As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you spend a good portion of your day connecting with customers. I love networking. Yes, I love connecting with new people and then connecting people to people. However, networking is difficult for most and sometimes we make relationship building far harder than it should be.
Late in my business career, I discovered the power of how to build relationships with content marketing.
You plan to build the most successful startup or small business. But it takes many people to make the dream a reality. Building your professional network is a way to achieving the dream. It is challenging, fun and ultimately a profitable endeavor.
As you build your network and get referrals, it is important to strive for quality and quantity. The goal is to have a well-rounded, deep network.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ~ Dale Carnegie
Why you Should Build a Network to Get Referrals
A network creates referrals. Referrals are the hallmark of a growing business, and why not? Referred customers and clients are easier to close, they already see you in a favorable light, and trust your recommendations. Referrals are a huge growth contributor to incredibly successful young companies such as Uber and Airbnb.
The most important part of attending and networking at a conferences, conventions or tradeshows happens after the event. The follow up. This is where you start to strength the relationship.
Follow up is crucial to the process of turning some of your new contacts into prospects and some of those prospects into a sale, new investor, a new hire or new job.
It is the time of year to start planning and preparing for next year’s conferences and conventions. Adequate preparation before attending a conference or convention can help you get the most out of your budget. Preparation, organization, and flexibility are crucial to the successful use of your time.
Attending conferences and conventions requires an investment of time, money, and energy making it important to prepare before you attend.
Looking for new clients? Growing your product’s reach? Need to learn about new market information and innovations? Or just searching for an investor or potential employees.
The best opportunity, as a startup executive, to achieve these objectives is to attend business networking related conferences, events, and conventions.
People always told me I’m a connector.
Let’s start by saying that having a content marketing strategy is a necessary requirement for every startup and small business. As entrepreneurs, we are overwhelmed with day to day operations. Throw in customer and investor hand holding and consequently, there is little time left for searching for the next customer.
The idea of launching a content marketing program seems overwhelming to most startups and small businesses. The thought of producing regular content in addition to finding the time necessary to produce and place the content is frightening.
So why do companies produce content?