The photographs you use on line either on your website or blog or elsewhere can be a big pull to help find customers. We do all judge a book by it's cover, so the right phtograph will make a big difference. But it doesn't stop there. Make sure you save the image files using a name that makes your photographs easier to find by your customers. A lot of people sereach via the image options when looking for many things.
There is a lot of advice on networking and even courses on how to do it. My thought is you first need to find the right group for you, each one is different even within the different franchises. Any group will be defined not only by it's structure but also by it's members. So go out and find one that works for you, one that meets at the right time of day, with the right frequency. A group that has the right structure for you and your needs, but mostly a group with people you can talk to and feel easy to network with.
Once you have found your group stick with it, be " a good member" one who turns up as often as they can, one who contributes, someone who listens as well as shares. If you develop your relationships referals will come naturally from people confident in you and your services.
This was one of those phrases that used to make me cringe at networking and business events, and I remember trades shows back in the early 90's where I would drop a business card in any goldfish bowl I saw to win the bottle of champagne!
Although I need to find a better set of words to discribe this process if you are a business large or small it is a very important part of what you do on a daily basis. You will read article that it take 7 (or 6 or 9) touches to gain a customer, what ever the magic number I think we all know it can take people time to commit to buying from you, that amount of time will ahve lots of factors in it, not least how much money they have to risk to buy from you.
I used to have to post out newsletters which got very costly at time, and I found myself censoring my list thinking " I wouldn't waste my money" on such a person she never buys from anyway. Now with wonderful packages out there you can send out your news to anyone who will let you have their email for free. You just need to invest some time creating a template or two and then send it out there.
Don't expect immediate results but it always worth looking at website statistics for the eproid after you sent it.
ProVERB are working with the East Riding Of Yorkshire Council to get them to appreciate what it feels like being a small (micro) business in this area. Look out for them on Facebook or come a long and say hello. Here is an Event the Council have organised after speaking to ProVERB. It would be grerat to see you there.
It is no secret I enjoy being part of my community, and I know I often take on too much and then find the need to cut back and focus on my business. I just wanted to explain that I do get so much out of what I do.
Someone once told me she had got nothing from a group we both belong. I was little taken aback as I knew she had indeed made some useful business contacts who had helped her with certain projects and products. What I think she meant was she didn't remember getting a direct sale at any meeting she had attended. She had attended regularly and when there didn't join in that much so that won't have helped either. Being a member of a business network is not just about the sales you make direct to the members or even to their friends. It is also about what you learn along the way.
I remember going through some marketing materials for someone from a group and then thinking , wow that is an hour I have just given away, wasted even. But then I realised that in going through this persons work marketing material I had also reviewed my own, spotted ideas I could develop and remembered all I had learnt over the years.
I coud add any number of stories to this blog post but going to leave it for another day, if you are a member of a business group, be a "good member" attend regularly and be ready to help someone else
I have been heard to say that craft classes should be available on the National Health and insist being creative is essential for your mental health. Of course we don't all have to be creative with stamps (although I urge everyone to try). You can be creative is what ever way suits you. Many people are creative in the kitchen making ad hoc recipes they create as they cook. For some being creative happens in their garden. Where ever you find to play with your creativity I urge you to find ways to build it into your day. Be Creative Every Day.
Satrting your own business if often about finding ways to be yourself. You are the USP of any business, something no one else can ever be, so find ways to celebrate that.
A new blog to reflect the change in the way I work.
I know I am changing direction, I know some of what I want to do and for the moment that is enough.