Dell Technologies

By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

The social media age has brought attention to the various Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok accounts of countless well-known influencers. Such influencers can range from celebrities to smaller-scale social media personalities. 

Some of these influencers have great recipes, some design beautiful clothes, and some developed a following through their own inertia. Endorsements from these personalities can bring huge profits. However, many ask for high prices in return. Smaller business owners can find their own niche partnering with users with their own localized networks in their own industries.    Below are a few suggestions:

(1) Consider your strengths, interests, and motives for becoming a small business owner:

Most small businesses start with special expertise, interest, or hobby. These days, fellow travelers are often online. Joining a community is the best strategy. Within your interest group, you may find communities. Within one of these communities, someone may happily promote your product on their YouTube channel, Facebook community, or other localized sites. The trick? Find people with a genuine understanding and interest in what you have to offer.

(2) Always respect micro-influencers, especially those who operate within your own niche:

Kim Kardashian charges a fortune to promote a product on her Instagram and other social media sites. Small business owners need not look for endorsements from a Kim Kardashian or a Paris Hilton. Small businesses tend to work through their own specialized niches. Obviously, paying Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton a fortune to advertise your brand-new transmission generator would increase sales short term. 

However, a more cost-effective strategy would zero in on the local industry, as well as local hobbyists and business people who might have used it for such a contraption. These localized groups may even have distribution networks that can place your new product or service in front of the right interested parties.

(3) Remember the power of free stuff:

After zeroing in on the right community, business owners with a new concept may benefit from distributing samples of a new product itself. Free samples have long promoted new recipes, inventions, and contraptions. Innovations like YouTube can spread the word throughout your interest group or industry. 

As a first step, a business owner should find the right group of people. Luckily for our generation, the Internet can help to foster that process. Next, an independent businessperson can share their innovations with the relevant community. Next, hopefully, a satisfied well-wisher may provide an online demonstration! 

(4) Try to develop a long-term plan:

Baby steps can grow your concept further. Business owners with a new idea can slowly reach their tendrils outward by reaching out to fellow travelers. Depending on your goals, profits should come first, and profits come from you and your partners doing what you best. Perhaps your plans entail only a small business that can keep you personally fulfilled while keeping you comfortable economically. Perhaps you have wider ambitions. Either way, never underestimate the strategic use of social media micro-influencers. 

Remember, though, practicality is key. Extravagant use of widely visible personalities can only waste time and misdirect efforts towards people who will roll their eyes at a promotion of the product that neither they nor the influencer has any genuine interest in. However, in the age of the Internet, plenty of lucrative micro-influencers may give you a foothold right in the industry where you mean to take root.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hope that this article has not only been valuable but provided some unique perspective.  We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go-to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.



Do not forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here: 


Social Media Business Success

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By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

  • Be Comfortable with Failure. It will Happen:

Forget the aphorism “failure is not an option.” Failure is an inevitability. Most social media campaigns fail. Social media campaigners should understand this inevitability and plan accordingly.

Knowledgeable professionals generally run many social media/marketing campaigns simultaneously, and plan for mostly dead ends. However, when success comes, the payoff should more than compensate for the effort.

Resilience counts. For example, in 2012, a clothing company did a promotion offering 20% clothes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Were customers in relevant areas amused? No. Did this spell the end for this clothing brand? Absolutely not. They even survived a bankruptcy in the meantime.

This clothing apparel company continues as a viable brand. In other words, if at first you do not succeed, try, try again. In learning from mistakes, business owners should ensure their social media content is memorable, understand their target, and use relevant data. Finally, appreciate the power of social media to reach a large, targeted audience more efficiently than ever before in the past.

  • Stay Within your Budget- But Have One:

Back in the day, a social media campaign could start from scratch. Now, the competition can outclass even the most talented independent business proprietor on the advertising front. These days, going alone rarely works. Successful online advertisement requires some sort of a budget.

One good use of funds is social media expertise. Maybe someone you know has succeeded in their small business through social media. Social media consultants abound. Best practice is to find the right match.

