In this world of social networking, we tend to forget the other methods of marketing. We focus on gathering as many followers as we can; followers mean a ready and waiting audience, right? Well, sometimes.
I’ve run across several people over the last few months who are masters as social networking. They have followers in great numbers, can get lots of people to Tweet Ups, and can even bolster big support for fundraising efforts. The kicker? Their businesses aren’t necessarily better off for it.
Now, am I saying that social networking is a waste of time? No — not at all. I just think it’s important to pair it with other ways of attracting potential customers. Yes, you want good reach into the world but you need clients too.
How do you target the perfect client in this day and age? Time to go old school, my friends:
- Write a list: Take a few minutes to review the cards you’ve collected over the last bit and to browse through any directories you use or are a part of. Do any of these companies pique your interest? Anyone you’d really love to work with or sell to? These are the companies to write on your list. Do a bit more brainstorming and come up with 20-30 potential clients.
- Evaluate the list: We’d love to sell to everyone but — let’s face it — only those with the capacity to pay for products or services can buy. Harsh? No. Don’t waste their time (or yours) when you know it can’t go anywhere. Review your list and cross off anyone you know wouldn’t be able to engage your company in the short-term.
- Write the message: Is there anything the remaining companies have in common? Are they hip? Are they serious? Do they fall into a particular industry? Now figure out what your product or service is solving for them. Write your message to their situation. Do you have a trial to offer or some way that they can check out what you do in a relaxed way? Include it, if you do.
- Figure out the process: Is this a one-time hard sell or are you building a relationship (always preferred, by the way). Will email be the best way to contact them or would this group like a phone call inviting them to coffee? Do they attend a network? Are they on LinkedIn? It’s easier to follow a process than to wing it 25 times. Your nerves will thank me.
- Go for it: Time to just do it. Send out the email, make the calls, go to the events. Get to know the people on that list; build relationships and soon you’ll not only be bringing them on as clients but they’ll be sending their colleagues over as well.
And best of all? These are all people you want to work with. They are your perfect target.
Still intimidated? Get help. Ask your business colleagues for suggestions and support or bring in an expert. Sometimes it pays to bring back traditional methods — give it a try!