It’s worth the effort spending some time and energy figuring out who you work best with. Once you’ve figured that out, then what? You feel good, you’ve chosen a niche. How do you find the people in your niche and get your message across to them? And how can you do that without feeling like you are selling to them?
Here are a few things for you to think about…
1. Does this group of people, this niche, have any outside interests in common? For example, you may find there is a large group of engineers in the Midwest that enjoy hunting in their spare time. Or know some graphic designers in the Rocky Mountains that are avid rock climbers. Is there a better way to share a common interest and get to know each other in a relaxed environment than to join them on their excursions? Establish trust, build new friendships – it all leads to enjoyable work opportunities for you.
2. Do you help out with your kid’s soccer team or are you on the PTA at school? Doing things that YOU enjoy will naturally lend yourself to meeting new people with like interests. Your co-volunteers could work in the niche you’ve chosen or may have friends that do. Doing things that you enjoy doing, especially if it is involves getting out and meeting other people, will help YOU meet new people and make new contacts. Don’t like the people you’ve been hanging around with? Try something new and totally different. Put yourself in a very different environment and you’ll meet totally different people and have a very different experience.
3. Get involved in local networking associations. I’m not necessarily talking about the chamber of commerce. If you can, get more targeted than that. If you would like to meet more people involved in naturopathic medicine, find out what they do. I bet they attend trade shows on maybe natural health or are interested in yoga, or vitamins, or the natural food stores in your area. How can you have a presence there? Are there groups that meet that are rock climbing enthusiasts? Roller blading groups?
4. Are there any small, local publications that your target market may read? For example, there are a few free magazines and newspapers in my area and they are often looking for content for their readers. Classified ads are very inexpensive because the publications are small, and I’ve also found that these smaller publications are very open to bartering to keep their pages full. One publisher offered to run ads for me for free if I delivered the free papers to 20 or so places around town once a month. I am too busy to do that of course, but the point is to be creative.
5. Look at where your strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re comfortable writing and doing marketing related tasks on the internet, you may be doing enough of that already. Get away from your computer and meet some people. The same can be said if you are an extrovert. You need to balance your marketing efforts both online and off. I do get a lot of business from my online marketing efforts, but I also know that it compliments anything I do outside my office. Meeting people and having them experience you and your energy can’t be beat.
Have you seen a common thread here? All of the tips I gave you involved you getting out and meeting people. As a writer I admit I like to stay home and do stuff on my computer. I have an awesome system in place for marketing myself online and publishing articles and even coaching and working with people on the phone.
Getting out and meeting people means taking off my favorite slippers and actually moving – not what I always want to do. Looking over the successes I’ve had the past few years, there’s no doubt in my mind that when I do get out and speak to a group or get involved in an organization my business gets busier. And the people that I meet in person and have felt my energy and enthusiasm give me more referrals, and bring me more word of mouth marketing than the clients I have online. And we are more likely to become friends.
Copyright (c) 2006 Kelly Robbins