditional advertising and with the right use of keywords and presentation, you’ll reach a large audience.

Post consistently

Finally, posting consistently is vital to an entrepreneur’s success on social media. If you want to generate followers, you need to show that your content is valuable. Try to post at least once a week initially, but updating once a day would be even better. Most of your content should be original, but it’s also good to share posts from other prominent entrepreneurs and regularly interact with followers and influencers.

Miami’s 2nd in the Nation for Startup Creation, Ranks Low for Growth, Scalability

8408220671_22438e9046_bMiami is known for its heat, but equally, it’s known as an attractive home for startups. However, while Miami earns the distinction of being the second in the nation for startup creation, it also ranks low for growth and scalability.

Kauffman Foundation published a study that demonstrated that Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area ranked second from the bottom out of 40 metro areas in the growth of fast-growing companies. This news comes just one year after Miami came in second for job creation and sixth in the nation for small business activity.

The 2016 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship utilized data on revenue and employment to rank metro areas and states. Looking at the first five years of business, they looked at fast-growing companies reached at least 50 employees by year 10, high-growth company density, or the number of private businesses with at least $2 million in annual revenue. Comparably, Washington, DC came in No. 1, performing three times better than Miami in every category (No. 39). In the state of Florida, Jacksonville (No. 23), Tampa (No. 26), and Orlando (No. 35) ranked higher than Miami. In the nation, only Detroit ranked lower.

“Miami is a place that does very, very well on startup activity – a lot of people are becoming entrepreneurs and starting companies,” said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst and program officer in Research and Policy at Kauffman, which studies and supports entrepreneurship. “But when we look at how firms grow after they start, we don’t see Miami doing very well.”

The good news? Miami has a good density of startup companies, so it’s just a matter of engineering businesses to scale better. Some important facts that key to grow an entrepreneur are connectivity, density, fluidity, and diversity.

Knowing one’s proximity to similar companies, knowing how to connect for the purposes of resources, know how to assemble resources locally to grow talent and money, and recognizing the diversity of skill sets. With Florida ranking 24 out of the 25 largest states ranked for growth entrepreneurship, Florida still marked the state ranked in the top five for health entrepreneurship.

Miami is working toward developing a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem. Within the past few years, the Knight Foundation has committed more than $20 million to more than 160 entrepreneurship projects and organizations throughout the city. Numerous Miami-based organizations are focusing on scaling up.

Also, Florida ranked 14th in the nation for venture capital growth in 2015. Ultimately, the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship offered that U.S. entrepreneurial growth across industries and states. Miami’s entrepreneurial business growth has helped the region to the Great Recession, and it’s directly helped to spark wealth, job, and innovation increases.

Embrace an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Change Your Life

beach-885109_960_720All entrepreneurs appear to be risk-loving, free-wheeling, and challenge-seeking individuals who are fearless. While lives like theirs seem unattainable, anyone can embrace an entrepreneurial mindset and effectively change their lives.

These experimental and innovative individuals aren’t that different from anyone else. They may seem a world apart, but they’re born in the same hospitals, attend the same grade schools, and walk the same streets. The difference? They simply have an inclination toward risks, creativity, conceptualization, and execution. However, inherently, we all have the ability to access these valued traits in our personal and professional lives. The trick is to cross the line from thinking about developing a business to actually deciding to create a business.

A large part of getting stuck in a rut is a failure to think creatively and take on risks. Without making the decision to take risks or to use one’s imagination, life may appear bleak. This can even be the case for those who are otherwise satisfied in their lives. By utilizing an entrepreneurial mindset at home and at work, we learn to be more creative and purposeful with our space and time, elevating everything from brunch to business endeavors. Of course, this is easier said than done. Making the shift from where you are to where you want to be involves accepting a challenge and seeking a success-driven life.

Find satisfaction in overcoming challenges and embracing an entrepreneurial outlook.  Why do this? Well, it’s simple. It’s easy to allow an uninspired job to bog you down and absorb you wholly. The notion of ‘overcoming and embracing’ fosters the idea that you should seek alternatives to your current position in life. The entrepreneurial principles beg you to stay committed to self-development, purpose, strategy, and responsibility, which are essential for the growth of a business.

The entrepreneurial mindset, which is a mindset that leans toward defiance, problem-solving, and rule breaking, tends to disagree with presented rules. The inventiveness of entrepreneurs keeps them dissatisfied and forces them to always modify the rules for improvement. This isn’t to say you should totally disregard the rules at your current workplace, but consider those rules, and find areas where some of those regulations can be improved. Entrepreneurs are much like writers, who adhere only to those rules that help them to achieve those goals while disregarding the rules that appear limiting.

Be a decider, not a permission-asker. Entrepreneurs recognize when decisions must be made. Rather than asking around for advice, then educate themselves on ways to solve the issues on their own. Of course, these are judgment calls and risks that may or may not be met with positivity.

