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Tough-love Business Coach. Marketing Magician. Inner Imposter Buster. Cocktail Connoisseur. And Queen Of Unpopular Opinions.
As a small business marketing consultant and coach, I meet a lot of business owners who seem to have more social media icons on their website than they do clients in their practice. If this sounds like you, this is a poverty producing imbalance and indicator that your time is being wasted on activities that aren’t generating leads and revenue but instead random social connection. Let’s clear that up!
By the way this is not about bashing social media, used strategically it is a valuable business growth tool. What I am bashing is the regular random misuse of social media and what to do instead that is beyond social media to find your ideal clients and create enrollment in your programs and purchase of your products.
Here are 5 core activities that will produce a steady stream of clients and revenue. You probably thought there were 500! Now, there are certainly a variety of formats for these activities, but the activities remain the same. Oh, and even if you want to take your business national and global, it is wise to begin locally to create a base before branching out to virtual clients.
Post this list in your home office to stay focused, clear and moving forward.
REVENUE GENERATING ACTIVITIES:
#1 Networking OFFLINE Face to Face
Yes, I know this can all too easily be compared to NOTworking! When done correctly your networking will absolutely determine your NET WORTH. Networking correctly means knowing clearly and concisely who your ideal client is so you can deliberately select the best events, groups, and associations to attend to meet them. Just going out to a slew of random events in the vague hope of meeting a client is a profound waste of time. Being targeted, selective, and allowing yourself to explore an opportunity to see if your ideal client is in attendance is the way to go.
Where to Look for Events & Groups:
#2 Getting Clients-To-Be Into Strategy or Discovery Sessions
News Flash! The whole point to networking is to bring someone into your private database, don’t leave them online and don’t leave them where you met them. You have to take the next step and that means scheduling either a face to face private coffee meeting or lunch or getting on the phone with them for a private call to explore what their needs are and see if you have strategies and solutions to meet those needs. This is often referred to as a Strategy or Discovery Session. It is not a sales pitch.
#3 Speaking at Local Business Events, Trade Shows, Association Meetings, and Conferences
Speaking, though it terrifies many, is singularly the most effective way to get your message out to many people at one time and to really connect with them. This builds your KLT factor (Know, Like and Trust) essential to getting people to do business with you.
The key is to craft a single signature talk that you deliver in a variety of formats from 20 key minutes to a full day workshop. Your signature talk is crafted to specifically highlight the three major problems your ideal client faces and provide specific strategies to address these. The strategies require your services to be most effectively implemented and that is evident in the course of your talk. Again, you aren’t pitching, you are creating awareness about a need, providing a solution, and the means to implement the solutions for a happy outcome.
#4 Teaching at Adult Education Programs (Local Universities and Colleges)
Depending on your ideal client, this can be a fantastic way to get in front of your market with education based marketing. I taught for a decade at Evening at Emory and four years at Oglethorpe. The exposure through their catalogues and online was priceless and I was paid a small stipend to teach. It is like being paid to market your business.
This is also a much easier type of speaking since you can employ all manner of media, including powerpoint, video, interactive exercises and more because you usually have participants for a 2-4 hour block of time. The learning is more relaxed, and you can easily incorporate stories from your clients as illustrations of what you teach. I regularly had my attendees become clients, they were busy female professionals, not college students.
#5 Host an Information Event at a Client Location
Tear a page from the success handbook of many network marketing businesses and ask a local client if you can host a small event at their location. They can be in an office or home, and you provide both food and beverages as well as taking care of all event invites, including the colleagues or friends your client wants to invite. If you specialize in health and well being, in interior design, in real estate, in financial services, in business marketing or any number of other service based specialties, this is a great way to spread the word about your expertise and opportunities.
I have several clients who do this regularly with real impact and profitable outcomes. The reality is that most people are afraid to entertain and this is like offering them the chance to host a party without doing any of the work because you’ll take care of all of it. The key is to make it fun, relaxing, as well as educational. It’s a good idea to have interactive exercises and participation and be sure to bring creative prizes. You can even include a raffle so everyone has a chance to win something. Make sure the prizes are at least somewhat related to your area of expertise, but definitely go beyond your book (if you have one) or anything that might be perceived as strictly marketing.
Now you are armed with 5 creative ways to generate revenues and capture hot leads. Which one will you take action on? Getting out from behind your computer will make a measurable difference in your business. Unless you are located in a rural area more than 2 hours from a city or town center, there is no excuse for you not to reach out in person and dazzle prospects with your personality face to face instead of being limited to online.
Share your COMMENTS BELOW, I look forward to hearing your results!