Face to Face Marketing Blog Posts by Scott Gombar

Make Yourself the Expert

So You Want to Grow Your Business? 5 Tips to Becoming An Expert!

Make Yourself the Expert

Make Yourself the ExpertIt’s a very competitive business world and you’re trying to get ahead in it.  How do you go about doing that?  Your competition is aggressive, or has been around a while..or both.  What do you do to get a foot hold in your arena?  How do you stay competitive?

One method is to make yourself the expert.  Making yourself the expert can seem like a daunting task but before you just brush this idea off remember people tend to want to work with experts. Why wouldn’t you want to work with an expert?  So I’ve come up with 5 tips to help make you more of the expert in your area of…well…expertise.

  1. Podcasts-being able to participate in podcasts to share your business model, what you do to help others and show a little of your personality is a great way of getting your name out as an expert.  It can prove to be a little difficult to get involved in podcasts at first but keep at it and eventually someone will invite you to participate in a podcast.

    Once you participate in one you’ll soon find others are inviting you to be interviewed on their podcast shows.  You may also consider starting your own podcast show and exchanging podcast interviews with other shows.

  1. Speaking Engagements-Similar to podcasts, speaking engagements give you an opportunity to display your knowledge of your subject matter. Speaking engagements will undoubtedly be the hardest to come by but once you are able to get a few speaking engagements you will see the business start rolling in.

    Try looking for industry specific groups to speak at, even if it’s for 15 minutes.speaking engagements as a method of making yourself more of an expert  Joining a local BNI will afford you the opportunity to speak a couple times of year in front of people you are already comfortable with.  Local Chamber of Commerce’s will also have opportunities for their members to speak.

    Speaking is also very difficult for some people.  They say the number one fear for people is the fear of public speaking.  I would recommend trying smaller, familiar groups before venturing out into the cold, cruel world.

  1. Blogging-A little easier to get going than podcasts or speaking engagements because there is little dependence on others to set it up. Blogging is a critical part of your digital marketing plan but it is also important to have a blog to share your knowledge.

    Blogging is usually a part of your website used to write content about your expertise and related areas.
    I strongly encourage you to include a blog as part of your marketing plan, but also to display your level of knowledge about your business.

  1. Helping Others-Very easy to do but so few business owners are willing to help others when it comes to sharing ideas and knowledge relevant to their business. I have always found that the business owners who do well in business are those that are willing and ready to educate potential clients.

    Helping others should be part of your lifestyle.  Charitable contributions are the right thing to do.  It should also be part of your business lifestyle as well.  Helping others at no cost, or adding a perceived value to your product or service is good business sense.

    I routinely give out advice or offer small services without charge.  This helps show your expertise in your field, and also creates a spirit of good will with other business people.

  1. 11 Professionals on WhiteNetworking-Get out there and get to know people. The more people become familiar with you the more they’re likely to recognize you as an expert.  People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.

    Networking is a good way to potentially establish contacts that have their own podcasts, or can help with finding speaking engagements.  Networking also gives you the opportunity to help others.

In Short, become the expert in your field will go a long way in the marketing of your business.  It will take time and a lot of effort to get going but once you get going the benefits will be abundant.

7 Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

7 Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

My Personal BrandMaybe you own a business.  Possibly you’re a sales rep or an insurance agent.  You could also be a student, or an executive in corporate America.  The truth is no matter where you are in life you have to be concerned with your personal brand.

I am an Inbound (Digital) Marketer by profession which means that I use the internet to market businesses and individuals.  While this is a part of developing a personal brand I am going to focus on the not so technical aspect of improving your personal brand.

7 Simple Steps to Brand Bliss

 

  1. Be Unique-this cannot be over-stated. The cookie cutter method just will not work here.  To stand out, to be memorable you have to be unique.  That does not mean you have to be over the top outrageous, it just means you cannot imitate someone else.People have a keen sense and ability to be able to sniff out someone who is being phony.  Overstating facts or exaggerating stories are almost always easily identified.  A quick turn off; for me at least is someone who is obviously telling tall tales.
  1. Be Yourself-there is nothing worse than someone who tries to portray something they’re not. This kind of segues nicely from Being Unique.  The easiest way to be identified as a fraud is to be someone you’re not.  It’s nice to have people you look up to, maybe even carry a quote or 2 from them but ultimately you have to be yourself.Being Yourself is hard for some people.  I am an introvert.  That means I am not exactly a social butterfly, at least until I get comfortable around people.  To counter that I have what I am told is a very dry sense of humor and sarcasm (I get it from my mother).  Most people identify me with a quick wit, almost always wearing a tie, always talking about my kids and always willing to help another small business owner.  These qualities describe who I have been pretty much my entire adult life.What qualities have you had your entire adult life?  What personality traits can you translate into your brand?

personal branding

  1. Be Personable-if people can’t approach you your brand is going to suffer. I often catch myself folding my arms.  Folded arms sends a signal to others that you don’t want to be approached.  In my case nothing could be further from the truth, it’s just comfortable for me but I am very conscious of the image I portray and correct it.Another way to be viewed as unapproachable is by burying your face in your smart phone or some reading material.Learn people’s names.  There are lots of tips out there on how to remember people’s names.  This is probably one of the best tips I can give you regarding being personable.  I am very good at remembering names but many people are not.  Use Google and research how to remember people’s names.

    When you see someone you met before say Hi (Insert Name Here), how are you?   How’s business?  Even more impressive is remembering specific information relevant to that person.

