Consider how you can intentionally create more word of mouth by tapping into what is unexpected, memorable and sharable.
Email is the way. Whether the email newsletter is read that same day or at another time, the subscriber sees your name and mentally records the fact that you entered their In box. Now that it is more difficult to conduct business face to face and in person due to COVID, it is imperative that you remain top of mind among your connections. When relationships are reinforced by periodic email, it is more likely you will be remembered for a future contact or receive a positive response to your next phone call.
Send a holiday e-card to your many contacts. A simple text conveys greetings for the holiday season, plus the note that you have made a donation to Nonprofit Group in their name, in appreciation of your relationship.
Two can play the Marketing game better than one. After you team up, thank the client and celebrate. When you speak at an event or write an article, acknowledge the shared success. Post a summary as an update on LinkedIn, with a link to the article or the event announcement. You may also mention your article and presentation in your newsletter, again, thanking the client. When you attend the networking event or the trade association’s program, take photos that feature you and the client. Both of you can post the snapshots to your social media accounts.
Search online directories to find the podcasts most relevant to your target market. Also, search for Ten Best Podcasts in (name of industry).
These are among the most common networking groups. Consider letting your clients know about an upcoming program of possible interest, so you may attend together.
1. Professional membership associations
2. General business organizations
3. Interest groups (e.g., women-owned, ethnic)
4. Community service organizations
When you prepare to give a talk, remember to promote it before and after the event. Assemble a list of three to five takeaways. Recruit someone to take a photo, if there is no official photographer. As an attendee, plan to take notes AND photos.
Post the highlights of the event and a photo, with a substantive caption, on your LinkedIn profile and in relevant groups, plus on your Twitter account.
Make a list of your professional membership organizations, networking groups, LinkedIn groups and other communities. Peruse the membership directory and cross-check those names in your LinkedIn network. If you are not yet connected, compose a connection request to introduce yourself, citing your mutual association. (Note: I am currently engaged in this outreach with a 90-member virtual group; about one-half have accepted my invitation.) When you are already connected on LinkedIn, and it has been a while since your last interaction, get a meaningful conversation started.
Your free giveaway can keep on giving. Once prospects receive the link to the giveaway, or download the freebie, it is easy for them to share it with their colleagues and other contacts. This results in a wider distribution. Even if you may not know where the giveaway has been sent, by using a link shorten-er, you can track the number of subsequent clicks.
When your co-presenter for a speaking engagement is a client, a referral source or a networking contact, you provide a more comprehensive view that also aligns with the participants. Plus, the interplay between two speakers –- when one asks the other a question, for example –- enlivens the session and keeps the attendees engaged.
Prepare for your podcast interview by assembling a list of topics, illustrating them with examples and using visual imagery to spice up your language. After a series of points, circle back to summarize them. These tips will make your remarks more memorable.
Make it easy to find an available date on the calendar by blocking out federal and state holidays, plus days of religious observance. The website www.calendarlabs.com displays religious calendars for 2018, so you can quickly confirm a date is holiday-free.
Instead of the default LinkedIn blue background, make it True Blue You. Get the LinkedIn background format for the DIY-er. Open a free account on Canva; there is a LinkedIn background template, plus there are formats for other social media platforms. Experiment with different text, fonts, colors and images. When you are ready, save the file; then have a design professional review and polish your work for viewing on a computer and on a tablet.
You keep in touch with industry colleagues, current or former clients and business contacts, among others. When one of them introduces you to someone, who becomes a new client, congratulate yourself. Give yourself the credit you deserve. That is a referral from your network. That is not word-of-mouth.
Look at the bigger picture from the perspective of a dentist, landlord and supermarket clerk. What is their desire or need in the community? For themselves? For their business? Which are the most pressing issues for them regarding time and money? Invite a dentist, landlord or clerk for a coffee chat, ask these questions and listen as you put yourself in her shoes.
Make an appointment with yourself to address one of the seven Communication goal questions each day for the next week. As a reminder, when setting a Communication goal, the acronym S M A R T guides you to successful completion of the goal: Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely.
When you agree with and like another’s LinkedIn post, make this opportunity work for you. Take the time to respond to the person and the discussion, as you like it. COMMENT to indicate: what you agree or disagree with; how this confirms or disproves the trend; what the discussion overlooks; how this relates to another topic or lesson learned; why this is or is not a best practice; or any other interesting aspect.
Photos of a destination appear barren and forlorn without visitors. Putting people in photos will attract and retain the reader’s attention. It will lead her to imagine herself on the scene and ideally prompt a visit to your destination.
If the annual report is dead, and is not to be produced, it’s time for the nonprofit to devise — and revise — other communication vehicles to ensure that newer supporters are fully informed about the breadth and depth of programs and services. Here’s how.
Everyone should review these tools and accounts in an Annual Communications Audit. Approach various social media platforms from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with your company and services. Where might they look for information (website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)? What would they find there? Is the content current (timeless or within the last week)? Take a few minutes to check the latest entries on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and others that your audiences visit.
Posing problem and solution questions will highlight the types of issues that the respondent likes to tackle, the approaches she offers and the clients she targets. Based on the answers, you may determine how this person meshes with your contacts and resources.
One week before you attend a networking event sponsored by a membership organization, contact key officers and committee chairs to apprise them of your interest in the group. The Program Chair, Membership Chair and Communications Chair, as well as the chairs of any committee that aligns with your profession, will be eager to meet you. At the event, ask them to introduce you to the President of the association, which enhances their stature and helps you join the inner circle of leaders.
To lead a workshop that will attract new clients, look beyond the membership of a professional organization and the four walls of a classroom. Develop an interactive session and offer it to your connections for their professional development and that of their peers. At this contact’s office, you’ll collect their colleagues’ cards and their appreciation.
Tap into your network for advice and your own brain-stretching. Networking meetings are not only about individuals and their presentations. It’s the collection of multi-disciplinary perspective each one brings to the table. Informally advising your colleague will help you exercise your brainstorming muscles, build trust among contacts and garner ideas to develop your own business.
When writing an article, an author or reporter traditionally thinks of the five W’s – Who, What When, Where and Why, plus How – as questions to be answered.
Consider how that familiar paradigm looks when the reader is put at the center of the discussion.