2. Attend industry events to meet the right people. Use various websites including ConferenceHound.com, Eventbrite.com and Meetup.com to locate local events and large conferences in your area. By going to these events, you can meet prospects and establish a stronger relationship with them than you could by tweeting with them. When you’re at the events, don’t just pass out business cards or people won’t be interested in you. Instead, spend the most time with the fewest people and try to learn about their business first. When you listen before you talk, you cause the other party to be more interested in you. Also, people love to talk about themselves and their companies, so it’s easy to get a conversation going if you ask a question to kick it off.
3. Leverage social networking tools to your advantage. Aside from Google, most websites get the majority of their traffic from social networks like Facebook and Twitter these days. People are finding new blog posts on social networks before finding the actual blog too. Make sure that your website has social network icons so people can follow you and share your company with others. On the networks, share information that relates to your business. If you’re a financial company, share market trends, and if you’re a real estate company, share community news features. This way, you’re serving the community by becoming a trusted resource for them.
4. Advertise your business in the right places. You can use Google AdSense, Facebook Social Ads and even advertise on specific blogs to get your brand name in front of the right people. The key is to concentrate on advertising to your target audience and no one else. Too many small businesses waste money and time getting their message to the wrong people. Your target market is the group that has the highest chance of turning into customers, so invest your time in them.
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Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management-consulting firm. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.
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