So what did you do last Saturday? Maybe a bit of shopping? A yoga class? Spending time with the family? Chilling at home with a hot chocolate and good book?
These are some of the things I’d usually be doing.
But last week was different. I did something I wouldn’t usually pencil in for a weekend. It was all about trying to connect with potential clients.
Now, I’m super-devoted to my business but weekends are me-time. Not for business. So why the heck was I networking at a weekend?
Well I had the opportunity to meet up with lots of like-minded business owners in central London at a workshop as part of a training course I’ve invested in. I admit, being an introvert, networking scares me a little. But it’s kind of essential when you need to consistently bring in new clients.
I dusted off my smart shoes and jacket and headed for the big smoke for a bit of mingling.
It was exhausting but so much fun to actually get to connect with potential clients and business partners in person, people I’d only ever spoken to online in Facebook groups or by email. And I’ve already got a couple of joint ventures on the cards and some solid leads, which is fantastic
When you’re a busy small business owner it’s not always practical to meet others face to face. But it’s building those true connections that can make such a difference to your business growth, sales and confidence.
It’s not as easy however to make those connections and get people to know, like and trust you online.
Something I want to share with you is how I’ve built relationships and my community online. So if you only ever ‘meet’ people online, they can still get to know what you do, what you offer and if you’d be a good fit working together.
Connect with potential clients by giving genuinely valuable information for free
The key way I build relationships is by providing genuinely useful information that helps people, for free.
Since offering my first ‘freebie’, My guide to filling your blog with content your super-customer loves, and then following up with ‘Attract more dream clients: a website copywriting action plan’, my email list has trebled. You can grab your own copy of my Website Copywriting Action Plan below to see the kind of information I give people.
People often worry about giving away free stuff but there’s so many benefits to doing so.
- Offering a low-risk way for people to get to know more about you
- Showing your credibility and expertise in your field
- Building trust by generously sharing your time and knowledge
- Helping you build a list of people who are interested in what you offer and who want to hear more
- Gets you more quality leads that you might have had by using a general marketing campaign
Giving people a low-risk way of getting to know more about you is the equivalent of asking someone on a first date. You wouldn’t ask a complete stranger to marry you the minute they meet you (unless you want to send them running for the hills). By offering a ‘freebie’, you start to build a new relationship.
If what you offer is interesting or valuable enough, you’ll begin building a relationship. This person is saying they like you enough to hear more from you. Once you keep talking to them and keep offering useful information this person starts to like and trust you. Sometimes so much that they make the decision to work with you, hopefully becoming your soul client!
How to connect with potential clients in the first place
The key is to give something away in exchange for their contact details.
People are more reluctant to give up their email address. Inboxes are swamped so when marketing our businesses, we need to give people a good reason to get them onto our list in the first place.
When your valuable information is wrapped up in a nice-looking ‘freebie’, whether it’s a checklist, e-book, video or audio series, the decision to hand over an email address becomes so much easier.
Here’s some great ideas for your freebie:
- Audio guides
- Tips sheet
I’ll be looking in more detail at how to generate ideas for your ‘freebie’ soon. In the meantime, if you want to boost how you connect with potential clients for your business, I’ve got a lovely List Building package where I create a fabulous freebie and 6-part welcome email series to get you going.