Consultants, coaches and other expert business owners must grow a big network in order to drive new business.
Are you using the latest tips and tricks to grow yours?
1. Tap your existing network
You may have heard that this is one of the quickest ways to get interest in your services. Tell everyone you know what kind of services or products you have, and ask for connections or referrals.
3 things to think about here:
a) Be sure you are crystal clear on what your Unique Value Proposition is, and that you can easily and briefly articulate it.
b) Don’t worry about offending any of your contacts with a blatant sales pitch. There is an easy way to put together your messaging that is friendly and non-intrusive. When you can quickly get to the “meat” of the matter, your contacts and prospects will be impressed.
c) Be prepared to reciprocate your contact’s generosity. If one of your contacts introduces you to a prospect who later becomes a client, make sure you follow up with some kind of thank you that shows them how much you value their part in helping grow your business. That can be anything from sending a handwritten thank you card and small gift, to taking them out for dinner, etc.
2. Get involved with online groups
LinkedIn can be one of the most lucrative meeting places. However, as with any marketing initiative, you need to have a plan for how and why you reach out to others. Simply sending an automatic connection doesn’t really cut it these days.
a) You need to personalize your interactions.
b) You always want to show that you’re in touch with what they’re doing, e.g. congratulate them on their latest achievements.
c) You can also offer some kind of free, valuable takeaway to your new colleague by letting them know of a free download that has information relevant to what they do – that preferably has tips they can start using right away.
When it comes to being involved in LinkedIn groups, again, make sure you are entering a group for a particular reason. Don’t be a wallflower. Take part in conversations by answering questions, giving opinions, and offering as much free value as you can.
3. Attend live events
Whether you’re going to a monthly Chamber of Commerce business meeting, a lecture on the latest social media craze, attending a fundraiser or a networking event, again, go with a plan in mind and be sure you can briefly articulate exactly what you do and who you work with. It’s not enough to simply exchange business cards for the sake of it. When you know your value and exactly who you want to align yourself with, it will be much easier to gain the right colleagues and prospects who can put you on the map.
Most importantly, when you’re positioned well with your powerful UVP that describes how you address unmet market needs using your area of expertise, the more you’ll gain new influencers, partners, colleagues and contracts!
Kim Chernecki helps high-performing freelance executives, consultants, coaches and other experts, land lucrative corporate contracts. She is the creator of the Land Corporate Contracts Fast-Track System, and is a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach, advisor, speaker and strategist. A 25-year entrepreneur, Kim has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and helped grow 10 businesses and business divisions. She’s closed millions of dollars in corporate contracts, and provides powerful strategies and proven formulas to help her clients do the same.