This is a topic that applies to everyone in business. Some businesses have it easy. They have a service or product that people are seeking out every single day of the week. And so it would appear they don’t have to do a lot to be found. The reality is they need to look at their ‘real estate’, i.e. where they are located physically for the foot traffic to pass by, or where they are located virtually, i.e. their domain name, keywords, etc to allow searches to find them. So there are costs involved in doing those things and then remaining current with their advertising wherever they’re located.
Others in business experience more difficulty in helping people find them, but they really do need to go where the people go. And where is that exactly?
It can be a number of places. I was chatting with an author on a forum recently and he was despairing of all the time he was spending using Social Media and trying to market his books, but when I began asking questions to find out what he’d been doing, turns out that most of his networking online has been with his peers, not his target audience. That’s all well and good to learn from your peers, but, at some stage, you need to break out from that corner of the world and venture into the rest of it. That means finding out where your target market hangs out and go and hang out with them. And this applies the same to Virtual Assistants who are seeking clients.
Where are some of the places you could find your target market? Here are a few suggestions:
- Clubs – are there social or business clubs where your target market would participate physically.
- Industry based associations
- Conferences, events, networking meetings that have the same target market as you.
- Magazines, newsletters, comics, and other publications that your audience might read.
- Discussion groups or forums that relate to your topic
- Groups or forums that cater to your particular target market, i.e. authors, professional speakers, realtors, etc
- Learn from your peer groups what other places are possible sources for your target audience
When you put yourself physically or virtually in and amongst this audience take time to listen to what they’re talking about, get to know their needs before you start telling them what you can do for them. Allow them time to get to know you as a person, not as a service or product supplier. After all networking is about building relationships and you have to work at building those relationships.
However, to do the above you need to position yourself first. Get your website set up, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile and/or any other tool you wish to use. Establish these and then go and do your networking, knowing you have a presence online already so people can find out more about you when they want to, and so you have something to point them to when it becomes time to start talking business.
Lay your foundations (establish your presence online and learn from your peers) and then venture into the big wide world and start letting people know you exist.