When I first started freelancing I spent a lot of my time on digital. I sorted my website out, grew my twitter and FB pages and even did some advertising. I thought this should work, digital first.
Turns out this is not always the case.
I think we are told by blogs and people that have set up their own business that this is exactly what you need to do. But I think a lot of businesses are hiding behind their digital marketing.
I was speaking to a client and we were brainstorming his marketing plan – and I said we’ve got all your ducks in a row digitally and now you need to start building a solid referral network and go networking. Excuses ensued ‘ my business partner used to be good at this I’m not the networking type.. etc etc
There is a massive stigma with networking which I genuinely don’t think needs to be there. People associate networking as sales…..
For me it isn’t at all, it’s all about building relationships with people and making people aware of who you are and what you do! Everyone is there to meet other people and have a conversation. Yes you do get a few hard sales people in there pushing their wares but I genuinely think around 80% of the people in there are decent and want to make connections.
I have had far worse experiences on one day training courses, where people just don’t want to talk to you because they will never see you again. I thought if I could survive that then I can survive talking to someone who is actually wanting to meet new people.
I guess what I have learnt – is just don’t rely on one type of marketing activity. Have a variety. Meeting people face to face and building networks isn’t as scary as you think. Plus it can be like a snowball effect once you meet someone they recommend you, then they recommend you and off you go!