Networking can be a great way to build your business by getting in front of more prospects and referral partners, but networking is a skill, and like any other skill, it takes some practice to get it right. If you’ve been networking, but not getting any leads (or clients, or referral partners) from all the networking you’re doing, it might be time to build up your networking skills. Start by using these tips to network more effectively.
Be Strategic About Where You’re Networking
Make sure you have your business cards with you and that all the information on those cards is up to date.
Have a place to put all the business cards you collect so you can follow up with them later. A lost business card is a lost opportunity, so make sure you know ahead of time where all the business cards are going so you can keep them together while you’re networking.
Pro tip: write notes on the business cards to remind yourself of the conversation you had with them so you can mention it when you follow up.
If you think you’re doing everything right, but you’re still struggling to build your business, it might be time to hire a Strategy Rockstar to help you reach your goals. Schedule a FREE clarity call now to see if coaching is right for you.
Spring is a time of growth and renewal, so if you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut when it comes to marketing your business, it might be time to take advantage of the spring season to refresh your marketing efforts with new ideas and a new energy. Here are some ideas you can use to take advantage of the season and inject a little spring into your marketing strategy.
Clean Up Your Marketing Strategy
Spring is also synonymous with cleaning. As we start venturing outside again and opening up the windows, it’s a good time to give our homes and offices a good, deep cleaning, and the same goes for your marketing strategy.
When was the last time you really looked at your marketing strategy to determine what’s working and what isn’t? Is it time to ditch some practices that aren’t gaining any traction? Is it time to try out some new marketing strategies you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to yet? There’s no time like the present to try new things, especially when spring is in the air.
If teaching yourself about marketing and business development has also been on your to-do list for a while, but you haven’t gotten around to it yet, my online academy might be just what you need. There are free classes so you can try it out and see if it’s for you before investing in the rest of the courses or in private coaching. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while, it’s always a good idea to invest in yourself so you can get the help and resources you need to achieve the biggest dreams you have for your business.
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have big goals for their business, but struggle to achieve those goals. There are a lot of things that can get in our way when it comes to achieving our goals, but sometimes it’s the goal-setting process itself that’s tripping us up. Sometimes the goals are not specific enough, making it difficult to tell if you’ve actually achieved the goal. Other times the goals are too ambitious, and people fail to adjust the goal to make it more achievable. Let’s take a look at how you can set SMART goals for your business so you can be sure to achieve them and move on to the next steps in growing your business.
The first step to setting SMART goals is to make them specific. Don’t just say you want to grow your business or you want more clients. Be specific. How much income do you need/want to bring in? How many clients will it take to bring in that much money? You need a number in order for your goal to be specific.
You can’t determine whether you’ve achieved your goal if you can’t measure the goal, so part of the goal-setting process has to be to make sure you have a way to measure your goal. This is related to the first tip to be specific about your goals, because when your goals are specific, they’re usually also measurable. As I mentioned above, aiming for a specific income level and/or a specific number of clients fulfills the first step in setting a SMART goal, but it also fulfills the second step because it makes those goals measurable.
I love it when my clients set ambitious goals for themselves and their businesses, but if those goals aren’t realistic, they can leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated when you don’t achieve them. So when you’re setting your goals for the year/quarter/month, make sure it’s a goal you can realistically achieve in that time frame. Big goals are great, but consider breaking them down into smaller goals. That way, every time you complete a step in the process, you can celebrate and know you’re on your way to accomplishing the biggest, most ambitious goals you have for your business.
Don’t be intimidated by the process of setting goals for yourself and your business. If you’re worried you won’t achieve a certain goal and you’ll feel like a failure, just adjust the goal so it’s more achievable. Setting SMART goals is the first step to laying out a plan to achieve those goals, and as the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish.
It might sound obvious to make sure your goals are relevant, but you might be surprised how many people get distracted with trying to achieve goals that won’t really help them move forward, whether it’s in life or in their business. This is especially true of entrepreneurs and small business owners because there are so many things different people are telling us we need to do for our business that it’s easy to get caught up in tasks and goals we’ve been told will help our bottom line, but in reality don’t have much of an effect. For example, you might want lots of social media followers and/or newsletter subscribers, but if people aren’t clicking through to your website from your social media posts or your emails, are those goals really relevant to your overall business goals?
It’s pretty safe to bet that at some point in the past week (maybe even in the past 24 hours) you asked yourself, “How am I going to get it all done?” We live in a world where we are expected to do more and more, and that goes double if you’re an entrepreneur who’s struggling to get your business off the ground. You have to be your own project manager, marketer, sales manager, etc. You’re working multiple full-time jobs, and if you’re a parent as well, then you have another full-time job, but you still only have 24 hours in a day.
The good news is that there are ways to get more done in less time. Let’s start with three of the most basic things you can do:
Give Yourself a Break
Know When You’re Most Productive
Remember Your Why
Sometimes we have a hard time getting through certain tasks because we’re unmotivated. Whether it’s because we’re tired and burnt out, or just because it’s an aspect of our business we don’t enjoy but needs to get done anyway, sometimes just sitting down and making ourselves do it is the hardest part.
Helping my clients get more done in less time is one of my specialties as a business coach. Whether you’re struggling to get it all done, or you’re not sure which of your endless tasks should take priority over all the others, having a coach at your side to show you the way can make your next steps, not just more clear, but also more successful. If you think it might be time to get a strategy rockstar on your side, schedule a FREE clarity call now so we can see if coaching is right for you.
You’ve started your business and now it’s time to get the word out, because people can’t buy your great products/services if they don’t know you exist. In order to let people know all the awesome ways you can help them, you need to do some marketing, but these days, marketing includes everything from blogging to videos to public speaking. You could easily spend all your time marketing and not have any time left for your clients, but I have four tips to help you develop a marketing strategy that will get results for your small business.
Know Your Audience
The first step to creating an effective marketing strategy is understanding who your audience is. The world is huge and the internet is almost as big, so the first thing you need to identify is who your target audience is so you can find out where they hang out (both online and off).
You also need to understand the pain points you’re solving for your clients so you can talk about them in all your marketing materials. Understanding, not just the pain points, but how that pain affects your prospects’ lives and drives them to find solutions is key to getting in front of them at the right time and in the right place, and saying the right thing to convince them to work with you.
Put the Pain Points Front and Center
Once you have a solid grasp of the problems you solve for your clients and how much that’s worth to them, you need to make sure those pain points (and your solution) are communicated throughout all your marketing materials. Make it clear you understand where they’re coming from, and that you have a way to make their lives better in tangible ways.
Know What Works … and What Doesn’t
Understand the Power of Relationships
While advertising tends to focus on getting people to buy, marketing is more about building relationships so people get to know, like, and trust you before your advertising (or sales call) can be effective. Marketing can focus on building a relationship between prospects and your brand, or building a relationship between you and your prospects. After all, as small business owners, we often are our brands, and especially in this Digital Age, your personal brand is at least as important as your company’s brand. So decide what represents that brand. What would make your target audience want to work with that brand?
Helping small business owners develop and implement their marketing strategies is one of my specialties. Whether you just started your business, or you’ve been in business for a while and are struggling to get the results you need, I can help, so schedule a FREE clarity call to see if coaching is the right next step for you.
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