The first goal of marketing is to get the word out about your product or service. Don’t fool yourself with the field of dreams myth that, “if you build it, they will come.”The fact is, no matter how good your product or service is, until people know that you exist and have a service that solves their problems, nothing happens. Nothing bad happens, but nothing good either.
Get the Word Out
Continual networking boosts business and helps you become more widely known in your community. People tend to buy from those they know.In networking, make it your goal to be known by many, the first step to increase the reach of your marketing efforts. Most networking groups don’t cost much more than the price of lunch to attend a meeting. They provide the ideal low-cost way to spread the word about your service in a low-pressure friendly setting.
Be Ready To Tell Potential Clients What You Do
Once you begin to pursue a networking strategy, it becomes obvious that you will be regularly asked that familiar question – “What do you do for a living?” It’s inevitable that this will happen, so it’s smart to always be prepared with an answer.
Benefits, Not Features
When asked what it is you do, this is an open invitation to explain the benefits of your service. Let me stress the word benefit. If you provide accounting and tax services and someone asks what you do, you could answer in a couple of ways:
- “I enter payroll, bank, and sales transactions into their respective journals and prepare ledgers that summarize the data.”
In response one, the best you can hope for is that they won’t yawn during the explanation. Don’t describe what you DO, describe what you can do FOR THEM, as in:
- “I help small businesses to identify areas where they can cut costs and increase profit margins through good accounting. I help them really understand their business finances and how to use that data to make profitable business decisions.”
Get right to the point. Answer the question for them, “Why do I care?” Why? Simple, I can help you make more money. I will show you how to make sense of your company’s financial data. I will make accounting easy to make business decisions based on data, not just gut instinct.
Your “30 Second Networking Commercial”
At networking events, you mingle with many other businesses and pass out a lot of business cards. You get one chance to make an impression and make sure your business card doesn’t just join the pile each contact already has.Quick! You’ve got 30 seconds to describe who you are. You’ve got to be ready with an answer that gets attention and makes someone want to hear more. As in example 2. above, show what you can do for their business or that of someone they know. You will also add information about who you are and where you do business. This quick explanation of benefits in networking circles is called “your 30 second commercial”. If it’s good, it will help you get business. If you hesitate, the opportunity is lost and your contact moves on.
Keep It Short and Direct
No doubt you can recall innocently asking this question of another person, whom you have just met, and being forced to listen to a 10 minute diatribe in response. When the response is eventually complete you may be fortunate to remember a couple of the points covered but you will have forgotten it all within a few days (maybe hours).To ensure that you don’t squander this opportunity to promote your business you should write down your commercial and then rehearse it until you have it word perfect.
How to Use Your 30 Second Chance To Make a First Impression
What do you include in your networking commercial? The most important things you need to cover are:
- your business’ name
- what services you offer
- benefits of using your service
- where you do business
- the type of clients you have
Example 30 Second Networking Commercial
It needn’t be lengthy. Below is an example of what you might use. Alter it to fit your personality and situation.”I’m the owner of ______________________, a bookkeeping service right here in __________. I help business owners reduce their taxes, improve their profits, and manage their cash flow better. For instance, just recently I . . . (your own story in the remaining 20 seconds).”
Leave Something With the Contact
At the conclusion of your commercial there is the best opportunity to hand over your business card. If you did a good job creating interest in the first 30 seconds, your contact will likely ask you to elaborate on some of the points outlined in your commercial.If your contact doesn’t appear to have a comment, don’t have to wait to be asked a question. Simply introduce your networking commercial into the conversation at the appropriate moment. With a bit of practice, it’s not difficult to determine when the moment is right. You’ll get a feel for it and be an old hand at networking in no time.
Use Your Commercial Early and Often
It’s time for you to start writing and rehearsing if you don’t already have your 30 second networking commercial. Make sure that you pique a contact’s interest right away to separate yourself from the crowd.Make it a habit of looking for networking opportunities to use your 30 second commercial in. Don’t wait for a networking meeting, though they are a great place to prospect for clients. At the local florist, at the tire shop, and dozens of other times during the week, you interact with small business owners that need the services you have to offer.Some find it useful to make it a goal to talk to 5 people each day about their service in informal, non-threatening conversations. If you are standing in line at the grocery store, strike up a conversation of some sort. You will be surprised how often you can find ways to mention what you do in casual conversation.Realize that what you have to offer is an opportunity for small businesses to be more profitable. In a perfect world, they would be the ones trying to find you and, in fact, many already are. Small business owners know they have trouble with their own books. Once you show them that you can help them cut costs and make more money, THEY will be the ones asking the questions.
Effectively Market Your Service and Make Great Income
The Professional Bookkeeper Course devotes an entire module teaching you marketing strategies to quickly find paying clients. You will learn how to bill for your services and get $30 to $60 per hour and how to explain your services such that small businesses are glad to pay it.Learn How the Marketing Module of the Professional Bookkeeper Program Teaches You To Make $30 to $60 Per Hour