Business owners today have a wide range of marketing channels to choose from, including social media, publications, blogs and articles, email, seo, direct mail, pcp campaigns and even guerrilla marketing tactics. These can all take a considerable amount of time and money.
But do you know the #1 marketing strategy for advancing your business?
Relationships are the driving force behind all other efforts you put into your marketing strategies.
Build your professional network
Your professional network includes your peers, other business owners, your customers, prospective customers, outside business professionals, suppliers, service providers, etc. Reach out to these people on social networks and in person when possible. Make personal connections first and professional relationships will follow. Each and every contact you make with others inside and outside of your industry is important. And remember to always make every effort to be pleasant, professional, helpful and kind. You are building your reputation with each interaction.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
How to connect with top influencers
Here’s an example of how you can make connections with top influencers: You read an article stating that a well known industry professional has won an award. Reach out to them by sending an email and congratulate them. Mention what it is that you enjoy and admire about their business. Keep it fairly brief and always use a signature line that includes your basic contact info and links to your website and professional social media pages. You should receive a reply. A few days later, connect with them on LinkedIn or Twitter or follow their business page on Facebook. Sign up for their blog. Then, find a way to join in the conversation online either by posting helpful, positive comments on their blog, or in Facebook or LinkedIn group posts, etc. Soon you’ll be on your way to establishing a solid relationship with the top movers and shakers. They’ll know who you are and what you do, and will be likely to mention you when the need to your product or service arises.
What are some other ways you can think of to establish meaningful business relationships? Let me know!
Read Part Two of the Series: Building Business Relationships - Part Two: The Art of Follow-Up - Strengthening the Connection
What Is Business Networking Anyway? -Entrepreneur.com
Six Ways To Strengthen Your Professional and Personal Network -Inc.com
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