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Use SlideShare to tell your small business story

I recently gave a talk to a group of new authors on how to promote and market their books. Instead of taking the time and expense of providing handouts (not to mention all the trees saved), I decided to create a SlideShare presentation and offer it, post-conference, to the participants.

If you’re not familiar with the tool, Wikipedia likens SlideShare to “YouTube, but for slideshows.” Bottom line, it’s a free online slide hosting service that allows you to upload PDF, PowerPoint and OpenOffice presentations for public viewing. SlideShare also allows voice sync, so visitors can hear a narration of, as well as see, your presentation.

My initial dabble in SlideShare started my marketing and branding brain humming about other ways the tool could be used to tell a small business story. Just a few of the ways I’ve found to do this include using SlideShare presentations for SEO optimization and conference presentations and as value added on LinkedIn. I checked in with a few other small business folks to get their take on integrating SlideShare into the overall business yarn, and here’s what they had to say:

“I use SlideShare for my presentations at conferences,” says Robert Pease of Gist Inc.  “I put the slide deck together and make it available both before and after the conference via a link.” Pease says he finds a short, ten-page, visually oriented (not text heavy) deck in SlideShare an easy way to demonstrate his expertise and knowledge.

Steve Drake  says he’s been using SlideShare for two years and views it as part of his overall content management strategy for his business. “I’ve posted thirty-one presentations, which have been viewed an average of 1,407 times. One presentation was viewed 14,663 times,” says Drake. Drake says he actively promotes his SlideShare posts via links to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Josh Mendelsohn, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Constant Contact, says that SlideShare is a great platform for sharing small business expertise. To get the most social media juice from SlideShare, Mendelsohn suggests tagging your presentations with relevant keywords so users can easily find your content easily when researching a specific topic.

Bill Elward of Castle Ink considers SlideShare to be part of his search engine optimization efforts. “Google loves to index SlideShare content,” says Elward. “So build a small presentation about your business that includes a live link to your site. Chances are excellent that Google will crawl and index your SlideShare presentation.”

In my experience, SlideShare is still a bit of a stepchild when it comes to Internet marketing. It’s not the first social media tool that comes to most small business minds, but it is an effective one. If you haven’t already, pick a topic, put together a ten-slide PowerPoint, post it on SlideShare, promote it and see what happens. It might just make the story of your small business a bit better in the telling.

Have any tips on using SlideShare or a presentation you would like to share? We welcome your comments.

Karen Leland is a freelance journalist, best-selling author and president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she helps businesses negotiate the wired world of today’s media landscape — social and otherwise.

 

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15 comments

Adrian Pearson
28 September 2011 #

Sliderocket is another choice for presentations. I prefer it to SlideShare, but I guess it’s all personal preference.

Luke
28 September 2011 #

Slideshare certainly is a popular tool if you just want to make your presentation available to the masses, without any call-to-action. For people in sales, we have been playing with http://www.crunchconnect.com so our sales team can post a presentation and invite groups of people to come look at it. It then has the added benefit that we can track who read the presentation and which slides they looked at and for how long. This is very handy in the lead qualification process.

Karen Leland
29 September 2011 #

Luke, Adrian

Many thanks will check both of those out!

Accountancy
3 October 2011 #

The voice is part of the presentation. how are you doing to do with it? Hire some professional “voice over”?

Jerry Zhao

Reading Locksmith
5 October 2011 #

I recently have discovered slideshare, and will be implementing it in my business to share my knowlesdge with the masses, I like to present information in bullet point format and short and sweet to get the point across.

James
6 October 2011 #

Presentations are the only thing I use anymore. Try prezi.com for a cool way to make your next presentation. Not only can you save it, but it can also be reached by an internet link!

Warren Paul
8 October 2011 #

Youtube has a few videos on how to use it. So easy! Once you do your first you won’t want to wait to do the next one.

Ryan Kucera
8 October 2011 #

My small business can’t afford much for advertising. We barely make it. Slideshare has allowed us to create small presentations for potential clients that outline our capabilities and what we have already done. We send them links via email and all of our business cards have a link to a general presentation.

Sunny N.
8 October 2011 #

My students are required to create a presentation in my class. This gives me an idea as to having them publish them to the web, rather than them bringing in a flash drive.

Scott Vaughan
8 October 2011 #

My job has been strictly PowerPoint for years. Once I read this I quickly found a link to help me use slideshare to publish the PowerPoints to the web. Very cool. http://www.ehow.com/how_4887123_use-slideshare-publish-powerpoint-presentations.html

Sue Adler
8 October 2011 #

Slideshare can be just like a free commercial. Once you make the presentation it’s available to anyone with internet.

Nancy Tallman
8 October 2011 #

I have never used it, but I wonder if my presentation would be open to anybody or just those I want to view it? I don’t have a business and I wouldn’t be advertising like that, but if I put the wrong thing out there…???

David Williams
11 October 2011 #

I have my Slideshare presentations linked to my Facebook, too. Been doing that for nearly a year now.

Cek Magdurlari
29 October 2011 #

This is a wonderful tool. We have a number of presentati­ons that we have done on comment cards and comment card mistakes and it was hard for people to see them. It’s great informatio­n about customer feedback but with out a tool like this it was really a waste.

Cole Rivers
27 March 2012 #

Anyone try out speakerdeck or projeqt as alternatives to SlideShare?

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