Marketing networking: Use no-cost Internet marketing strategies to build your brand

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

It all starts with you. Write to Build Your Brand and Share your Knowledge

Start by writing an article. Choose a topic to communicate your brand with content that is valuable. What are your areas of expertise? How do you want to be known? Let your authentic image show.

It isn’t enough to build your brand if you only write for your blog or your enewsletter. You can optimize your writing and use no-cost marketing strategies to repurpose those articles. Use them to spread the word to enhance your presence in the marketplace. Repurpose everything you write to spread the word far and wide. These are some ideas of where to maximize your writing:

  • post them on your blog
  • post it on websites like ezinearticles.com.
  • send the article to your network in your enewsletter with links to the article and your website
  • post them on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and again, include links to your website and blog
  • mention your article when networking and offer to send it to them
  • use your article as a handout when speaking or offer to send it to them

Write it once and use it to build your brand. Spread the word to attract an audience and drive traffic to your business.  People need to see your material constantly to keep a memory of you fresh in their minds. You will create high visibility with these written reminders so your audience won’t forget the value of your content and how beneficial it is to them. Articles I wrote for 9News about Career Searches are posted on MarinerCo.com to benefit job seekers.

Marketing Networking: Follow up with everyone

Marketing: Follow up with people

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Spread the word around the globe

Even though you will meet many people who are not good prospects for your business, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow-up with them.

Each person probably knows 250 other people who might be in need of your services. Remember, every person knows at least 50 other people, who know another 50 people, who know another 50 people…etc.

Get your name out there and let other people spread your message. And you do the same for them. Help each other drive traffic to events and websites.

Kathie Seedroff posted this comment on FB when she read this blog: “I was especially reminded of how important your advice (below) is when I received two consults this month. One was with a woman I worked with back in 2006 and another with a new client who said she’s been reading my “Feng Shui Fridays” for four years since she met me at a networking event.

“Follow Carol’s advice even if it takes four years for people to eventually use the benefits you provide: “The good news is that eventually the benefits you provide will someday be a priority. Something in your potential client’s life will change. Or they will refer someone to you who would benefit from your services. If you haven’t kept in contact with them and followed up, they’ll find someone else to help them reach their goals. When you have called, cared, followed up, and if you’ve let this system work its magic, you’ll be the one waiting in the wings to work with them.”

Thanks, Carol.
Kathie Seedroff, http://www.simplifiedinteriors.com
Author “Hey! It’s Feng Shui Friday” and blogger of “Feng Shui Fridays”

Register for my enewsletter, Business Building Tips at MarinerCo.com

Invite them to something — anything

Carol Naff Marketing Coach

Golden Nugget for Networking

Identify people you would like to get to know better. Then, always invite them to something. Invite them to a class you are offering, another networking opportunity, or a chance to meet for coffee. (As a marketing consultant specializing in working with creatives, I’ll often invite creatives to Creative Connections Meetup.com/creative-connections).

This gives you another chance to stay in touch. Remember, it takes 7 to 12 touches for them to hire you. Keep moving the relationship forward.

The good news is that eventually the benefits you provide will someday be a priority. Something in your potential client’s life will change. Or they will refer someone to you who would benefit from your services. If you haven’t kept in contact with them and followed up, they’ll find someone else to help them reach their goals. When you have called, cared, followed up, and if you’ve let this system work its magic, you’ll be the one waiting in the wings to work with them.

These golden nuggets of networking tips will raise your level of success and assure productive use of your time in building business partners through networking.

Describe your ideal client

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

How can you market to everyone?

We cannot market to everyone unless we have unlimited time, money, and energy. Decide who to target. Identifying your niche and describing their recognizable characteristics is the first important step to prevent wasting time with people who cannot help you in obtaining new clients. Identify your niche by reflecting on your ideal clients or perhaps even just one special client. Your ideal client is the person who is most likely to buy from you, and whom you most want to serve. They are the people who:

  • Believe you can help them to achieve their goals
  • Are willing to pay your fee to get that outcome
  • Are passionate about their product or service
  • Accept responsibility for their own success
  • Are ready to identify their best strategies
  • Embrace their spiritual side

Here’s what my clients expect from me:

  • Direct talk, with no time-wasting chatter
  • My undivided attention and support
  • My strategic and creative resources
  • Proven strategies to get more clients
  • And lots more, but let’s move on…

Marketing: Effectively demonstrate your ability as a strong resource

When you are networking, offer to send a report or article that is of interest to people you meet. As an expert, you need to be able to share information with people.

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Bringing a world of information

Inquire about their ideal clients and offer to send them an introduction to a prospect. Think of ways to help them on the spot. Let them know right away if you know someone you think they might like to meet. Make introductions to potential new customers, referral partners, or resources when you identify a good match. Be sure to reconnect if you think of someone later that they might like to meet.

