You have spent a lot of money and energy to advertise your business, but nothing seems to build your client base or reputation within the community! You want to scream at the top of your lungs from the tallest building or pull your hair out from frustration (or maybe you already have). The problem with those particular options is that it still won’t build your client base or reputation. :-)
However, I have a 30 day solution that will help solve those problems, and it only takes a few minutes of your time every day!
You’ll either want to print this out so you can refer to it daily over the next 30 days, or else go through the next 30 days and note each one in your daily schedule. Either way, just jump in and follow the 30 day plan outlined below, and you’ll be well on your way!
Day 1. Introduce yourself to three new people today.
Day 2. Send an email to two people in your network to keep building that relationship. Ask about a common interest, their family, etc. Make sure it’s genuine.
Day 3. Ask a family member or friend about their day, and be genuinely interested and actively listen to their response.
Day 4. Make a list of five things you have to offer others.
Day 5. Listen to someone tell you a story/talk about their day without interrupting or giving advice. JUST LISTEN!
Day 6. Find two things you have in common with another person.
Day 7. Write down the top ten things you want to gain for yourself/your business through networking.
Day 8. Today, introduce two people to each other (either because of a common interest or you feel there is a benefit to them knowing each other). Connecting people is a great shortcut to growing your network more quickly, because you soon become known as the person who knows everyone, and who everyone knows! This builds your credibility and authority big time!
Day 9. Smile at five people today. You can then introduce yourself and begin a conversation, when appropriate. Do it again tomorrow. Make it a habit.
Day 10. Go to a networking event. Your goal should be to meet and get to know at least three new people. This allows your network to grow by three (and you gain access to their networks as well).
Day 11. Put seven to ten business cards in your wallet or purse. It’s a good idea to always carry at least seven business cards with you EVERYWHERE! You never know when you will want to hand one out.
Day 12. Look up one article related to your business every day. If it would benefit someone else in your network, share it with them as well that day. This opens the opportunity for them to send you an article that may be very beneficial.
Day 13. When you hand out your business card to at least 3 new people today, hand each of them two or three cards. When they say “Oops, you gave me an extra one (or two)” just smile and say “Yep, you can share that one with a friend who could use it.”
Day 14. Call three people you know today, chat with them, find out how things are going in their world, and towards the end of the conversation say something along the lines of “I don’t know if you can help me out or not, but who do you know that …” and fill it in with what kind of referrals you’re looking for.
First off, people love to be able to “help you out” and secondly, using the phrase “Who do you know…” rather than “Do you know anyone who…” puts their brain into a different gear. When you say “Do you know anyone who…” their brain searches for an answer quickly, and the answer to the question is either yes or no. Most typically the answer is “No, I don’t know anyone who…” However, when you say “Who do you know?” their brain goes into a different search mode, looking for the answer to the question “Who?” rather than the immediate Yes vs. No, so they’re more likely to come up with an answer.
Day 15. Today create a calendar of holidays that you want to send out professional greeting cards to your friends and associates. Include at least one different and obscure holiday that would be unexpected. http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/index.htm
Include more than one during the year if that’s your personality. For example, in September there’s “Talk like a Pirate” Day. J Be sure to include any holidays that relate to your business – like Sept 16 is Working Parents Day and January is National Hobby Month and June 4th is Hug Your Cat Day.
Day 16. Today make a plan to mail out 5 Thank You or Gratitude or Thinking of You cards per week. That’s only one per workday.
People love real mail that’s not bills. It will make you stand out because people don’t receive letters or notes or cards anymore now that email and texting is so prevalent. And it will reposition you at the top of their mind again.
Day 17. On your computer, create a simple card for your obscure holiday(s), or better yet, have your teenager do it for you.
Day 18. Buy a box of business appropriate cards for the next holiday that’s coming up within the next month or two. Maybe Halloween/Thanksgiving/Valentine’s Day/Easter/Fourth of July/Cinco de Mayo/etc.
When you are preparing your 5 thank you/thinking of you cards per week, go ahead and prepare and address the next upcoming holiday card as well as the obscure holiday. Keep them each in a separate stack. This way, the week before the holiday, you have a stack of cards that you can just stick a stamp on, and mail out.
People will be pleasantly surprised, because they don’t expect to receive a card. They’re impressed that you thought of them, and you stay at the forefront of their mind. This system will set it up so that at least 3 times a year they are getting an unexpected card from you when other people aren’t sending out cards to them. (1st the Thank You/Thinking of You card, 2nd the next upcoming holiday, 3rd the obscure holiday.)
