I had a thought today while working on some client work. I've spent the last two years helping my clients create materials and content. However, I realized that what often is not emphasized enough is outreach.
Outreach? The hec is that.
What I mean by outreach is the concept of sending emails, interacting with other businesses and blogs to gain connections. I think we often forget that marketing is for people. It is not sticking a piece of paper on a cork board and hoping that people will come running to you. (Yes this works, but only for a limited time)
Marketing encompasses some cold calling and sales. Find those who are your industry leaders, those who are your community leaders, and connect with them. Interact in order to gain an opportunity to expose your business to new customers and new businesses.
How Do You Do This Outreach?
Outreach is vital, but one of the most time consuming and meticulous tasks for marketing. The best way to reach out and connect with people is to look on the internet, especially social media. Social Media makes it insanely easy to connect with people.
Find those who are the leaders of your industry. For example, find the best food bloggers or the best parenting newsletters. If you find the best, you will find a multitude of other people following them as well.
So it's often hard to connect and communicate with the best because they are bombarded with thousands of people trying to get a hold of them. If your starting out too, it's not likely you'll be able to get their attention. Don't worry though, there is more.
Look through those who are following and see if any of them are mid level leaders or better yet, local leaders. It's easier to connect with those that are in proximity or those that are not so famous yet. These people are much more willing to connect because they have the time.
Though I am a believer in go big or go home, you got to start somewhere and sometimes the best is to start building small.
How Do You Connect?
This is one where you shouldn't over think it. This is where you send that email, private message, or comment asking for some sort of connection. Remember though, know what you are asking for, whether it be a link, product review, or a coffee.
Just make sure you don't sound like spam or too generic. Remember people always love new opportunities, but these opportunities need to sound real and from a person. So sound real, and like a person :)