This morning as I attended the annual Kick-Off Breakfast for the North Shore Business Forum I was engaged in a conversation about having realistic expectations for our marketing efforts. We all want to have HUGE success. Who wouldn’t love to join a business networking group and walk away with a client on the first day you attended a meeting? Or, how about getting mentioned in the paper and having your phone ring instantly with a paying account! Chances are this is not really going to happen for the majority of us. Networking either on-line through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or at a local chamber event or business networking group requires consistent effort and time. Creating a profile on-line and then not going back to the site for weeks or months is not actively working the on-line market. Though these sites are FREE, they do require you to spend a percent of time each day and week to keep your content fresh and to reach out to those you are adding as followers or friends. The same is true for face to face networking groups… you must allow relationships to build before you secure paying clients. And, you have to have “realistic expectations”! Unless you are ready to invest in an advertising campaign that uses several forms of media to reach your target market and have a serious budget to accomplish your goals, you will not get a big boost in sales in a short time from on-line social networking, one press release in the paper or attending one or two chamber events. The best advice I have for anyone who is out there daily trying to get more business with a limited budget is to have patience with the process and to not give up. It may feel like posting on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook or creating blog posts is not worth the effort, but that is where people are going right now. So unless your clients are not human, your business New Year’s resolution is to be realistic in your expectations and to recognize the various forms of networking and relationship building that are part of cyberland and make it as part of your “To Do” list for 2010. It will not be the huge money maker you want for this week….that requires some traditional advertising like Radio, TV, etc in a blitz campaign ….but it will start to build your brand recognition and increase sales in the long run.
All my best to your success!