Dozens of area entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business and non-profit leaders discovered the importance of having a powerful digital presence to create a positive first impression online at the seventh annual Small Business Summit.
Martin Brossman, a leading social media authority and business consultant, delivered the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center on Monday, Oct. 15. Under the theme of “Recipe for Success: Making Your Dream a Reality,” the summit was held in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton.
“Your future customers want to know more about you than just what is on your website, and they may trust you less if they don’t,” said Brossman. “We all are looking for secondary validation for everything from credible information for a product, business, person or service. This session is going to show you the free and low-cost ways to make the best digital — web-based — first impression that will lead to more sales and more referrals for your business.”
“As more professionals and businesses go online to promote their brands and expand their markets, they are looking for ways to become more effective,” Brossman said. The keynote address was designed not only for small business owners but also professionals of all types, he said. “They need to understand the value of a positive online reputation as well as the cost of having none at all,” he added.
Brossman was joined on the program by Kristen Baughman of Warrenton, the founder of the Tabletop Media Group in Raleigh, who presented “Top 10 Tips: How to Work with Media,” and a panel of four local and regional leaders who answered questions from the audience on the topics of planning and zoning, insurance, accounting and legal services in a discussion titled “Stock Your Pantry with the Right Business Resources.” On the panel were Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton, and Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar. The discussion was moderated by Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center.
Duke Energy was the presenting sponsor for the summit. Local partners working with the VGCC Small Business Center to organize the event were the Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. In-kind sponsors of the summit were the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer of Littleton, The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, The Warren Record of Warrenton, WARR 1520 AM of Warrenton, and WIZS 1450 AM/100.1 FM of Henderson. Centerpiece arrangements were provided by Lola G of Oxford.
Brossman was described by Weary as a dynamic trainer known for his insight and humor. As a member of the National Speakers Association, he is a popular speaker on many professional development and business topics, including Online Reputations: Reputation Enhancement, Monitoring, and Management; Transforming Conflict Into Enhanced Relationships in Business; Creating Raving Fans and Repeat Business; Customer Service in a Customer Empowered World; Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking; Communication That Gets More Results; Beyond Ordinary Networking; Being Effective as an Entrepreneur and Business Owner; Referral Marketing; Dragonfly Thinking Training: How to Integrate Effective Problem Solving Into Your Work to Get Superior Results (taught with Dr. Bruce Oberhardt); and LinkedIn for Professionals.
Brossman teaches across North Carolina, including a certification program through N.C. State University's Technology Training Solutions. He is a leading authority on LinkedIn, Reputation Management, and building a positive digital presence. He has co-hosted a leading podcast on Social Selling for since 2009, “Linking Into Sales.”
A panel of four local and regional leaders answered questions from the audience on planning and zoning, insurance, accounting and legal services. From left are Volunteer Attorney Kate McCullough with the North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NCLEAP) of the North Carolina State Bar, Ken Krulich of Warren County Planning & Zoning, Jennifer Burton with O.L. Meek Insurance in Warrenton, and Certified Public Accountant Susan Bersch of Littleton.
In the photo at the very top of the page, social media authority Martin Brossman delivers the keynote address at the summit organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center in October in the Warren County Armory & Convention Center in Warrenton. He told those attendance that digital first impressions will lead to more sales and referrals for a business.
A Flickr album of photographs from the Business Summit is available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancegranvillecc/albums/72157701580003271.