    For example….I received an email last week from someone who wanted to schedule a meeting with me.  I have seen this person several times before at other networking events.  I remembered that he worked a 9-5 but was also running a business after work hours.  I also remembered what that business was and approximately where he lived.  I responded with some times mentioning that I knew he worked during the day and we could meet near his home to make it more convenient for him.  He replied back with how impressed he was with my memory.

    I also would recommend not being negative in any way.  Don’t put your competition down, or another person down.  The first thing people will think is what is he/she saying about me when I am not around?

    One of the most important tools in your arsenal will be a CRM.  If you don’t already have one in use, get one.  This will fill in the gaps with your leads/clients and fellow networkers.

  1. Be Honest-honesty is the best policy. It’s really that simple.  If you’re not ready to commit to something just be up front.  If you cannot do something for someone due to ability or prior commitments just tell the truth.  If you’re not an expert on a topic, don’t make yourself out to be.
  2. Be the Expert-answering questions and offering quick solutions will quickly establish you as an expert in your arena. Everyone wants to work with an expert and everyone will go to the expert.Some of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert include podcasting, speaking engagements and awards/recognition.  It will be difficult at first to get yourself recognized as an expert on something but with time and persistence you will get there.Networking will definitely help.  So will the use of social media to join in on conversations regarding a topic that you want to be recognized as the expert in.
  1. Be Aware-people will talk but what are they saying. Monitor conversations to get an idea of how your brand is trending in your space.  There are numerous ways to monitor conversations online, especially Twitter, and to a lesser degree Facebook.Google yourself occasionally to see if there has been any feedback that maybe you’re not aware of.  Nothing can set a business back quicker than a negative comment, especially one that goes unanswered.Check some of the more popular directories such as Yelp, Bing and Yellow Pages to see if there are any reviews.

personal branding and social mediaThere are several local directory managers that can help you monitor these sites.

Lastly, survey your customers once in a while.  Ask for feedback on how well you provide services or how they are enjoying your product.  Even an occasional phone call, note or email just to see how things are going will go a long way with building trust and repeat business.

  1. Be Consistent-If you show up for one networking event wearing a 3 piece suit and the next event (of similar type) wearing shorts and a t-shirt you are not delivering a consistent personal brand.If you tell everyone you sell luxury cars one month, and then next month you’re selling computers..you’re not delivering a consistent message.  Worse your audience is not going to remember what you do, or recognize you as the expert on a topic.  A jack of all trades does not usually do well in business.Also be consistent with attendance.  Not showing up for a monthly event for 6 months does not allow you to build a level of trust with other people.

In Conclusion

Personal Brand Equals SuccessChances are whatever you’re in business for you have competition.  While you can specialize in a niche of a particular product or service you will still likely have competition.  At the end of the day you’re not selling your product or service, you’re selling yourself.

People want to do business with someone they know, like and trust.  Gone are the days of picking a name out of the Yellow Pages.  Just ask yourself how many times you have read posts on Facebook asking for recommendations on a plumber?  How often do you take to Google to research before committing to making a purchase?  Do you read the reviews?  Guess what, others are reading reviews too!  People usually post positive reviews about business and owners they know, like and trust.

If you’re trying to move up at work, or looking for a job out of school, it is still critical to build your brand.  How many times have you heard of people getting promoted, or getting a job because of who they knew?  How many times have you heard people ask how did John get that position when I know more than them?  Get out there and network with industry professionals.  Check out Meetup or Facebook for groups that get together and network with them.  Stop watching TV!

Happy Personal Branding

 

Edit 3/20/15: I have added a Slide Share presentation based on thisblog post.

Face to Face Network Marketing

Face to Face Marketing

It still matters

In this day and age we have so many avenues to market and advertise our business, and many business opportunities on the internet that it is easy to forget the human side of business and human interaction.  However it is probably still very important to meet and get to know people on a personal level.  People are more likely to conduct business with you if they get to know you and learn to trust you first.  Word of mouth is still a very powerful tool and there is no easier way to do this than to meet people….face to face.

Interacting with people via social media, email and text is efficient and convenient but it is also hard to develop a personal relationship that involves a level of trust if you never get to hear the person’s voice or see the person’s face.  Not to mention the numerous scams that are perpetrated via the internet all the time will have many scared to conduct financial transactions without first meeting the person..and rightfully so.

Big Group of People

Where do I start?

There are lots of ways to find individuals and groups wishing to gather and meet face to face.  One very popular way is meetup.com.  Using meetup you can find groups with similar interests that meet on a regular basis to discuss those interests.  The is a wide range of groups with very diverse topics and meetup types.

You can also find groups on Facebook that meet however you are more likely to find something of interest on meetup.

Another option is to join the local chamber of commerce or networking group in your area.  BNI is a popular group for some people.  BNI charges a yearly fee and some groups have strict rules about attendance and leads but they usually let you visit once or twice before you are asked to make a financial commitment.  BNI only allows one member of each business type per group so if you’re a plumber and there is already a plumber in the group they will not allow you to join.  However there is usually at least one BNI every few towns.

The local Chamber of Commerce allows competing businesses to join but also has lots of resources to help businesses develop their customer base.  The busier chambers offer several types of meeting opportunities throughout the month so it is usually fairly easy to get out to meet people.

Finally you can always create your own group.  Find a few individuals who would like to gather on a regular basis and grow the group using word of mouth or one of the aforementioned methods.

Get out!

So get out there and work on your face to face marketing.  People still like human contact and don’t always want to sit behind a computer or tablet.  Remember to be confident and don’t make the conversation about yourself, let the other person talk.  Follow up with the people you meet and possibly arrange a one on one meeting to learn more about each other and what you do.  Have fun but not to much fun.  We encourage all of our clients to meet and get to know people.

Hand Shake