The single fastest way to get clients and grow your business is to get in front of people and get in front of them IN PERSON! There is nothing like a one-on-one connection to build the know, like, and trust factor, as well as hold someone's captive attention. I am amazed how many entrepreneurs I speak with who have been trying to build their businesses from home. I know it is part of the appeal of an online / virtual business lifestyle, but starting with in person connections buildings faster and more financially fruitful relationships. So, here are my top tips for making more money and impact by leaving the house!
1) Make certain you spend more time in front of people than in front of your computer! (Especially in the growth stages.) Making those decisions of best color for your website or researching what other people in your field are doing all have their place, but they do not directly bring you the opportunity to start a client conversation. Use the 80/20 rule80% of your time networking, meeting, and speaking and 20% of your time on strategy and research.
2) Do not be so picky in the beginning. I hear people say they do not like this group or they are not sure if that networking organization will do anything for them. Just GO! You have no idea who someone will know or who they might be able to introduce you to. You will soon learn which groups serve you and which groups do not, but to start just go, meet, and share your movement.
3) Do not have a drunk cowboy message. You know those people who you ask, "What do you do?" and 10 minutes later you are still trying to figure out what the heck they are talking about. Be clear and concise with a 2 or 3 sentence message. I call this your impact statement.
4) Act like it's your party. Walk into every room as if you own it. Walk into every room as if these wonderful people have gathered here just to meet you. Greet them, be curious, ask questions, be gracious, and be in your power. People are attracted to confidence. Authority inspires.
5) Follow up and ask.
a) Follow up with everyone you meet within 48 hours, even if it is just a quick "nice to meet you" email. Be certain to ask how you can help them and offer them a session, a freebie, or an offer to move them closer to knowing your work.
b) Ask for what you want – a referral, an opportunity to share how you can work with them, or an alliance / partnership.
BONUS: Have fun! You are in a service business and one of the greatest joys of this industry is meeting people and building relationships.
(c) Copyright 2010, Suzanne Evans