Well here we are again, I have been back to work for 2 weeks now since the arrival of our newest family member nearly 5 weeks ago. What a difference 2 weeks can make to a small business. Here I was thinking that I would ease back into work, take it a bit easy and keep things fairly simple and low key, how wrong could I have been (in a good way)!
I don’t know what has suddenly changed or why all of a sudden this has happened but in the space of 2 weeks I have had 3 new enquiries, and 2 referrals of which at the time of writing this 2 have now become clients. To say I am pleased is seriously understating my state of mind at the moment, it would be more accurate to say that I am ecstatic if somewhat bemused by these developments. This of course got me thinking about how this could have all come about.
I try to monitor where clients and enquiries come from and decide what forms of my marketing are working so I ask everyone how they came to hear of me. So far the results are wide and varied with one enquiry arising via online networking through a Facebook group, one had seen an ad I posted on a local Facebook page and had also seen a small ad I placed in a local magazine, the third came to hear of me through a google search for a local independent bookkeeper or accountant.
I must say that when I set up my Facebook business page I was skeptical as to how it would be of benefit to a business such as mine where generally clients come to you through referrals. Despite my skepticism, I set up my page and embarked upon trying to market my business through social media as for one it was free to market, easy to set up and do, and hey what did I have to lose.
What I have learned from my experience over the last 6 months is that it is not enough to just advertise your business incessantly on various local business pages etc. By all means yes keep making those posts but also find a really good networking page and get stuck in. Engage with the other members, ask questions of the group and reply to questions where you are able to provide answers or assistance.
Successful networking will enable you to show your expertise and so earn the trust and respect of the others while also allowing them to learn who you are and what you are about. After all, don’t we all buy from people especially when it comes to choosing a service provider? I know I would rather buy from or engage the services of someone that I know or at least have developed some sort of rapport with. For example, I attended a networking meeting this week, at that meeting was a florist who kindly brought along samples of her work and allowed us all to take one home free of charge, a very generous gesture I am sure you would agree. Having had the opportunity to see and take home her product and having had a good chat with her, I know now that next time I want some flowers I will be giving this lovely lady a call.