Give them a follow-up call within a few days to inquire how they are doing. This is a good time to ask if there is anything you can do to assist them. Demonstrate fabulous qualities of a productive networker and show outstanding professionalism.

Marketing: Scattershot messages

When you don’t present a consistent message, this is called scattershot messaging. You are sending mixed messages. You are not clear about the service you offer nor the ideal client you want to reach. Don’t get caught in this trap in your marketing. It will carry over into your networking and make you ineffective.

Marketing coach Carol Naff

Avoid the trap of scattershot messages

How in the world can someone refer a potential client to you or be able to communicate the services you offer without a consistent message?

The company information on your website needs to match your elevator pitch, match your ad messages, match your business social media, and match your collateral. If you have six different versions of a company descriptor floating around, you’re wasting valuable opportunities to make your message memorable. You need to develop your brand and stick with it. Here again, clarity means everything.

Find the resources to develop a consistent message. What if you put on 10 different parts of a costume for Halloween? Would anyone know who you were portraying? They wouldn’t know how to guess who you were. The same thing applies to your niche and your business messages. Avoid scattershot messaging and eliminate that trap. Your marketing coach can help you be consistent.

Marketing: Show authenticity and genuine interest

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Be Authentic and Develop Alliance Partners

Have you ever attended networking events and observed people who are just distributing and collecting business cards? They are the ones who are not developing relationships.

Marketing coaches believe that networking is not a numbers game of how many people you can meet. It is a search for those perfect people who will complement your marketing efforts by giving you referrals or perhaps becoming a client. While networking, be sure to focus on the other person. Your communication should be about them.  Once you establish a genuine interest in them and they feel comfortable with you, they will reciprocate and want to know more about you. You are on your way to creating an alliance and building partnerships.

Take the quiz on MarinerCo.com to learn what needs to happen in your business to be more successful.

Marketing: Learn from others – Practice Active Listening

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Listening pays off

As the saying goes…“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Active listening alone will set you apart from everyone else and make you remarkable. Ask a question and then ask the next logical question based on his/her answer (this is the active part of listening). You can literally continue to ask questions.

Find common ground and interests you might share as well as identify them as a potential resource for your alliance partners to refer out to others. Jot down notes on their business card or a note pad so you can recall your conversation at a later date, if needed.

People enter into relationships, work with, and refer other people to those they enjoy and have come to “know, like, and trust.” Make it a goal to learn something new about everyone each time you see them and avoid self-serving, me-centered conversations (you know… the ones where you are talking about yourself without being asked for the information).

Become friendly

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Show interest. Ask questions

Networking is more than face time at meetings. It’s about really getting to know others. Just showing up and passing out cards isn’t enough. You need to spend some time getting to know other people, learning about their businesses, and understanding how (and when) to refer to them, just as you are hoping they will send referrals your way.

Start a conversation with anyone and everyone. Learn how to ask questions and discuss topics that have nothing to do with your business. Establish a common interest and develop a relationship. Keep asking questions until you find something in common. To be likeable, first and foremost, you must be friendly. As simple as that sounds, friendliness is not the norm. Being friendly requires time, attention, and mental focus.

Remember, many people at networking events do not know how to network. They may brush you off because they really don’t know that you have a large network and can give them referrals. Therefore, it is important to find out as much about them as you can. Then you can inform them of people and situations in your life experiences that can help them. Offer to send them an article or a link to a website that might be of interest to them. Ask who they would like to meet. Introduce them or send the information when you follow-up. Be a good resource.

Marketing: Develop a sticky elevator speech

Be very clear about what you do and offer. Make it short so it sticks. It is impossible to remember a long description. Make certain that you stand out with a creative description.

Marketing Coach Carol Naff

Stand out in with a sticky introduction

There are many mistakes people make in a 30-second commercial. A few of these are to say a title, a consultant, or what you sell. But the biggest mistakes are to say, “It is hard to explain.” or “How much time do you have?” Several years ago while networking, that is the response someone gave me when I asked him what he did. He then proceeded to give me a big packet of information to read so I could understand what he did. I had just met him. Why would I spend time reading a packet of information? Then I had to carry around that packet all morning. Did I ever read that information packet? You know the answer.

Just as the title suggests, we have only 30 seconds to elicit a response. You want to be appropriate, credible, intriguing, specific, and very brief (under 3.5 seconds). Not really 30 seconds but it is best said in seven words or less. Sell the benefits of what you do, not the features or process. The goal is to spark a subconscious interest in the other person so they will ask: “How do you do that?”

What is your sticky elevator pitch?