Other worthwhile expenditures may include social media campaigns. Social media sites such as Facebook allow users to boost small business posts, sending advertisements for goods and services far and wide. Many sites even provide tools for targeting certain demographic and interest groups. While these resources are within your means, their wise use may determine the fate of your enterprise.

  • Know your Goals:

A money-making business must consider its bottom-line. Companies may have various goals for growth and product development. These goals should remain aligned with the capacities of the business owners.

Different platforms have various ways to quantify short-term goals. Perhaps in the short term, clicks may take precedence. On Facebook and Twitter, you can even track posts that lead to sales.

Just remember your strategy and bottom line. These measures, such as tracking “clicks” and “likes,” are mere stepping-stones. Your company needs to succeed.

  • Know your Platform:

Effective use of social media requires intimate knowledge of the relevant platform. Professional users should consider which platform can best reach their target audience. Detailed, specific knowledge of one resource unlocks a full range of social media capacities. This expertise allows the most detailed and specific advertising campaigns and outreach efforts. Each social media platform has its ins and outs. Owners who understand their platforms the best develop the most precise marketing skills.

The more time you have spent on a given platform, the more you are likely to know about its capacities. Once you start a small business, your social media “habit” could become a porthole to make your dreams a reality.

  • Reaching your Bottom Line:

Social media remains a means to an end. However, as various platforms have developed, different marketing strategies have emerged to best exploit each of these platforms. Small business owners should carefully research methods to get their word out, correctly, through the right channels. The earliest days of “going viral” are behind us. What remains are marketing strategies that provide careful, well-considered paths to deliver your goods and services to just the right interested customers.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article has been helpful.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.



Expand Your Business Using LinkedIN

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By Debbie Gregory.

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The mission of LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.  Over the last few years LinkedIn has grown to be one of the most widely used social platforms for business. It is currently the third most popular social site, right behind Facebook and Twitter. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, you are missing out on a huge audience for your recruiting efforts, business networking, and potential new customers.Below is some information on ways to use LinkedIn to expand your Small Veteran Owned Business:

1.) Craft your Profile and Pages with SEO in Mind:

LinkedIn is a valuable source for business to business (B2B) marketing and other business-related connections. As with your website or blog, your LinkedIn profile and pages should be optimized for SEO purposes.

Areas of Focus:

  • Include a title along with your last name in the name field. For example, instead of listing just Jill Brown, make changes to it reads: Jill Brown, Sales Professional. In this manner, Jill Brown’s profile will pop up when someone performs a search for a salesperson.
  • Add keywords to your headline too and not simply your title. For example, instead of Sales Professional list something such as “No. 1 sales professional in the city of Portland for the last 3 years.”
  • Make sure to include other keywords in your summary in a more natural fashion. Yes, LinkedIn has a specific place in your profile to list up to 50 skills (make sure to ask for recommendations on your skills too) but you should also try to pepper them into your summary text.

2.) Make Sure to Create and Optimize a Page Dedicated to Your Company:

A business page on LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool. Make sure that your business is easy to find on LinkedIn and that all visuals on your page match the look and feel of your other online presences (website or other social channels).  Additionally, keep it up to date with regular posts!

Basics for your page:

  • A concise, yet engaging, company description and overview.
  • Your company logo.
  • An attractive banner image.
  • A call to action.

3.) Put Together Showcase Pages for Products or Services:

Once you have your business page ready to go, you should consider adding showcase pages for specific products, services, or separate arms of your core business to help users better find you and engage with the parts of your business that most interest them.

4.) Promote Your Page:

Your page will not help your business grow if no one is looking at it! Once your page, and showcase pages are setup to be robust, and compelling, your next step is to promote it and gain followers. Of course, you can simply run paid ads on the platform to boost your visibility, however, there are other ways to promote your page that will not cost you anything.

Free Ways to Promote Your Page:

  • Add the page to your own LinkedIn profile.
  • Add a “follow” button to your main website to drive traffic from there to your LinkedIn page.
  • Promote the new page(s) in your company newsletter, blog posts, and other social media pages.
  • Add a link to your LinkedIn page in your company email signature.
  • Ask current employees to promote the page on their own LinkedIn profiles.

