As a coach, one of the questions that I get asked all the time is “How do I easily capture email addresses so I can get them to my list when I’m out and about either giving free talks or attending events?” And to be honest, it hasn’t always been an easy answer. Mostly it would involve a combination of sign-up sheets or having them enter it on your laptop or tablet. Both of which are clunky and more than likely, you can’t read their handwriting or they’d skip signing up all together.
Imaging another scenario; You’re at your sons baseball game and you begin talking to the mom next to you in the bleachers. It becomes apparent through your conversation that you offer a service that she may be interested in. You do your quick elevator pitch and YES she’s very interested. So now what?
Sure, you could hand them your business card and hope she calls you, but that puts the ball in her court, you have no way of following up with her. And if you can’t follow up with potential customers and clients, you’re leaving money on the table. The reality is that most people are not going to buy from you on the first contact. They want to get to know you first. However, life gets in the way.
It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you to be better about following-up with your customer base, but unless you have a clear plan it’s easier said than done. I’ve been using a system and a tool to manage my follow-up and I make sure that I do this EVERYDAY. I’ve made this part of my business practice. Follow-up is hard to do. It’s easily the most overwhelming job. If you don’t have a system and tools in place to make follow-up easy, it’s quite possibly the hardest part of being a small business owner. Shuffle is just that tool and it’s so easy to use.
Three Tips for Building Relationships Offline
With all the different social media platforms available today, it’s easy to focus your marketing time here because it’s generally less time consuming to engage from your computer than it is to attend real-life functions and talk to people in your community. However, if you depend solely on social media for your marketing, you’re missing a vast opportunity to market your business to locals right in your own backyard.
Your marketing goal should always be to build relationships with people you can help with your products or services. Even though you may be tempted, don’t push the hard sell on people you’ve just met. They don’t know you, so they likely won’t spend their hard-earned cash on your product. However, by interacting with them at networking events, in addition to engaging them on social media, you have built a foundation upon which to build a stronger relationship, which may ultimately lead to them buying from you.
How to Get Started Networking Offline
The idea of walking into a room without knowing a single soul can no doubt be daunting. But the alternative of not sharing your story and your mission to those who may be seeking this exact answer to their problems is equally troubling. No matter how you want to start networking in real life, put on your brave face and tackle your social fears head on.
Join a Relevant Business Networking Group
Very often there are dozens of business networking groups and chambers of commerce spread across the country in every locale, so you really can pick and choose which group is best for you. Yes, you want to reap a reward for being a part of the group, but your acceptance into any business group will depend on what you can contribute. After all, it’s all about building relationships. Some groups are more formal and have standard meeting rules, while others may be much more casual and usually smaller in scale. Ask to visit a meeting or two before submitting an application and never be afraid to ask questions about the other members or when the group was formed.
Hold Live Workshops
What better way to showcase your authority and expertise than to speak to your local community! Turn an online webinar into a live presentation or create a presentation customized to your community’s needs. Contact your local library, business association or community college with your ideas and very often if the presentation is unique and relevant to the community, you will get a booking.
Even if live events are not your forte, choose a topic you are passionate about and that you could speak about for hours. Your passion will carry through and you’ll be less likely to be nervous or get tongue-tied. Make sure to collect business cards or to have attendees sign in so you can connect with them on social media and continue the relationship building.
Volunteer in the Community
Look for groups or charities that are relevant to your experience, but don’t go in thinking you need to change everything. Building relationships should be a positive experience, so offer your guidance and input when asked. Otherwise, enjoy conversing with other volunteers, board members, and administrative personnel, all of whom hold the possibility of referring you to their family, friends, or other networking contacts.
The Art of The Follow-up
With Shuffle, I can create a new business card for every product or service that I’m promoting. It’s so easy to do, that I can quickly make a card on the fly. Check out one of business cards here.
Be in the know!
Each Shuffle card is fully trackable with real time performance analytics and stats. Use the Stats tool to always know how you’re performing.
I can easily share my cards through social media, links QR codes or a new contact. Imagine you are doing a cooking class and you want to drive your attendees to your next class or program. Create a new card with with all the details and sign-up. Then throw your QR code up on the screen. Ask everyone to take out their phones and scan the code. You’ve instantly given them access to your next program, plus you can see how they are interacting with it and now you can follow-up with them on next steps. Pretty cool, huh?
I can create repeat business, set follow-up reminders, and stay in touch to optimize the relationships that impact my business the most.
Shuffle cards are incredibly dynamic by design; couple that with being SSL secure, they are the ideal landing page for your marketing and advertising efforts.
By developing stronger relationships with those who matter most through the Shuffle app I can see exactly who is engaging with my brand on the Activity tab, and stay connected with Shuffle Contacts.
The fortune is in the follow-up! I can’t stress this enough. You can set follow-up reminders and leave notes for your next encounter. Just think if you can wow your connections with timely outreach what that would mean to your business!
With stats and analytics comes the ability to iterate and improve your efforts. Create benchmarks for your performance to measure your messaging, branding and marketing success.
What do you think? Give Shuffle a test drive and let me know if you think this app is a game changer!