FIND AND BE FOUND
If one of the goals in your Marketing and Business Development Plan is to grow your practice, then it follows that you would then identify the strategies to accomplish that.
Typically, it’s broken down like this:
- Goal: What I want or need to accomplish.
- Strategy: How I intend to accomplish it.
Two strategies to accomplish that growth that are present in just about every Business Development Plan I am a part of are:
- To find people
- To be found
Obviously, we have to connect with our prospects, the people we want to do business with, whether they are:
- New clients
- Former clients
- Current clients
- Referral Sources
When we dissect this further, we ask:
“Where can we find these people, these prospects, while also setting ourselves up to be found?”
One of the many places we can accomplish this is Social Media. We have tools at our disposal that we’ve never had before that allow us to ramp up our efforts in a powerful way. Social Media allow us to:
- Find our prospects
- Be found by our prospects
So, off we go. We dive into the tool or tools of choice, gathering friends, followers and connections. Along the way, we think:
“Hey, this is kind of fun. It’s amazing how we can easily connect with people at a moment’s notice.”
At some point, we also begin to think:
“This is a good feeling. I prefer Facebook (or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Google+) because my friends are there. I know them. They know me. I can relax here, and know that my buddies are close-by. It’s easy.”
WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS OUR NAME
Here’s what often happens: We keep going to that familiar place that we love, the one where everybody knows our name, because it feels good and it’s easy to be there. It soothes us when we have issues, and allows us to sooth our friends when they have issues. They’re always glad we came.
- If it’s Facebook, we have our family and our buddies.
- If it’s Twitter, we have our favorites put into a list or two that we can easily scan to catch up.
- If it’s LinkedIn, we have a group that we like to visit.
- If it’s Google+, we have our Circles and Communities that welcome us.
- If it’s Instagram, we are happy because we know we can catch up with the lives of our friends via their pictures.
Then one day we take a look at that Business Development Plan we wrote, and the Target Audiences, or Prospects, we identified, and realize we still haven’t connected with them because we’ve become comfortable where we are, and we’re not looking for them any longer.
We relaxed. We found our stride in Social Media. We coasted a little.
THE DANGER OF COMPLACENCY
Merriem-Webster.com tells us that Complacency is “a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to make them better : a complacent feeling or condition.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for making connections via Social Media that fill that need inside of us for true human connection. That’s one of the things I love about it because I’ve found friends I’ve come to love, admire, enjoy and respect, and I want to be around them all the time.
But we also need to remember that other part of our lives, the part that puts food on the table, that part that survives by:
- Finding our prospects
- Being found by our prospects
This, too, is a need that is real, and isn’t going to go away, nor will it happen on its own without our assistance. Just as with all marketing and business development, we have to do battle with complacency.
TAKE THE TIME
What do we need to do?
We need to take the time to connect with new people. We need to venture out where everybody doesn’t know our name.
- We need to research and join a group on LinkedIn.
- We need to comment on an update in our LinkedIn newsfeed.
- We need to share that update we commented on in our LinkedIn newsfeed.
- We need to visit those people we once decided to follow on Twitter to reacquaint ourselves with them.
- We need to create a List of prospects and their companies on Twitter, then talk to them.
- We need to comment on a few Facebook updates shared by people we don’t normally interact with.
- We need to go deeper than clicking Like on a Facebook status update, and talk to the person who posted.
- We need to comment on a blog post, actually engaging in conversation.
- We need to share blog posts in our communities.
- We need to read a few updates from others on Google+.
- We need to Circle other commenters on our prospects’ updates on Google+.
- We need to join Communities in our areas of expertise on Google+.
MAKE THIS A HABIT
If it helps, schedule 5 minutes a day in your calendar to visit one of the sites where everybody doesn’t know your name, and try some of the suggestions I made above.
Connect with new people on a regular basis. Remember that, just like making connections face-to-face, one contact in Social Media often leads to another, who leads to another, and so on.
Before you know it, new people will also know your name….and they might just be glad you came.
Photo Credit to Wikipedia under a Creative Commons License