5.) Join LinkedIn Groups or Create Your Own Group:

LinkedIn groups are intended to connect like-minded individuals and similar businesses with one another to foster camaraderie and to expand knowledge. You can join existing groups and actively engage in conversations.  You may also create your own group to help establish yourself as an expert in your industry. We strongly recommend that you consider both options to make sure that you are active in the group and provide valuable tips and add robust posts.

As you can see from the information in this blog post, LinkedIn offers a variety of ways for businesses to network, market themselves, and connect with new customers. These are just a few of the ways to join in and start reaping the benefits of LinkedIn for your business.   One last kernel of information, a regular account on LinkedIn is free.  They also offer premium accounts at a reasonable cost.   Start your engines and join LinkedIn today or enhance the profile you have already set up to promote your Veteran Owned Small Business.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.


More Things You May Not Know About LinkedIN : Part 2 of 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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In Part 1 of this article we share some interesting information including some statistics about who is on LinkedIn and why, This article will provide you even more information including why marketers and sales professionals use this site and why advertising with the platform is makes a great deal of sense.

11.) LinkedIn for Lead Generation for Business Marketing Professionals:

Approximately 89% of all business-2-business (B2B) marketeers on LinkedIn use it exclusively for lead generation. About 62% of them also say that they successfully generate new leads from LinkedIn. That is over twice as much as on any other social platform.

12.)  LinkedIn for Content Marketing for Business Marketing Professionals:

Currently, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing because this platform is viewed as more trustworthy for delivering accurate and worthwhile business-related content than any other social platform. With LinkedIn, your company is not forced to fight with parties, opinions, vacation photos, or personal updates to be seen. LinkedIn is free of most of that since it is widely viewed as a place where people expect and seek out work-related content.

13.) LinkedIn for Sales Generation: 

Over 59% of sales professionals surveyed count on social platforms to sell their products and services. Sales professionals know how important networking and networking platforms are to their success.  Most of them, 70 percent use LinkedIn more than any other platform.  This is quite a testimonial for sales generation.

14.) LinkedIn For A Cost-Effective Way to Place Ads:  

Did you know that LinkedIn also has ads? Not only is their audience primed for your messages, the cost per click or lead on LinkedIn is, on average, 28% lower than other popular pay-per-click (PPC) ad platforms inlcuding Google AdWords.

15.) LinkedIn Offers More Bang for Your Buck:

An ad on LinkedIn has the potential to reach approximately 12% of the world’s population over the age of thirteen years of age and costs 28 percent less than other ad platforms.

16.) Linked In has Better Performing Email Campaigns:

LinkedIn offers a wide variety of different ad placements and formats.  Their InMail offering is one that is quite interesting. On average, their sponsored InMail campaigns have a 52% open rate, which is more than double the average for a traditional email campaign on any other platform (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.).

17.) More People Will View Your Content on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is not simply a recruitment platform anymore. It is also a place where professionals go to connect, educate, and inform themselves. Content posted to LinkedIn typically has 15 times more content impressions than any other posts. This means LinkedIn is very valuable to content marketers, especially those in B2B content marketing.

18.) LinkedIn Allows You to Specifically Target Decision Makers:

Part of the appeal of LinkedIn for professional marketers is that LinkedIn gives them the ability to target people by their job or title instead of simply their basic demographics. Currently, four out of every five users on LinkedIn are the people in their respective companies that are the decision makers who drive business and purchasing decisions.

19.) Majority of LinkedIn is From Mobile Users:

Currently, there are approximately 57% of all LinkedIn users access this platform via mobile devices. Even though this number is lower than other social platforms, such as Facebook with approximately 98% mobile users, it is an excellent idea to optimize all of your posts for mobile and not just desktop.

20.) LinkedIn Continues to Grow and Gain Steam:

Engagement and use of the LinkedIn platform has increased 50%, year after year, over the last several years. It has evolved from a simple recruiting site into a full-featured business connection site. This platform continues to add more and features every year and is a great tool for businesses to share their content on.