Fear of self-investment holds us back. Ultimately, the thing that holds entrepreneurs back isn’t the lack of ideas, it’s the fact that there are no guarantees. Undoubtedly, the entrepreneurial spark has burned many, but it has ignited a clear path toward success for many others. This fear often comes to us in the form of doubt, and we become receptive to disapproval.

Often, it takes decades to shake feelings of fear, and success isn’t realized until later in life. Many don’t realize they don’t have to capsize their lives in order to become an entrepreneur. It simply means making yourself available to small changes that will facilitate your dreams. This means putting aside a little extra green in order to grow your future aspirations; trying something risky every day; networking with other entrepreneurial people; becoming open to new adventures; writing down new ideas, and communicating your interest in developing a business to everyone you meet. This will help you to take a step forward toward your dreams.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

Entrepreneurs: Burn the Midnight Oil, But Don’t Burn Out


Burn the midnight oil while you build your future company, but don’t burn out. Some quit their day jobs while others choose to shoulder the responsibility of full-time work and their new business venture. Deciding whether one should or shouldn’t hold onto a nine-to-five is a deeply personal decision but doing both means knowing how to successfully juggle the passion and the profession.

One important thing that an entrepreneur must do is set daily goals. By setting daily goals you ensure each day is a step toward the future business that you deserve and desire. Plan for the tedious tasks and the big moments by creating to-do lists and logos. Develop a business page, organize marketing ideas, compile a list of potential contacts and generate a catalog of design or campaign ideas. Depending on the type of business you want, there’s a great deal of work to be done, and there’s no point in waiting to start your future. You can aggressively prepare for the life and future of your company before it becomes a real thing.

What’s also very important when creating a business is “giving it your all, but not your everything.” Passion may compel you to put absolutely everything into your project but that’s not necessarily the best avenue. Keeping a full-time job while working means that you’ll have money to invest into your company, lessening the need to take out loans. With that said, look to trusted individuals around you with investments. Seek out the help of friends who can offer you their skills related to legal counseling, website development, marketing, coding, product development and proper research. Seek out the assistance of freelancers, outsourcing as much as you can. If you’re too busy to handle your social media, book your appointments or populate your blogs, find a freelancer or a virtual assistant.

Also, if you must, find a co-founder who can help to share the responsibility, alleviate stress and helping to accomplish goals. You and your co-founder will be able to get twice as much done and you’ll have a sounding board. When seeking a co-founder be sure to find someone who shares the same passions as you, who looks has a set of skills to offer and who you’re very compatible with. Search social media sites, go to industry events and visit networking sites like StartupWeekend, CoFounderLab, and Startup Grind.

Another piece of valuable advice is to avoid distractions. Make sure you set aside time to spend with your loved ones and friends, but if your Netflix or Amazon Prime Video subscription keeps you from doing the work that you must do, then you need to limit your use of it. When you’re working on important projects, steer clear of Facebook and Twitter, stay away from your email, shut off the cell phone and focus wholeheartedly on the work at hand. You’ll boost your productivity, which will help you to one day generate revenue and offer your customers a secure service.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.

3 Things Entrepreneurs With Full-Time Jobs Should Do

Salaryman_asleep_on_the_Tokyo_SubwayDespite everything you’ve read, there are no clear-cut paths that will point you clearly toward your career as an entrepreneur. There’s no instruction manual or guideline that will totally offer you the framework you’ll need to launch and carry your business, that’s particularly true for those who create businesses while holding full-time jobs. With that said, there are thoughtful suggestions, there’s real and comprehensive advice shared by experienced professionals who want nothing more than to see others create boldly and efficiently.

1. Find a Coven of Entrepreneurs

Find a group of peers dedicated to their own ideas and dreams, and develop a symbiotic relationship where you nurture and foster one another’s success. Together, you should support one another, share advice and brainstorm, which will carry you all closer to where you need to be. If you’re having trouble finding a coven and question coworkers and friends about their dreams for personal success, and convert them to hopeful entrepreneurs.

2. Learn Relentlessly

An important part of being a business leader is knowing a great deal about the business industry that you’ll be a part of. That means that you always educating yourself and using the internet and any other means as a resource. Visit the local library, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, read books, find a mentor and hire a coach. Do anything you can to learn everything you can. Do whatever it takes to stay motivated and confident.

3. Respect Your Day Job

No, your day job isn’t your dream job, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve your respect or your interest. When you’re at work, show that you appreciate it by doing the best that you can. Even if your job is difficult or stressful, it’s likely that you can find comfort in your friendly co-workers, your comfortable work chair, or the work.

Whatever it may be, focus on that positive, and use that positive to help keep you eye on the prize, Don’t let negative thoughts or negative aspects of the job drag you down. Instead, try to turn the discomfort on its head. Think, In what ways is this company poorly run and how would I correct it if I was in charge? or In what ways can I make sure my employees are comfortable? You should view each negative moment as an opportunity for constructive thinking.

Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.