At a recent Hall For Cornwall networking event, John Harvey from 3B International gave a talk on networking and how it can grow your business. John has a very genuine approach to networking, and believes that spending time building relationships today will lead to more business tomorrow.
His ideas of attending a networking event solely with the aim of getting to know people might sit strangely with some business owners. The thought of going to an event that is all about getting new business, and not actively trying to get new business can seem rather uncomfortable.
In fact it’s an attitude that applies to pretty much all kinds of marketing. Some business owners believe that only channels which offer a direct return are effective. The number of Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, as well as blogs, which have been operated enthusiastically for a week or two before being left to contribute to the internet marketing graveyard is testimony to how many people see marketing is an instantaneous process.
Is your short-term focus losing you business?
Considering how fast paced today’s world it is, perhaps it’s not surprising that business owners occasionally believe in instant return from their marketing. Twitter is instantaneous, so why shouldn’t getting business on Twitter the instantaneous too? If the benefits of blogging include more customers, increased number of e-mail signups, more social media shares, and a higher number of website views, why don’t all those things appear the second the first blog is posted?
It’s a well-known business fact that people buy from people. Relationship, as John rightly said in his talk, is vital to entice people to buy. When you have a potential new client, you spend all the time you can building that relationship. You might travel to meet them several times, supply them with all the marketing literature they could want, and have detailed and in-depth phone and e-mail conversations, all to put their mind at ease and convince them that you are the person to do business with.
It’s exactly the same online. Blogging, as well as social media, allows you to do this on a large scale. Every one of your readers is a potential customer; a potential customer with whom you have a chance to develop a relationship through social media accounts and your writing.
Selling online is no different to selling in the real world. Your customers and clients have the same concerns and requirements. Where the difference comes in is the quantities. There are a huge number of potential clients out there, and blogging is your chance to attract them to your site, educate them about your business, and build a relationship. Yes, it takes time to get going. But so does a business. Blogging is an investment, just like any other aspect of your business. The businesses who are patient and committed to blogging are the ones who are enjoying the benefits. It is not a short-term solution, and the businesses to give up on it too soon are missing out on a world of potential.
Have you tried blogging? What are your experiences? Leave a comment and let me know.