With the rapid changes that take place in the marketing world, it’s easy to become bewildered by all of the options for promoting ourselves and our business. Almost every day, there’s some amazing new social media platform taking the world by storm and old forms of communication fade from significance.
However, from the day woman first drew on the cave wall, the basics of succeeding have not really changed. We all do business with those we know, like and trust. As individual business women, we have the opportunity to reach out and connect with peers, colleagues and potential clients to create profitable relationships that move us all toward our goals.
Whether you are successful women climbing the corporate ladder or an enthusiastic entrepreneur out to revolutionize your industry, here are five activities that will connect you with the people who need your knowledge, skill and expertise.
1) Grab the microphone: booking speaking engagements to showcase your expertise. From the local Rotary to TED talks to professional organizations, getting in front of an audience is the leading way to enlarge your circle of influence.
2) Blow your own horn: seek out awards and nominate yourself. Even if you don’t win the award, the nomination itself has benefits.
3) Connect with influencers: on and offline, identify and connect with other experts. LinkedIn is the ideal way to start researching and connecting with leaders and influencers in your industry. It’s also an excellent way to follow up and deepen connections with influencers you make a conferences and networking events.
4) Write a book: you will automatically be recognized as a thought leader. There’s really no better way to move your career forward.
5) Spread the word: submit Press Releases about your speaking, nominations, awards and your book.
Moving out on the stage will open doors for you in ways you never imagined. Every day I hear stories from successful women who are living lives beyond their wildest imagination because they took that first step out of their comfort zone.
Several weeks ago, I returned from a freelance writing assignment to find the skylight in my living room filled with a swarm of winged insects.
I was, of course, horrified, and immediately thought of termites busily eating my home. Or, maybe it’s just a re-infestation of the moths that had invaded my pantry last year, invading wide selection of grocery items. Unsure of what else to do, I called and scheduled a visit from Solo Termite.
When I had the original problem with the moths, I bought a can of cinnamon spray, safe for people and pets. With nothing to lose, I shot a stream of the fragrant spray into the skylight. Whatever the flying insects were, the cinnamon spray killed them immediately.
I dutifully collected several of the fallen corpses so that Wes, the technician from Solo Termite, could take a look when he arrived. During the coming week, I kept a careful eye out for more of the pests.
The evening of the swarm, I attended a business event and was telling the story of my buggy horror to several friends. We discussed whether these could be termites. Someone commented that if termites were easily killed with cinnamon spray, why do we all spend considerable sums to prevent them from chewing our houses down around our ears?
When Wes arrived to evaluate the bugs and do a treatment, I described the incident and gave him the sample insect.
Yes, he told me excitedly, these are termites. They are a variety know as dry wood termites that hang out in ceilings and attic spaces. I took him inside the house so I could point out where the swarm originated, and he found the hole they had created to enter the house. This is the best-case scenario. The entry point was really obvious, and easily reached. All that’s required in this case is a quick application of the permanent termite treatment. If the entry point can’t be found, then tenting the entire house is sometimes needed.
I posed the question about why we all invest heavily in termite programs if a few squirts of a nontoxic spray will kill them. Wes smiled. Then he explained the truth about termite eradication. It seems the termites we see are easy to kill. Spraying water on them can kill them. But the ones we see are the workers.
The reason we need Solo Termite or a similar service is to attack the source – the Queen. She is very hard to kill and stays hidden in the ground or the beams of the ceiling, laying 20,000 or so eggs at a time. The most effective termite treatment is carried back to the colony to kill the hidden termites.
This is an outstanding example of powerful word of mouth advertising. Wes was really just doing his job, but he did it in a way that caused me to share about it. His enthusiasm for his craft is infectious. Throughout the visit, which only took a few minutes, he was engaged in educating me, his customer, about termites, what my situation was, applying the needed treatment and explaining what to look for in the coming days.
I enjoyed the conversation, felt a sense of relief that the problem had been resolved, and have related the story to several people. Solo Termite has earned word of mouth advertising.
Every business owner wants to create word of mouth advertising. Doing so is both an art and a science. In the case of Solo, a technician who really enjoys what he does and helps customers understand why the service is necessary is their best advertisement. Imagine the same situation, but instead of enthusiastically answering my questions and explaining all about termite habits, he had given perfunctory answers, done the job basic job and left. I would not be talking, or writing about the incident.
What inspires you to tell the story of an experience you had with a business?