One week before you attend a networking event sponsored by a membership organization, contact key officers and committee chairs to apprise them of your interest in the group. The Program Chair, Membership Chair and Communications Chair, as well as the chairs of any committee that aligns with your profession, will be eager to meet you. At the event, ask them to introduce you to the President of the association, which enhances their stature and helps you join the inner circle of leaders.
Networking is not about ME; it is about YOU, the other person. These are the reasons to attend Networking events: Be seen as a connector/Recruit resources. Make introductions. Maintain contacts. Learn from the speaker. Stay up to date informally. When you are seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy, you will attract clients and prospects.
Like other marketing activities, this holiday card is not about you, personally. It is about the you on the other side of the table, the person who is opening the envelope. Keep the image and discourse neutral. The United States has many faith groups. Respect them; you cannot be sure another person shares your beliefs about a seasonal holiday and may take umbrage.
Speaking at events is one of the top five ways to attract new clients. Where can you find speaking opportunities? Try: Networking group, Classes taught by colleagues, Professional membership associations, Business associations, Local merchant associations, Chambers of Commerce, Municipal public library, City and county small business services agency, City and county economic development corporation, Associations of nonprofit organizations and United Way, Center for management training.
Media Relations activity is like gardening. You clear, plant and cultivate. Then distribute. It’s up to you to propagate the news story you’ve placed by sharing it everywhere you can. Don’t trust that the wind (social media) will carry the seedlings (news coverage) of its own accord. As the gardener, you have to play an active role. Root around for ideas and find fertile ground to plant them.
Five key marketing activities are Networking, Speaking, Writing, Trade Association and Digital Presence. Consider which approaches are most comfortable for you and which will be most effective in reaching your target market. Set goals for participating in these marketing activities monthly.
Review the images on your website on a scheduled basis to ensure their relevance to both the organization’s message and the external environment. In addition to photos and context, references to pop culture, for example, can become outdated and reflect poorly on the organization.
Your business or nonprofit group held a conference. Considerable effort went into preparing the event; once over, strategize so that the conference still remains relevant. Undoubtedly, the issues addressed will persist. Treat the conference as a launch pad or a way-station in the extended conversation and cultivate future exchanges for fruitful follow-up and action.
When someone you met at a conference searches for you online, what will she find? What you say about yourself?
Or is there a blank or incomplete space?
You have the positive obligation to shape your digital presence and tell your story through multiple channels. As a business or nonprofit professional, place yourself in the most favorable light.
To lead a workshop that will attract new clients, look beyond the membership of a professional organization and the four walls of a classroom. Develop an interactive session and offer it to your connections for their professional development and that of their peers. At this contact’s office, you’ll collect their colleagues’ cards and their appreciation.