The other day, I was speaking with a smart woman entrepreneur and at one point she said, “Joy, I think I need to take my business offline.” My response? “Bravo!” In today’s world, with all of its moving parts and the opportunities to build an online business, I sometimes see entrepreneurs leaving a valuable tool out of their marketing plan—building “offline” relationships to create another stream of referrals.
The thought of building a business “online”—you know sitting behind your laptop in your pajamas all day, never having to leave the house sounds really attractive to many people. This works well if you are in a products based business where the only contact you have with real people might be the UPS guy or gal. However, if you are in a service-based business like an attorney, consultant, coach, event planner, real estate,–you get the idea, then it’s essential that you have both an online and offline presence.
If you are a service provider, you are the product. I find many entrepreneurs dragging their feet on this part of the business plan and it’s the one area that can guarantee new business. Today, after 51/2 years, my business is still over 85% referral based. These referrals come from satisfied clients, speaking engagements and client attraction events that I’ve attended. Do I enjoy online business? Absolutely. However I’ve learned the value of taking my business offline.
Here are a few solutions for taking your business “offline” to attract more of your ideal client:
1. Public Speaking – this has been the number one best way for me to build my business “offline.” It has produced the most highly qualified referrals over the years. The audience can get a sense of who you are and your presentation can identify more clearly how you can help them. Make sure you leverage your time well by speaking to groups that are your ideal client.
2. Referral Program – create a “referral” letter that you can send out to all of your current and past clients. Let them know that you are accepting new clients and explain how your services can benefit people they may know. You may be surprised that clients (and good friends!) can forget exactly what you do if you don’t remind them often. I’ve had prior clients get my letter and call me to begin working with me again!
3. Attending the “Right” Events – getting out and attending events is key to the growth of your business. Make sure that you attend events where you truly enjoy the programs being represented and it’s essential that these events attract your ideal client as well. Let me clarify something: If you are drawn to a particular charity or fundraiser that is not well attended by your ideal client, that’s wonderful. Giving back or enjoying the spiritual growth you receive is important to your success as a human being. It’s key to pick one more venue to attend regularly so that you can also work on building your entrepreneurial dream as well.
If you are a woman entrepreneur in a service based business, the tips and solutions above can generate more ideal clients quickly. In fact, it can happen in as little as 30 days if you put these action steps into place right away.
Next week, I’ll meet you back here to chat with you about building an “online” presence. Successful marketing is like cooking: You need more than one ingredient to make the recipe turn out just right.
© 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.smartwomensmartsolutionscoaching.com/ .