STAYING SOCIAL IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT
Small business owners are in the people business and their ability to meet others and to share their story is paramount to growing a successful business. In the age of COVID-19 the traditional meeting venues such as networking sessions, before and after work social gatherings, club meetings, etc. have disappeared. What has not gone away is the need to meet new people, to communicate with prospects and friends.
The following are some suggestions for meeting with friends, prospects, and clients in the new environment:
- Start a group on LinkedIn in your area of expertise.
- Form an online business group to discuss how to adapt to the “new Normal”. Start by inviting a few business owners and then ask them to invite others. Keep your group to no more than 20 members and have it meet on a weekly basis. You set the agenda for the meeting and also preside.
- Form an online networking group, ask a three or four people to join and have each of them invite a new member. As the founder, you set the networking rules as well as the attendance requirements.
- Form a “Go to Meeting Group” and offer zoom classes in your area of expertise.
- Most houses of worship are open at this time. Do more than attend a service; ask how you can help.
- With unemployment at near record levels, food banks and other charities need physical help. Pick one and offer your services. The people you will meet there are those who genuinely care about helping others.
- Create a landing page aimed at your target market and offer a “white paper” which will help them grow their businesses or ease a pain. This is page is not to sell your products/services. With their e-mail address which they must provide in order to receive your free information, you can add them to your newsletter list and slowly introduce them to your services.
- Ask your current data base to forward your newsletters and blogs to their data base. Of course, you must provide useful information to get them to forward your writings.
- The Telephone is still a great instrument which allows you to have a personal conversation. Reach out at least once a month to your best contacts and ask how they are doing and share what new things are going on in your life.
In many ways this new way of reaching out is a time saver and people have become accustomed to this new method as a primary source of communication. Your reach now is greater than before and you still have to be creative in your content and presentation as you continue your outreach.
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