I’m a big fan of using attraction strategies to fill your marketing pipeline as a self-employed professional. Attraction-based tactics like blogging or publishing articles, posting on social media, and generating media publicity can all be effective ways to bring prospective clients into your sphere. Under the right circumstances, promotional events and advertising can work also.
And… attraction strategies alone are rarely enough to build a thriving business. As I often tell my students and coaching clients, these approaches need to be coupled with outreach tactics in order to have a significant impact.
Look at blogging or publishing articles, for example. This is one of my favorite ways to attract new prospective clients. But to be effective, your writing needs an audience. This is where outreach strategies come in. To get people reading your blog or ezine, you need to reach out to them using outreach approaches like direct contact, networking, referral-building, or public speaking.
Direct contact means interacting with people one-on-one, in person, or by phone, email, text, personal note, or social media message. You already know people who would be interested in reading your articles or blog posts. You could reach out to them personally to make them aware of your writing.
Networking includes both online and offline interaction with people you share some common ground with. Online, you could increase the audience for your writing by inviting people to connect with you on social media, then posting regularly about the pieces you write. Posting on social media is an attraction tactic, but it needs to be coupled with the outreach tactic of extending invitations to connect in order to pay off.
Referral-building is the practice of proactively reaching out to folks who might become referral sources for you, and building relationships with them. Continuing with the writing example, you could reach out to bloggers and other centers of influence who might be willing to refer their audience to your writings. A relationship like this can begin by you mentioning publicly something they’ve written.
Public speaking can be one more way of making a personal connection with people who you could then invite to interact with you in other ways. I always include links to my articles and blog posts on my handouts or slides when I speak. This attracts audiences to further explore what I have to teach them. Speaking doesn’t have to be in person, either. It can also take place in a webinar or teleclass setting.
The suggestions above all used the example of blogging or writing articles to illustrate how attraction strategies can be amplified by coupling them with outreach. But the same is true for any other attraction-based approach.
If you are working on generating publicity, for example, you’ll also want to notify your existing network about any resulting articles or interviews. The last time I appeared on television, I attained more business from the people I personally told about my appearance than I did from the appearance itself.
You’ll see a similar effect with promotional events. A student of mine landed no new business at all from his booth at a trade show in another state. But by reaching out to his LinkedIn connections who lived in the city where the show took place, he established several new relationships that led to referrals and a new client.
So, when planning your future business development activities, don’t forget to include outreach strategies in your marketing mix. The addition of proactive, relationship-oriented, person-to-person contact will supercharge all your other marketing approaches.