Man, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me they didn’t have time to market.
Listen, I get it. You have a job to do. On top of marketing for new business, you need to provide killer services to the clients you already have. That’s correct, and you shouldn’t listen to anyone that tells you otherwise.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be marketing. The best time to be putting yourself out there is when you are busy with work for current clients.
Why? Because you have clients! Your marketing efforts will ensure that pipeline doesn’t run dry.
But how can you keep growing your business when you’re completely overwhelmed with work?
How to Market Your Business When You’re too Busy
There are so many boxes we are trying to check off our marketing to-do list:
- Are we growing our brand?
- Are we engaging on social media?
- Are we streamlining processes to improve productivity?
- Are we motivating and developing our employees?
- Are we thought leaders?
Are we … go ahead, fill in the blank. The truth is, it is impossible to check off every single item. That’s okay. The best way to set the stage for all of these things is to do one simple thing:
Seriously, that’s it.
In our lives and our business, we surround ourselves with people. People that seek connections with other people. Finding people we can connect with is not hard as long as we are open to it.
Exchanging business cards and building a real relationship are two very different things. And while it might start with that card exchange, creating a real connection will not happen overnight. You’ll need to put effort into nurturing and growing the relationship over an extended period. It will take more than a few networking events, but it will pay off tremendously. Here are a few suggestions on how to begin.
5 Practical Ways to Build Powerful Relationships
1. Build your network on and offline.
Your network consists of everyone you meet or come into contact with — not just your clients or prospective clients but also vendors, partners, association members, family, and friends — even the people you meet at your kid’s school.
Every single contact counts. Regardless of where you meet or how you meet. Connect with them online through platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to stay in touch with what is going on in their lives and their work.
2. Follow up.
An all too common mistake is the failure to follow up after the initial contact. Whether you meet someone at a networking event or receive an email introduction, make sure you follow up. No matter how amazingly well you hit it off, you will likely fall off their radar if you skip the follow-up.
3. Keep in regular contact.
A great way to accomplish regular contact is through email and social media. Making solid use of these communication tools will not only help you stay in touch but also help you showcase your expertise to become a thought leader in your field.
Try a brief newsletter with actionable tips, a 30-second video on a trending topic in your industry, or weekly trivia. Whatever you do, make sure you do it strategically and consistently. Bonus: This type of communication won’t break the bank!
4. Be Accountable.
We all have our short-comings. It is natural to want to hide those from potential partners or clients – but fight the feeling. Taking accountability for the good things as well as the not so fabulous will earn the respect of your peers and your clients.
I’m certainly not suggesting you fall on your sword every time something goes wrong, but when you know you are at fault, even by the smallest degree, own it. This type of transparency and accountability is what long-lasting relationships are made of.
5. Be Authentic.
This one is a bit of catch-22. To be authentic you have to be yourself, so putting any effort into trying to be authentic is in itself, not authentic. The point is not to try too hard. Be professional. Be human. Be you. Most importantly, genuinely offer help to your network when they need it — without the expectation of a return on investment.