In her book, Customer LLC, Hillary Berman says:
All too often, I hear small business owners gripe that they’ve tried every possible marketing tactic and nothing works…
“My business is harder, because…”
“My industry is just different, because…”
“My situation is more complicated, because…”
As small business owners, these things are easy to say. They’re easy to believe. I constantly hear small business owners convincing themselves of all the reasons it is more difficult for them than their fellow entrepreneurs.
So what if we stopped complaining about how hard it is, and instead made the commitment to do things the right way?
I decided to take on this challenge, and follow the advice I so often give to clients. Know what I learned? Marketing really works.
Who else hates networking?
I tend to hate networking. I’m not good at hard-core sales, and I especially hate the feeling of wasting time when I go to an event that doesn’t help my business. I often walk away from networking events with a stack of business cards, but tend to only reach out to a couple of people.
Yet I constantly tell my clients to set up a system on email to manage their follow ups. So I decided to try it myself.
I found a networking event and really put some effort into it. I smiled, shook hands, and after the event I made sure an email went out to all the contacts I gathered. Every single one. Even the people I had no hope of doing business with.
Guess what happened? I ended up with a new client.
Right Place, Right Time
Four days after a polite email exchange with a new contact her website went kaput. She was frustrated, needed help, and just happened to remember Social Light handled websites.
She asked us for help, and after we restored her site, we started talking about other projects. I not only gained a new client, I gained a big advocate. Someone I had originally pegged as not interested in my services.
Is this a matter of right place, right time? Absolutely. But I had to go to an event to make the connection, then follow up and start the relationship.
Imagine how many other “right time” opportunities there are if you put the effort into creating them.
Now I can’t make you network. I’m not going to offer to do it for you either. But what I can do is help you plan campaigns the right way, and make sure that proper execution and follow up is part of every campaign. Want to talk about it? Give me a buzz.