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.
1. 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.
2. Hold Live Workshops
What better way to showcase your authority and expertise than to speak to your local
community! Start with an online webinar. Then, turn that 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.
Build your email list and continue to provide vital information weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to
3. 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.
Still Stumped on How to Build Relationships?
I’ve thrown a lot of information at you, and if you still feel like these relationship marketing tips
are as thick as mud, I invite you to check out my newest book, “Building a Small Business during Challenging Times.”
You’ll learn the secrets to creating relationships, how to step out of your comfort zone, how to
turn clients into raving fans, and how to manage your cash flow. I’ve also included Action Plans
so you can plan and implement action steps for your business. You don’t want to miss it!
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