One of the best bits of advice I've received from several fellow business owners including Jonathon Hinshaw of Ebway Creative is to 'Get Out There'. This means getting out of your office and going to meet people whether they are potential customers or just other business owners. You probably know the benefit you get from talking to your clients, benefits that go both ways so why not utilise this as part of your promotion.
This week I attended the Let's Network in Aberdeen and had 3 other meetings wrapped around it - great opportunity to meet new businesses and I met with a collaborator, another business and an existing client. One of these was someone I connected with on LinkedIn and just suggested going for a coffee and a chat - another suggestion from Jonathon! A busy but worthwhile day and whilst networking, I made connections with around 5 other people - I don't rush around the room getting everyone's business cards. I simply chat to 4 or 5 people about their business and my own business and establish connections.
I also bit the bullet and took a stand to exhibit at the B2B Roadshow in Glasgow. Never exhibited before, had attended several and wandered around and spoke to some people but was a bit wary and really nervous. I had
Despite being nervous, I had done some preparation thanks to my Coach, Janet MacDonald, she had ensured I knew to stand in front of my table, not behind it and to not be on my laptop (eek, the very thought). I needed to be present, open and available. So I did and I just introduced myself to almost everyone who walked past - totally out of my comfort zone but to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed it and got very enthusiastic about what we do. I came away with 2 set meetings, 2 or 3 very hot leads and a whole load of contacts.
I was also delighted with myself for not only talking to the keynote speaker Katie Bulmer Cooke who runs her own fitness business and got to week 10 of The Apprentice in 2014, but asking for a photo with her at my stand (see above). Katie says she knows a bit of html and recommends business owners have a grasp of it so they could do small and quick updates to their websites rather than having to rely on a web developer. I also mentioned a potential prospect I have that may provide an opportunity to work with her in the future.
In summary - I will definitely be exhibiting again probably in Edinburgh later this year and will report back on progress with meetings and leads.
Go on, get out there!