Usually I’m shouting from the rooftops about having virtual clients. However, as much as we’d like to stay within the four walls of home, at some point it’s good to come out. Here are a few tips on how you can network locally to build your client list.
The trick is to strategically attend local network meeting events. There are probably many local business events in your area. Take a look at the possibilities.
1. Chamber of Commerce — Every community has a local chamber of commerce. The fee for joining can be in the hundreds of dollars but often times you can join with a monthly fee. Even if it’s not advertised ask. If you can get involved in events using your skills to help, people will start recommending you.
Your Strategy: Align yourself with the smallest businesses and if they have a sub group, those who work from home. If they don’t have a work from home or floating office contingent, create one. You’ll become invaluable to the organization.
2. Women in Business Meetings — Check to see if your community has meetings just for women, or if you’re not a woman, find out if they need people to present at meetings. Many local women’s business meetings like to have an expert speak on various topics and you don’t have to be a female.
Your Strategy: Help others learn how to work from home on the Internet while also filling your client list with those who don’t want to do everything themselves. You might be surprised to learn that even when you tell people how to do everything from A to Z, they don’t really want to do all that work. That’s where you come in.
3. Start Your Own Meetings — Using a social program like http://www.meetup.com to plan and organize local business meetings. You can start it with your own presentation. You’ll need to find a space. A good idea for locating space is asking for free space from an hourly office rental firm. They might like the idea of getting some free advertisement for your weekly meetings being hosted with them.
Your Strategy: Become an expert in your field on a local basis. Get known as the go-to person regarding your niche. By having your own meet ups and conducting your own presentation those who attend will automatically see you as an expert and come to you if they need extra help. If you can align with an office rental agency you’ll be golden.
When you attend any local events go prepared to promote your business:
- Bring business cards that list your website or perhaps a QR code on them that will take them to a form to get on your email list.
- Get their cards too and contact them.
- Invite them to coffee.
- Give them advice if they ask for it and
Really connect with these local people and you’ll be surprised to find that you can find plenty of local clients to fill any open billable hours you have.
Make it a FABULOUS one!