As a small business, it’s important to regularly build your network, both online and offline. From growing your mailing list and social media following to attending networking events, a large part of your success relies on your ability to connect with people. Follow these tips in order to grow your network of business contacts.
1. Always have a signup sheet ready. Whether it’s a paper sheet on your front desk or a virtual signup on your tablet, let people who are interested in what you do sign up to receive e-mail alerts. You should also have a signup form on your website or blog. Today, e-mail marketing is one of the best ways to reach people online and to convert them to buyers. To encourage people to sign up, offer something for free, like a downloadable book or exclusive coupons.
2. Make it easy for website visitors to connect with you. Add your e-mail address and links to your social media networks to your website. You never know who’s visiting your site. By giving people an opportunity to connect with you directly, you’ll expand your network.
3. Let people signup for your newsletters via their smartphone. One option is to let them join by texting a custom code to a specific phone number. Or, you can create a QR code. When people scan it with their phone, they’ll get a signup form for your e-mail list.
4. Treat every interaction as a way to build a professional relationship. From the company that sells you printers to the people you meet while you wait for your coffee every morning, you never know when a new contact will come in handy.
5. Throwing an event for your business? When people come through the door or order a drink at the bar, ask them if they’d like to signup for your list. If they love your event, they’ll be likely to want notifications for upcoming parties, too.
6. Offer something for free, even if they don’t signup for your newsletter. Sometimes, people need extra incentive to eventually give you their contact information. By showing them that you’re an expert in your field, they’re more likely to trust you in the future. Then, you can offer them another incentive for finally signing up for your newsletter.
Building an audience can be difficult. The key is to stick with it and to regularly review your processes to determine what is and is not working. Think about every touchpoint you have with your customers, then devise a way to stay in touch with them moving forward.