Posted: Thu 11th Jul 2013
Our most recent poll has asked you how you feel about Enterprise Education being part of the National Curriculum - and the results have been overwhelmingly in favour of its introduction. But what's the value to your business of teaching young people?
Laura Hampton, digital marketing manager for Nottingham SEO agency Hallam Internet, which supports enterprise education in the Midlands and beyond, explains how to get started and how to promote your business in the process.
There are still some people who shy away from sharing their expertise - after all, you don't want to give the whole game away or you won't have any customers left, right? Wrong,Â says Laura (left). I'd suggest that our expertise is, in fact,Â _the_Â most valuable tool we have at our disposal. No one can replicate it, no one has the same range of expertise and no one has the experienceÂ _you_Â have.
I wrote on Enterprise Nation recently about Penguin 2.0, the algorithmic update from Google which focuses on high quality content that is shared. Another key component to that update was the introduction of Google Authorship (read about how to use Authorship for your small business here). With these updates, Google is saying it is up to you as individuals within a business to be the expert.
Sharing expertise is a hugely valuable tool for small businesses
Sharing your expertise on your website, within your blog, in downloadable resources, throughout your social media, as guest posts on other websites"¦ all of these are fantastic methods of positioning yourself and your business as experts. But have you thought about how you could share your expertise with young people and help your industry progress, too? Recently, Susan Hallam, CEO of Hallam Internet, taught the SEO module at the Institute of Digital Marketing's Summer School. The event itself took a day of Susan's time to conduct, plus preparation time; it was worth the investment because she was teaching potential future digital marketers and furthering her reputation as an expert in that field. Of her position as IDM speaker, Susan said, "It's always a pleasure to speak at these events. Teaching people who have a real passion to learn about what I do is very rewarding and I've already had follow-up emails and comments from the students, all of whom are really enthused by the session and keen to get going on their own careers."
Position yourself as an expert
And how did Susan get this opportunity? It comes back to that core principal of the individuals within your business being experts. Position yourself as an expert and share your expertise and the opportunities will come (with a bit of relationship building and PR, too). Want to know how enterprise education impacts the students involved? Take a look at some of the quotes below from students at the IDM Summer School on Susan's lesson: "The session on SEO was invaluable. It provided an insight that could never have been acquired from a text book, with live examples that are unavailable to a university lecturer. This session for me was one of the highlights of the week and if I could I would go back and listen again." Gary Brook, student. "In this internet age, the search engine is king; to such an extent that 'Google' isn't just a brand, it's a verb"¦ Learning about the ins and outs of SEO will undoubtedly be invaluable in the development of my marketing career." Dan Perry, student. "Susan's session was a whistle-stop tour of SEO, highlighting the important areas but also providing us with some useful insights and tools that we could all take with us into our future careers. The IDM Summer School features seasoned professionals such as Susan who allow us to learn from their practical experience." James Barrass-Banks, student. For all of us in the Hallam team, positioning ourselves as experts is a key part of the business strategy and reaps dividends in terms of our reputation in a very competitive market. We're seen as approachable experts because we're willing to share our expertise and a large number of our leads come from people reading our SEO blog or seeing us speak. And it's not just consultancies like our that can benefit from this technique. No matter what sector your business is in, think about how you too can position yourself and your team as experts in your field. It may not seem like a priority in your business now, but once those leads start rolling in, you'll see how valuable it can be. Have you found success in enterprise education or are you keen to get involved? Let us know in the comments below. Laura Hampton is digital marketing manager and search engine optimisation consultant for Hallam Internet, which provides__Â _SEO services_Â to small businesses.
Share your expertise with other start-ups and small businesses
As our last Small Business Survey revealed, small business-owners value the expertise of peers above all other forms of support. As a member of the Enterprise Nation Club, you'll get the chance to network and share knowledge with likeminded business-owners at our networking events. You'll also get discounts on advice guides and training workshops, as well as great offers from leading brands. Membership is just Â£20 per year.Â Join the Club!