Guest Author: Katrina Sawa
You’re in the right place reading this right now if any of the following statements are true for you:
• You’re tired of attending workshops, conferences and networking events and not seeing a big return on your investment of time and money.
• You wish you could attend more networking events and workshops but it’s just ‘not in the budget’ or ‘you’re too busy’ or ‘you don’t really like to network’.
• You’re still struggling in your small business, working way too hard and are trying to figure out why you’re not making the kind of money you thought you would be by now.
When I first started my business networking and follow up were pretty much my entire business and marketing plan – and guess what? That built me a high 5-figure income!
I did a ton of networking….everything from high-priced chicken dinners to chamber luncheons, leads group meetings to big seminars; I went to about 14 networking events a month for the first few years in my business.
Then I got more online, I went global with my products and service offerings and thought I could hold back from some of that in person networking I was doing.
It worked for a year or two but then guess what? My business became a little stagnant again…..so I got back out networking more again and instantly business started booming.
My point is that regardless of the many ways the internet and social media provides us a super fast and easy way to communicate and build relationships (you need to be doing this too!), nothing beats in-person networking still to this day in you need to generate clients and cash flow FAST.
If you aren’t consistently networking in at least a few places every month as a marketing strategy for your business then I can tell you that you’re missing out on thousands of dollars worth of sales. No matter what your business is or what industry you’re in, there is a conference, or two or three every year that are probably perfect for you to have major exposure at in order to generate new leads or customers not to mention all the little ones locally every month that can give you added exposure, opportunities and sales.
If you are doing this as one of your current marketing strategies then that’s great but I’ll bet you’re not maximizing your time to monetize your networking to the fullest.
How do I know this? Because I’ve spoken to and seen thousands of small business owners out networking and this is a big flaw I see.
So, how do you prepare for potential huge opportunities that can come as a result of consistent networking?
There are 5 easy steps you can take to be more successful for your in- person networking (as an attendee):
1. First, you have to choose the RIGHT events to attend – know your target market in and out, where they hang out, what they care about and find events where they are the majority (or there are a bunch of referral sources instead)
2. Second, you want to do a little preparation before you go – set your intention and goals – how many clients or prospects you want to walk away with, etc.; prepare your handouts, order forms (yes, always bring an order form with you!), bring plenty of cards and know what special offer or call to action you will offer when asked.
3. Third, you want to know HOW to work the event when you get there – know the agenda for the event, when networking time will be, who will be there, what other speakers might you want to connect with as well, make sure the host knows who you are and what you do so they can point you out to others who need your services, be mindful of if it’s acceptable to pass your card or materials or if it’s not ok, write notes on the backs of people’s cards for easier follow up later and focus on giving not getting.
4. Fourth, you want to have a clear plan for follow up after you get back – prewrite emails, follow up notes or mailings, schedule time to make follow up calls the day after the event, know who will be inputting the contact info for you and how and when the follow up will happen, automate or delegate much or all of it as you can.
5. And finally you want to implement this into your business right now if you’re struggling and need more clients or cash flow. Here’s a couple resources how:
a. Buddy up with another business owner to discuss the above and layout your process and follow up strategy so it gets done.
b. Hire a coach to help you lay this out for you and show you how to manage it yourself or delegate it so for sure it will get done – To chat with me on a complimentary Strategy Session to find out how that could work, go to www.AskKat.biz.
c. Invest in a resource that can give you an easy networking and follow up system so you can instantly put it into place. I’ve conveniently put this all into my JumpStart Your MarketingTM Sytem for you so you can work at your own pace learning how to implement this all on your own, go to www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com/system for all the details on this plus how to get a complimentary Strategy Session with me too!
Otherwise, how else is this all really going to get done right?
You know it’s important yet you still haven’t done it or mastered this yet and I’m telling you it’s one of the easiest, affordable and most EFFECTIVE forms of marketing that you can do to boost your business now.
About the Author:
Katrina Sawa is known as The JumpStart Your Biz Coach because she literally kicks her clients and their businesses into high gear. She works with highly motivated women entrepreneurs that want to maximize their business to make more money, enjoy more free time and fully embrace your happiest life ever. Katrina uses online and offline strategies to leverage your resources, contacts and your expertise; plus she kicks you in the butt to implement it all too! Katrina is an author, speaker and coach and she has been featured on the Oprah and Friends XMRadioNetwork and is a regular Business Expert on News 10 in Sacramento. Get her Free Entrepreneur’s Success Kit online at www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com!