With summer behind us and kids back in school, women entrepreneurs are flocking to conferences and events to connect with other entrepreneurs and discover new ways to grow their business. Whether you’re in a startup phase or you’ve been in business a few years, getting out from behind your desk and showing up at events is one of the most effective “offline” marketing tools you can use.
One of the “pitfalls” I see in my work with women entrepreneurs is they spend a lot of time marketing online and they let their “offline” strategies fall away. Let’s face it, having an online business sounds fun and exciting and it sure does feel like it’s a lot less work—right? There’s no travel involved, it’s cost effective and you don’t even have to get out of your pajamas! Online marketing should definitely be one of the tools you use to grow your business. I love online marketing as it’s a wonderful way to reach your ideal client (you are most likely reading this article online right now!), but it’s not enough. After being an entrepreneur myself for over two decades, I will share with you that having both an online and offline marketing plan is essential to reaching your goals and milestones.
Making a conscious choice to attend conferences and events is key to creating the momentum and visibility that your business needs. As I look back over the years that I’ve been in business, most of the big “wins” for me came out of attending events. Here are a few smart solutions to use when you attend your next event to grow your business:
1. Dress with Intention – Think about the impression you want to make with the people you meet at the event. Many times, I see people show up dressed in a way that does not resonate with the image they are attempting to create. This does not mean that you need to have expensive clothes or jewelry, but you need to dress professionally in order to attract your ideal client. Put some thought into how you want to show up and be remembered.
2. Arrive on time – or even a few minutes early – This is a must if you feel a little uncomfortable going to events where larger groups feel a little overwhelming. This will allow you to select the seat where you feel most confident and you can greet people as they trickle in. It’s also a great way to meet the organizers of the event who are typically centers of influence.
3. Find your “tribe” – As you move around the room, listen to conversations and join in where you find like-minded people. I never try to meet everyone in the room when I go to large events. My intention is to meet like-minded entrepreneurs with whom I can form a relationship. (“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”)
4. Prepare to share – This is where you need to have your marketing message well-honed. Make sure you have your ideal client defined. Share exactly what the benefits or transformation people receive when they work with you. Be prepared with business cards or other marketing materials. Don’t forget to ask people for their cards as well so you can follow-up.
5. Follow-up after the event – This is the main key to success but often the one that’s most overlooked. When you get back to the office, spend some time following up with the people where there was a real connection. It’s important to take this action step 24-48 hours after the event. This one step can create momentum for potential joint ventures, referrals and partnerships in the future.
Getting out of the office and attending events that attract your ideal client is a smart solution. It allows you to interact in person and give people a feel of who you are and how you can help them. It has been an effective marketing strategy for my business and it can be for yours as well. I invite you to get a date on the calendar today to attend your next event and use the solutions above to increase your visibility which translates into more clients and more income.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2010 Joy Chudacoff
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur. She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs. If you’re ready take your life and your business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report and FREE MP3 now at http://www.ProfitsWithPassion.com.