Each year, my company conducts a series of “kickoff” meetings designed to bring together independent distributors for a day (or weekend) of networking and training.

Dave and Deanna Waters hosted the event.
Dave and Deanna Waters hosted the event.

Events in the United States and Canada continue throughout the month and last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba to educate a group about the value of social media for business.

Fortunately, I missed the legendary “deep freeze” the area experienced a week earlier. While temps dipped to 40-below the first week of January, they jumped to a much more bearable 25 degrees the day of the presentation.

Unfortunately, I’m not a big hockey guy and Winnipeg prefers Jets hockey over NFL playoff football.

At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed my brief stay in Winnipeg — though the lead-up produced some anxiety (and long nights preparing the presentation).

I’ve done a series of smaller live trainings previously, mainly at our international convention. I’ve also done individual trainings on a distributor-by-distributor basis. I’ve even conducted a few hour-long webcasts in which I described the basics of social media.

But speaking to a group of about 100 distributors for an entire afternoon was new to me.

I put together a 50-minute multimedia presentation explaining how social media is revolutionizing the way we communicate today. It touched on several topics, including why we as a company value social media so highly and why individual business owners should consider incorporating it into their overall business strategy.

A full house turned out for an afternoon of social media training.
A full house turned out for an afternoon of social media training.

In the first hour I shared 5 reasons why I believe social media is a must for every entrepreneur. I thought I’d post them here as well.

  1. You Are Your Brand: Stake your claim as an expert in health and nutrition. Find a niche and establish yourself as an expert in that arena. Capitalize on the power of two-way communication.
  2. Expand Your Reach: Connect with new audiences to increase your business potential.
  3. You’re in the People Business: Social media is where consumers are communicating. Build a rapport with your potential customers by providing them with value via social media.
  4. Remain on the Cutting Edge: Don’t be the business owner who thought he’d never need an email address. Social media is changing business the same way email did 25 years ago.
  5. Your Customers Will Expect It: That is, if they don’t already. Find ways you can provide value to your audience and take advantage of customer service “wow” opportunities. Being human and showing you care (without expectation for anything in return) goes a long way.

The rest of the afternoon included hands-on training on various social sites (primarily Facebook) and provided an opportunity for attendees to get their questions answered.

In all, I think this sort of training is incredibly valuable. I remember when I started using social media for business and how much trial-and-error ensued. I’m glad I had the opportunity to share in my experiences and help others possibly save some time by following in our footsteps.