Many business owners fail to maximize a return on their marketing investment. This is because they fail to realize that people hire people, people don’t hire businesses. In other words, people don’t hire me because of the specific makeup of my law firm, the number of associates I have on staff, or my of-counsel relationships.
They hire me because I’ve sold them on my integrity, my passion, and my expertise. This is why blanket advertising doesn’t make sense for most businesses especially those in the service industry. The key is building quality relationships not quantity of relationships. Your best bet is to focus on building key relationships with highly networked people, true centers of influence.
You should also realize that most business comes from existing contacts and clients, not from constantly generating new relationships through mass advertising. Therefore, it is important to stay “top-of-mind” with your existing clients, and continually accessible to those that you have already worked so hard to build a relationship with.
With all of this in mind, your money is better spent joining networking groups and associations that see your company and your services as an asset. Identify those individuals and businesses that can help you organically build your business.
Keep in mind, joining a networking group in and of itself is not enough. Every single week you should be taking notes while listening to your fellow networkers, and be sure to set up one-to-one meetings with every single individual in your networking circle/group. Take notes when people speak, and be sure to follow up with your networking contacts by thanking them for time well spent or making valuable introductions to resources or clients.
If you aren’t sure where to start, it is vital that you talk to your business attorney or CPA to help you identify businesses that naturally compliment your service offerings, and find ways to build collaborative marketing efforts with those businesses/individuals.
Through the course of the years I have seen clients succeed because they understood the principles of collaboration. Recently a real estate development client of mine was given an award in part recognizing her intuition for collaborative-based business development. For myself, I have often teamed up with advisors and experts to co-market our respective brands and identify mutually beneficial opportunities for targeting specific client or business types. It has proven to be very lucrative.
Incentive-based relationships have proven to be extraordinarily beneficial to the growth of my own business and to many of those that are within my close circle of business advisors. I have seen a few businesses fail in 2019 because they stubbornly failed to adopt an incentive-based referral network and as a result they remain a business of two people rather than a sales force of 20 people.
The key to marketing, much like anything else, is gathering information and discussing your game plan with the right advisors. A business attorney or CPA is a great place to start and build a foundation.