Marketing your small business these days is more important than ever. With today’s economy, if you don’t have new business coming in, your survival is in great peril. Many of us are spending time, often far too much time, working on the Social Networking sites. It is an effective way to build contacts. It seems like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter are all you hear about when a small business owner talks about marketing for their business. One of my newest favorites is Biznik. They are great tools to communicate with lots of people. They are usually inexpensive or free. That is — if you don’t count the amount of time it takes to effectively use them.
Don’t forget, never forget, that people do business with other people that they know, like and trust. For small business, your small business, there’s nothing more important than building quality relationships. Earning their trust, getting to know them! They must have trust in who you are and what you do. My business has been built entirely by referral. I’ve developed a network. Not the kind of network you might expect from a computer geek. But a network of people who know me, who like me and who trust me. When I get a phone call or email from someone—even if it’s someone I’ve never met, they contact me because they heard about me or my work from someone they know, someone they like and someone they trust.
You see — all of my clients come fully ready to purchase my services. Sometimes they call and aren’t sure if I will work with them — but they already know that I’ll do my best to help with their problem. I’ll help, even if it means connecting them with someone else. With any other form of marketing — the client or potential client comes to you with a certain amount of apprehension. They don’t know you — they must first come to trust you before doing business. Even if I don’t know them; they’ve learned about me from someone who does know me, who does trust me and probably has used my services. They are ready to do business because of my marketing network. It’s often said that you need to ask for referrals. While I place extreme value on referrals — I don’t normally ask for referrals because it puts the client in a bad spot and under pressure.
It’s all about the network — my marketing network — your marketing network. An ever growing network of very satisfied clients who are happy to tell others about me. Not because they’ve been asked to promote me — but because they want to do a good thing for someone else. An ever growing network of people who know that I can be trusted to do the right thing — even though they may have never used my services. They want to help their friends and they feel compelled to spread the word on my behalf. Because they know that I will help their friends.
Look for the conclusion to this article in a few days. Until then…..
Have a Great Day,