Day 19. Instead of sending Christmas cards, send Thanksgiving cards. They don’t get lost in the pile of other holiday cards that the recipient gets, it stands out, and it comes before any of the others start showing up in December.
Day 20. If it’s too late for Thanksgiving cards, send out Happy New Year’s cards. Again, it’s different; you stand out. It doesn’t come in the sea of other cards…And it impresses them that you took the time and energy and that you’re thinking of them.
Day 21. Start your own group around your interests and business. If you’re a caterer, you could start an “Simple Entertaining at Home” group that meets once or twice a month whereby you talk about easy ways to entertain, have parties or get-togethers, and/or simple entertaining food ideas that make you look like you spent a fortune and slaved away in the kitchen. Since people who entertain a lot are your ideal audience, becoming visible and developing credibility in that circle of people will help build your business and allow you to network with potential clients and give you an instant referral network that can tell people how great you are at what you do.
Day 22. Make a daily/weekly plan. Write it down! It only takes 10-15 minutes to write down your plan for the week, but it holds you accountable to get those things done. Pick one of these tips for each day, and write down which one you are going to do for the week.
Day 23. Write down 5 goals for your business that you want to accomplish by this time next year. That gives you 365 days to reach those 5 goals. Pin them to your bulletin board; tape it on your mirror; write them in your planner; keep them where you will see them every day.
Day 24. Take your 5 goals and write down a couple things you can do to reach those goals or use networking to your advantage. Again, writing it all down helps you put your plan into action!
Day 25. Use 5 new peoples’ names today. For example, if you run into one of the parents of your kid’s friends, start the conversation with their name. You meet so many people throughout your day that you may not remember every single person you meet.
Remembering someone’s name shows that you have taken an interest in them. They will feel like you listen and have paid attention to them, and you will form a stronger networking bond with that individual.
I think it was Dale Carnegie who said something like “The sweetest sound to someone is their own name.”
Day 26. Let another person “win” today. We have all been in some sort of group setting where the answer to the problem seems so obvious, yet everyone is talking around it. When they finally get to the answer and decide it’s the best option, they all want to claim that they came up with it. Let them! Enjoy the process and know that the end result is what matters. People will think of you as a great asset to the group rather than the person who just brings negativity.
Day 27. Give someone a “compliment sandwich” today. Knowing how to give feedback to people you associate with is sometimes very difficult, but it needs to be done. Whether it is your professional or personal network, here is a great tip to get started. Start with a compliment, but you must be sincere: “That video that you used really helped to make your point.” Then, you give the feedback/criticism: “I think you could have been more interactive when speaking to the audience though.” Finally, you end with another sincere compliment: “Overall, it was obvious that you love sharing your expertise about the topic.”
Day 28. Make a Facebook/Twitter page for your business. Social networking is a free and easy way to start building a network quickly for your business. If you already have one, look to see if any information needs to be updated. All it takes is someone clicking the “Like” button on Facebook or the “Follow” button on Twitter, and you have access to that person. You can post status updates and tweets about anything. People are all about the Internet, but Facebook & Twitter are two sites that still allow that personal touch. It allows people to still feel like they are doing business with another person rather than a computer.
Day 29. Start liking or following other pages. Choose 5 new pages to like/follow today. A friend of mine is a photographer, but she is just starting out. She has “liked” some other local photographers’ pages, and she has gotten some great advice from them. Also, if one photographer is booked or needs a second photographer to help out with a particular event, my friend has been able to take advantage of those opportunities. This gives her experience and sample photos to display and build her reputation.
Day 30. Reorder your business cards, because by now, you should have given away nearly all the ones you had. Now’s the time to tweak it and make changes to it to add the oomph and power to your card that will allow it to be more effective for you.
Here is a bonus:
Day 31. Do it all over again for the next 30 days, starting with tip # 1 again!
I guarantee that if you follow this 30 day plan, by the end of a month you’ll have met a ton of new people, but more importantly – a lot of new people will know who you are and what you do.
If you’re ready to turn those everyday conversations into lifelong clients and referral sources, you’ll want to order my “Turn Conversations Into Clients” in-depth training program. Check it out at
http://abetteryoucoach.com/products-services/c2c/ and see if it resonates with you!
Make it Great!
I’d love for you to leave a comment below sharing your most successful networking tips and stories with us. Can’t wait to hear – Please share!