Entrepreneur Connect

June 8th, 2009 by | Print

econnect-logoToday’s The Solopreneur’s Guide Vendor Series is one of my personal favorites, Entrepreneur Connect.

 

Technically, Entrepreneur Connect (eConnect) isn’t a vendor, but keeping with the spirit of this series – interviewing or reviewing companies and services that offer a value to solo-entrepreneurs – I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t make you aware of the benefit of being an active participant.

 

 

What is Entrepreneur Connect?

The name is a little bit of a misnomer. Yes, it does serve the primary purpose of giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect by sharing ideas and seeking advice for current problems hindering their business. However, eConnect (an extension of Entrepreneur.com) is not exclusive to entrepreneurs. The forum often has new discussion threads started by business managers and up-and-coming entrepreneur hopefuls.

 

EConnect consists of over 30 “groups” ranging in focus from advertising, sales, marketing and PR to start up concerns, women owned businesses, social entrepreneurship, home based businesses, young entrepreneurs and feedback. It even contains a classified group for promoting specials.

 

 

What is the benefit from participating?

I have been a participant with eConnect since December 2008. During that time, I contributed over 150 posts – either in response to another eConnectors questions or to initiate my own discussion threads. Overall I have made some excellent contacts, gained exposure, and honed my craft of providing business consulting advice.

 

A few of my new contacts include some of the entrepreneurs that I interviewed for The Solopreneur Series – including Paul Pennel of Minnow Web Design and Greg Digneo of More Caffeine, Please – as well as Duke Getzinger of MileHighSwap.com and VisibilityExchange. Each of these pros I met through eConnect. These connects create the opportunity for joint ventures to expand my visibility and gain new business.

 

From my participation, I have been chosen as a member of the week profiled on the eConnect home page. Plus, my contributions have been included on the home page of Entrepreneur.com and in articles submitted by community editor Kara Ohngren to FoxBusiness.com, the Washington Post, MSNBC Business and Yahoo Finance. I have been able to track the increase in traffic to my blog from these various prominent traffic sources – excellent exposure to say the least. But, inclusion on these recognized sites adds the association of experience and expertise for my blog and business.

 

And in regards to honing my craft, eConnect provides the opportunity for me to offer business advice for real world problems with honest reactions from the solution seeker as well as other contributors. These threads challenge my ability to provide a quick and valuable response to business needs. If I can’t provide a free response of value, how can I expect to charge a fee for the comprehensive, in-depth projects?

 

Entrepreneur Connect does contain the shameless self promoters leaving little value beyond a hyperlink to their business or current deal of the day. And at times they seem to dominate some of the discussion threads. However, they are fewer than other forums that I participated in. More often there are relevant discussions with insightful responses from educated business pros at eConnect.

 

 

How can you get the most out of eConnect?

Your benefits here fall into two primary categories – problem resolution seeker and problem solver.

 

First, as a participant with a business problem, there are appropriate focus groups that you can go to for initiating a discussion thread. I recommend that you create a detailed, coherent message with a specific problem. These will give the true pros in the group something to sink their teeth into resulting in sound, useful advice. Generic questions get generic answers (if any at all) and invite the shameless self promoters.

 

Second, Entrepreneur Connect gives guidelines upfront and on each group page of “How to be a Quality Contributor”. These include:

 

  • Do NOT post the same thread across multiple discussion groups
  • Do NOT post self-promoting messages (see Classifieds above)
  • Create a complete and interesting member profile
  • Double check spelling and grammar
  • Give us your input!

 

As a “quality” contributor you can gain all of the exposure and new business contacts that I have experienced as mentioned above. Stay away from generic responses. Provide detail that proves you are a true business professional that provides value. This will go much further for drawing in business than the shameless self pitch.

 

 

With a plethora of social forums, I recommend that you choose to participate in Entrepreneur Connect – especially if you only have questions for your business concerns. My experience has been that posting questions on other forums often result in lack luster answers or a deluge of spam instead of the quality responses (that you would expect to pay for) left by generous, knowledgeable pros on Entrepreneur Connect.

 

All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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One Response to “Entrepreneur Connect”

  1. Paul Says:

    I agree about the shameless self promoters and wish they would get weeded out, but overall entrepreneur connect is an invaluable resource.

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