I want to finish this discussion of creating a business
networking campaign by giving you seven additional components of your toolkit
for this marketing effort. Remember,
this is not intended to be a complete list of items needed to market your
business. These are items that will
enhance your networking activities in a face to face environment.
Today’s list includes items that you will use after the
first meeting or two, as you work to enhance understanding of you, your
business, and what constitutes a good referral.
8. A List of Your Memberships and Affiliations. This is a great way to see if you and person
you are talking with might have mutual acquaintances or business
associates. It may also lead to an
introduction to someone in one of your organizations that you had been hoping
9. Photos of Awards and Certificates Earned by You and Your
Staff. These can be almost as powerful
as testimonials, use them.
10. Articles You Have Published, or in Which You Are
Mentioned. Writing articles, or having a
blog and posting consistently, is a great way to become recognized as an expert
in your field. Being quoted or mentioned
in a professional article is also noteworthy.
These clippings should be saved and put into a display notebook. People like to know they are working with
11. New Product or Service Announcements or Press
Releases. As you network, make sure the
people who might potentially retain your services, or refer others to you, are
immediately informed of news about your company. In addition to submitting these announcements
to news outlets, you can also hand these out at meetings, or post them on your
website and social media platforms you participate in.
12. Items that Help You Explain Your Business to Your
Network. These can include you annual
report, capability statement and prospectus, mission statement or service
pledge, even a written narrative history of your company.
13. Client or Customer Proposals, Bid Sheets, or Marketing
Letters You Have Written to Existing Clients.
I’m not suggesting you give these out to someone else, but keeping them
“top of mind” will come in handy if you are at a networking event and have the
opportunity to talk to a prospect in depth.
14. Articles on Trends Affecting Your Target Market. Keeping up with issues and news items that
are important to people helps you to be able to target your conversation, and
subsequently, your products and services more directly to your prospects you
want to turn into clients.
That completes the list of collateral materials you want to
begin to gather and keep in your networking campaign toolkit. Having these items stored in a specific place
in your office and easily accessed will facilitate the ongoing conversations that
are a part of this marketing campaign.
Obviously I feel that business networking should be an
important part of marketing yourself and your company…I’ve devoted three posts
to this subject. I began by pointing out
that social media has transformed how many people do business. Rather than just reading ads and visiting
several vendors to find what they want, prospects are now looking for
recommendations from trusted sources.
This new reality compels business owners to adjust their marketing. Creating a Business Networking Campaign must
be a part of this new thinking.