I am consistently asked how I “get” new clients. For example, how have I had the opportunity to speak at local chambers of commerce events? How do I get new resume clients? And, how do I find businesses that need marketing, public relations, and writing assistance? The answer is simple: networking.
First, starting a writing and speaking business can be an interesting endeavor. How do you get your name out there? How do you let people know that you are available for marketing and writing opportunities? And, probably most interesting of all, how do potential clients know that you are actually a good writer/marketer/public relations person?
I started my business my writing articles and other small marketing pieces for local non-profit organizations. Obviously, these were volunteer assignments and I did not get paid. What did I get? I was able to secure numerous individuals that understood my diligent work ethic, timeliness when completing job assignments, and writing skills. These people were worth more to me than the monetary value I would have received if these jobs were paid. However, this networking started my business and continues it today.
My business is a member of two local chambers of commerce. Most networking events through these organizations are free or only cost a minimal fee. If your business is a member of these organizations, take advantage of the opportunities they offer. Attend luncheons, networking events, and business expos. Don’t be afraid to invite other chamber of commerce members to lunch or to your business. Reaching out to these individuals starts to build your “web” of business contacts. Once you meet enough people, your “web” starts to expand itself.
Feather Communications will start its fifth year of business on January 1, 2012. While I have only advertised in a few publications, most of my business has developed from networking. In fact, this upcoming week includes meetings with three potential new clients that I have met through networking, meetings, and organizations.
The best tip I can offer for networking is this: do it. You can’t talk about it, read about it, and expect it to happen. You have to actually go to the meeting, attend the after-hours event, and start meeting people. But, once you start to network with business professionals, you will be amazed by the results. Trust me – it has built my business for the past four years and I know it will continue to do so well into the future.