As you can see, LinkedIn is a great tool for businesses, and it is still growing by leaps and bounds. If you are not yet on LinkedIn, stop what you are doing and join now.  Remember that a regular profile is free, and the premium membership is very inexpensive. –  Do it NOW!

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.



Things You May Not Know About LinkedIN : Part 1 of 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association is bringing you a series of articles on our blog on Linked In.   There are some interesting things about LinkedIn that you may want to learn.

LinkedIn has been slowly growing into a popular social platform for companies to connect with their employees, potential hires, and other businesses. Below are some interesting facts and statistics about the platform’s usage that you may or may not know.  Knowledge is power and we hope to provide you information that will enable you to better use LinkedIn and expand your reach.

1.) Sell & Recruit for Your Company on LinkedIn:

Currently, there are over 30 million companies on LinkedIn with dedicated company pages. The platform may have been added to your company’s social platform presence as a tool for your recruiting department to find talent.  Over the last few years LinkedIn has been gaining traction as a great tool for sales and marketing people to connect and sell as well.

 2.) Employees Like to Engage with their Company on LinkedIn:

Approximately 30% of a company’s engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc) on LinkedIn comes directly from their employees. Your employees care the most about the success of your company and they will be the ones boosting your reputation and sharing your brand on LinkedIn.

3.) Employees Will Share Your Company Content on LinkedIn:

Employees are 14 times more likely to share content from their own employers than other types of content. They work hard for the company to help it grow and they should be proud of the achievements of their company. It is a good idea to encourage your employees to help share your company posts and engage with your company’s social media accounts. Content shared by an employee is also viewed by others and deemed over 53% more trustworthy than the same content shared by the CEO or simply by your business’s page.

4.) LinkedIn Users Engage More with Coworkers Than Other Connections:   

A recent study shows that users are 60% more likely to engage with a coworker than anyone else on the platform. They will comment, share, or message with colleagues more than anyone else; This is exactly what LinkedIn was originally designed to do.

5.) LinkedIn Has Become a Social Media Powerhouse:  

LinkedIn has slowly grown to join the other popular social platforms as an excellent place to position your company. Currently, LinkedIn has over 675 million monthly users! That is an increase of 14% increase from the prior year. Instagram typically has about a billion monthly users, Facebook has about 2.5 billion, and Twitter about 330 million users a month.  LinkedIn is growing to be one of the most popular platforms. If your company is not yet on LinkedIn, you are missing a lot of potential talent and customers.

6.) Majority of LinkedIn Users are Outside the US:

It is enlightening and amazing the most of LinkedIn users are not in the United States.  Currently more than 70% of LinkedIn’s users are outside the USA and the platform operates in 24 different languages.

7.) Americans are Using LinkedIn More:

Americans are slowly migrating towards LinkedIn and currently about 27% of Americans use the platform regularly. LinkedIn is the fifth most popular social media platform for the USA today, beating out both Snapchat, and Whatsapp.

8.) More Men Use LinkedIn Than Women: 

According to a recent study conducted by We Are Social, the average LinkedIn user identifies as male. The stats state that 57% of LinkedIn users are men, and 43% are women.

9.) LinkedIn Users Range from 25 to 34 Years of Age:

It should not be surprising because LinkedIn was designed as a business networking and recruiting portal.   It seems that LinkedIn would be less attractive to the younger crowd, though it could be beneficial for the older crowd to keep in touch with ex-colleagues or students to start networking prior to graduation. Right now the majority, 61%, of LinkedIn’s users are 25-34 years of age.

10.) Over 50% of LinkedIn Users Have a Degree:

Currently, about 51% of all Americans on LinkedIn are college educated and have at least an undergraduate college degree. Among college-educated Americans, LinkedIn is even more popular than Instagram or Pinterest. Americans who make over $75,000 per year are also more likely to use LinkedIn than any other platform.

We encourage you to stay tuned for our next blog article with more things you might not know about LinkedIn.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association invites you to join as a member.  There are not any fees or dues.   You may also proudly display the VAMBOA seal on your website and collateral.   We provide several articles on our blog weekly with all types of valuable information.