No matter how hard you work or how much you study, a certain amount of success is always going to come down to who you know. Bidding on jobs, building a customer base, or getting suppliers that you can trust ultimately come down to word-of-mouth and relationships. The extra personal touch will go far in developing your reputation, no matter what line of work you are in. And attending events, either in person or through the Internet, is a great way to network—i.e., promote your business.
Workshops have always been a popular place for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to gather. You’re not only able to pick up some great advice from people who know your field, but you can also meet other industry professionals who might help you launch your business to the next level. There are more small workshops going on around you than you might realize, right in your own backyard. If you search diligently for them, you might be surprised at what you find.
Large workshops often attract more expert speakers, but traveling to them can be difficult—especially if you have a business to run. Webinars are a great way to get the benefit of a workshop without the hassle and expense of taking a trip. Of course, webinars don’t give you the option of taking samples of your product or passing out business cards, but it does give you an easy way to connect with other small-business owners all across the country and the world.
Simulcasts and broadcasts are another way of reaching out. You can get information about your products or services out to a wide audience through multiple media outlets without having to rewrite your advertisements for different formats.
Videos are another great way to get the word out. They can have all of the same content as broadcasts while remaining permanent links on your site. In fact, taking clips from your broadcasts and embedding them in your blog is one of the best ways to get the most out of the work that goes into organizing a live event.
Social media is a great outlet for developing your reputation as an expert in your field. You can use these sites as tools to develop relationships with your customers. Once you’ve established yourself, you can even host your own workshop or webinar. Advertise these events heavily on your social media sites. Hosting events like this—events that require people to register—is a great way to collect information and build your contact lists.
The new technology that is constantly becoming available has opened an entire world of marketing opportunities. If you take some time to attend other people’s events and see what is being done in your industry, you can copy their success in no time. Learn how to take advantage of all the marketing technology out there, and you will be amazed at how easy it is to grow your business into a large and profitable operation.