I thought it was time to write about a few thoughts on the basic principles of growing your business (or, you know, marketing): How and why does it work? What makes it work?
Have a look at today’s blog post to learn more about touchpoint marketing and why you should spend your time and money on marketing in the first place.
Everybody knows this…
You know that it doesn’t matter if this person is actually a potential client, a supplier, a possible business partner or none of the above. Because you never know what might come of it, you never know who that person knows and what their background is. So you’re being nice, you exchange business cards and follow up after the event. Well, you connect on LinkedIn.
Now some people you remember better than others and to be honest, some people simply have a better memory for faces, names and stories than others. But most of the time we tend to forget about part of the contacts we made at networking events, trade shows or through recommendations and referrals. Mostly because we never hear from them let alone see them again.
But in this case, a few weeks later, your business partner talks about a guy he met. And you remember faintly meeting him earlier this month. Turns out your business partner met them through a contact of his and is really impressed with the guy’s business idea (thanks to this you remember his name again and what his business was about).
And then this guy turns out to be the speaker at a workshop you’re attending. And he’s a good speaker! Funny, informative and most of all relevant. So you catch up with him after his talk, ask him how is business is doing and mention the shared connection with your business partner.
During the talk he also mentioned his presence on social media so you look him up and follow him on Twitter and sign up for the RSS feed of his weekly blog.
Weeks later at the breakfast table you stumble on an advert of his in a local magazine — because by now you’ve seen his logo often enough to recognise it (and it’s quite cute actually). And on your commute to work you read on Twitter that he moved his business out of his home office into new premises and you send a little “Congrats!” tweet back.
Now, there are many theories about how many of these points of contact you need to convert a contact into a customer and/or referrer. But every freelancer’s and business owner’s experience shows that it takes a while to get to know someone and even longer to trust his or her expertise and values.
But that is what we need to turn potential clients into paying ones, to turn random contacts into a helpful source of referrals or business support. You never know, they might become a customer or a mentor, they might be looking for a new job exactly when you need their kind of skill set or they might know just the accountant to help you with your taxes.
Just keep in mind that relationships like this are not created by working away in your office, barely maintaining your website and being too busy to go to networking events. It is also not achieved by simply investing into just one marketing strategy: To build up brand awareness and trust in your brand you have to choose a wider array of marketing channels to get as many touch points as possible with your target group.
So, make sure to be visible. And be so consistently. Don’t go out and be busy marketing yourself when you need clients and have the time, be out there when you’re busy too. I know it’s hard to invest time and money in marketing yourself when you barely know how to fit in that weekend in the Highlands you’ve been talking about for months now.
But people’s memories are short – if you’re out of the loop for even just a few months you’ll have to start all over again.
How about you: Is marketing the bane of your existence or a potential that needs to be exploited?
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
7 Marketing Checks for Your Small Business
The Ultimate Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses
How to Tackle the Biggest Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses
5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses