Which do you think comes first, your business cards or your website?
If you are just starting out (or have changed direction in your business) and have identified face-to-face networking as one of your marketing strategies, you might think that getting your business cards printed is your first priority, right?
It’s a good idea to take a step back and think about what exactly you are going to hand out to prospective clients, joint-venture partners or possible service providers. What information do you want (and need) to share to keep in contact?
At the very least your name, business name and how to contact you (by email and phone). This doesn’t give others much to go on though, as they will want to find out more about your business, how you work, and if there is synergy and you are someone they want to build a connection with that lasts longer than the 5 minutes they had meeting you at the networking event!
Ideally you will have at least your website URL (address) and possibly your social media accounts on your business card as well as your most basic details.
Maybe you are thinking that business cards are less of a financial investment, and you should start small. Getting 500 cards printed that don’t allow anyone you meet to find out about you and the service you so passionately want to share with the world seems like a false economy to me.
Leaving a lasting impression (in the right way)
What you really want is for those you meet at face-to-face events to be able to follow up with you in a way that feels comfortable for them.
Networking is not a “quick marketing fix”. Just like with anyone you meet, it takes a while for a relationship to develop, and you are unlikely to become friends with everyone you come across. Part of developing trust is making it easy for people to engage with you after an event, and since so many of us are relatively time poor, it has to be quick. It’s much easier (and feels less intimidating and more friendly) to say a quick “hello” on social media than to send a formal email to those you meet.
Did you know you can build relationships through your website?
Not only is your website your online business home, it is the route in for those interested in your services. Where they can get to know more about you until they feel completely comfortable and are ready to buy.
Your blog is a great way of giving website visitors a taste of what you offer – completely free. It allows you to share your expertise with many people at the same time, which is much more efficient than offering one-to-one free consultations with prospective clients. Added to this, comments on your posts add social proof (evidence) that you’re great to work with!
Last but not least your website allows visitors to stay in touch by sign up for your List. This is absolutely your best marketing tool as you can send out alerts to whenever you write a new blog post and other updates directly to the inboxes of your Perfect People!
At the very least put up a “Holding Page” for your future website
This is effectively a placeholder for your website so the visitors know they can find out more about you soon. There is an affordable plugin for WordPress called SeedProd that allows you to even add a sign up box for your holding page so you can build your list while you are developing your website.
Over to you
You can see how important it is to get going on your website, even before you have business cards printed. I’d love to hear about anything that’s stopping you from getting started, whether it’s building your site yourself or finding someone to do this for you. Please share your stories in the comments below.
Feeling confused and don’t know where to start? Looking to understand how to develop a strategy for your website visitors to keep in touch with you? I can help you gain clarity on your visitors’ journey and next action steps once they are on your site. Together we will create a plan for you to get started with a website and an email list that works. Take the first step by booking a Website Strategy Session here.
Photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo