Networking, both online and offline, is a fantastic way to generate new interest in your business. But many people face a not-so-unique challenge: How do you turn relationships into life-long customers or clients? This takes work. It takes discipline, organization and creativity. Think of this article as a starter kit to help you grow your network and your business.
Audit Your Network
Even if you’re not networking frequently, if you’re active on social media you’re probably making new connections regularly. Block out two-to-three hours in your calendar and conduct an audit of you contacts. Here’s check list/plan of attack:
Google Contacts – Review your email contacts and organize them by people you’ve met at networking events, current customers, friends, co-workers, etc. You can download your contacts as a CSV and upload them to tools like Sidekick to streamline communication.
Twitter Lists – Create private or public Twitter lists of people you want to interact with regularly. Organize your current Twitter followers in lists, too.
LinkedIn and Networking Events – Throw away your business cards. Go through the business cards you’ve collected over the years and connect with each contact on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to add information about where and when you met people. Use this feature and remember to personalize messages when you connect with people rather than sending the typical, “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Personalization always wins.
Be a Valuable Resource
Now that you’re organized, it’s time to be valuable to your contacts. Build relationships. If you use your now organized world simply to bug people and ask them to buy your product or service, it’s unlikely that you’ll get new customers or leads. You can take either a steady growth approach or campaign-based approach to nurturing leads. The slow build approach involves publishing great content (blogging) on your website, on your social networks and in email newsletters to remind your contacts of your services or product. The other approach, when done well, can help you generate more interest quickly but should be paired with a steady growth approach to ensure that any interest you’ve amassed doesn’t take a nose dive after the campaign is over. Campaigns can include:
- A Facebook contest that encourages people to submit their email address to win your product or a discounted/free service.
- A helpful guide or piece of valuable content that you can share across your networks to encourage downloads and email submissions.
There are a number of creative ways to structure customer engagement campaigns. The key takeaway is to consistently provide your audience with valuable content on social networks, via email marketing and, if you choose, through a larger campaign. The next step is to track interest.
Tools like Sidekick, which lets you know when someone has read your email, can provide you with valuable, actionable information. If you send an email to a potential client or customer, you can track when they’ve read the email and call them while they’re thinking about your business. Another valuable tool that the Organik SEO sales team uses is Pipedrive. We use it specifically for sales, but you can use it for lead gen campaigns, too. It allows you to track potential clients/customers via a pipeline and lets you set reminders to touch base with them. HubSpot has a free CRM that we’re currently testing out. So far, so good.
If you’re using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, track conversions through analytics. See which campaigns and pieces of content are generating interest and which are falling flat. Alter your strategy accordingly.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Social and SEO: How They Intersect and What You Need to Know.” Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!