How businesses create opportunities online, quickly and effectively

by | Jun 12, 2017 | Humanistic Marketing, LinkedIn, Marketing Tips

I recently sent one of my clients, an education provider, a list of her company’s top 5 readers following a newsletter we sent out. She commented that all 5 readers had immediately made bookings following the mail out. The following month, she received further bookings worth thousands of dollars within a few hours of the next newsletter hitting inboxes.

Another client, a lawyer, said he received a big wrap from a LinkedIn contact on an article we worked on with him. This reader then sent it to over a dozen clients and contacts by way of introduction.

These on the surface look like examples of online marketing activity that has immediately been rewarded with new clients, bookings, or at the very least, warm leads. However, these communications – the newsletter and the article – were the tips of the branding and marketing icebergs. These items worked because, besides being of quality and value in themselves, were backed up by well-thought-out and consistently communicated business and personal brands, combined with a solid strategic plan.

It starts with real people

Having worked with a great many business owners and business development managers in professional services like accountants, lawyers and management consultants, I firmly believe that their approach to digital marketing and social media must mirror their traditional best practices for building the client base – and this has to do with real relationships with real people.

You could argue that relationships take time to build – so this is not a quick online strategy. This is true, but it’s not always about slowly getting to know people and gain their trust over time (though this is a valid and important consideration). A stand-out first impression can be made instantly, and this includes a certain level of trust and a readiness to work with you. Perhaps you’ve experienced an instant rapport or enquiry from a chance meeting at a networking event, or a quality introduction from someone influential, where the business just flowed. The same goes online!

The winning combination

So, when asked how do I create business opportunities online, quickly and effectively, I have to say that it’s rarely the email blast, the cold call, or the paid Facebook ad that gets me the new client. In fact, I spend little or no time and money on these tactics! For service-based businesses, I believe it’s a combination of:

  1. Face-to-face (and virtual) meeting, greeting, relationship building by acting like a human being and treating others like human beings – in other words, being real and getting offline where possible; AND
  2. Leveraging your time spent on #1 above by following up your coffee meetings, networking events, or regular chats with clients with online communication (particularly on LinkedIn).

This sounds simple and obvious, but the success is in the strategy and schedule: it’s all about planning and consistency  – of brand messages, of target markets, of communication. Remembering all the time, you are a human speaking with humans, keeping it real. And in fact, few companies execute this combination really well. 

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