When networking, focus on the other people and what they do. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
In order to stay in business, you’ve got to have a full pipeline. #vatipGotta Tweet!
Be consistent in sending out your proposals. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
During the getting over your fear episode, I put out there a challenge and I’m going to tell you one challenge in particular I put out about calling local businesses, I haven’t had time to do that. I haven’t made time to do that, and I still plan to do that.
But things really changed when I started getting out and meeting people in my local area face-to-face.
After I posted episode number four, I was just on the lookout for networking opportunities and found a post on Facebook. It was totally random because it was within the comments. It wasn’t a post specifically for the networking. It was within the comments and really it was in an odd place because the main post wasn’t even about anything like that.
This person just took advantage of the opportunity and said, “Hey, if you know any local business owners tell them there’s a networking event here on Friday.” I think it’s like from 11:30 to 1:30, and the location of it is less than 10 minutes from my house. So I had no excuse, you know, it was right near my house, and it’s also near the Panera that I go to and the mall. I mean, everything was close by to my normal pattern and where I go during the workday when I want to get out of the house.
I’m determined to go, and on the day that I go it’s raining. I don’t know about you, but when it’s raining outside I can think of all different reasons why I need to stay in or would rather stay in. Energy level is not as high on a rainy day. I have to really work to get up and out of the house.
But anyway, I did that and was glad that I had business cards. I had business cards from a couple of years before that I hadn’t used. They aren’t necessarily my favorite, but they serve the purpose for this event.
So I went, met new people, and was really excited about that. Made sure to focus more on the people I was meeting and what they did than me and what I did, because I was truly interested in learning more about other businesses in the area and what they do. There was a good mix. Some people have their own businesses. Some people were representing businesses, you know, from their corporate jobs, so it was a good mix.
What I really liked about this particular event is that they do 30 minutes of networking at the beginning, then it’s maybe 30 minutes or 45 of actual training, and then they do more networking at the end. So it’s not a whole two hours of networking, which I was relieved because I didn’t want to do that for two hours, and I liked learning something. It was really, really cool.
After I left, I was very excited and energized, and what it did was got me comfortable with talking to people that I don’t know about my business. We do this every day online, but I came back home with a different excitement, a different surge to want to do it even more so.
So I started getting more involved with the groups that I’m on and LinkedIn. Seeking out groups on Facebook specific to where my clients are, and being open and sharing and seeking opportunities to jump in and help where I feel like I can help and provide some solid answers without anything in return.
What I’m finding is it’s helping me even be more creative in what I can provide to my clients because of the interaction with people who aren’t my clients. They represent them, but right now aren’t my clients yet.
Because of that, I even started sending out, you know, another one of the challenge was the five proposals a day on Elance, so I got busy doing that. Part of the reason I do that is my course teaches it and I want to make sure that information is fresh, still relevant, so I do the exact same thing that I instruct in that course. And guess what? It all still is.
The first day I did my five, and out of the five I got three responses back the next day and the responses were follow-up questions or setting up an appointment to meet me on Skype and discuss further what they’re interested in, so three out of the five. Then the next day, I heard from one other person from that first group of five. On that next day, I sent out four more proposals and heard back from two of them, and then a few days later a third one.
If you’re keeping up, that was nine proposals and I heard back from seven.
I want you to get those same results, especially if you’re just getting started. That takes care of that, you know, sending out those proposals, being consistent.
Then the next thing you know, I started getting emails from people directly outside of Elance. A couple of people I had worked with in the past, and when I say in the past I mean like years ago. One lady, I worked with her in 2012. It was the last time we worked together. 2012, we built a website for her, and it’s now 2015. She still has my information, still found me, and so she’s working on another website.
Then I heard from someone who had been referred by one of my clients long ago. Long ago meaning the first two years I was in business, so 2009 probably was when I started working with that client. Worked with them for several years and he’s gone on to other things, but he’s still referring me to the people that he works with.
It’s almost like now that I put myself in position to get over this fear of putting myself out there, things started happening from all sides: locally, virtually, word of mouth, every end.
If you have not had a chance to listen to episode number four where I talk about getting over the fear of rejection, make sure you do that.
Make sure you do that and select the challenges you want to take on. I didn’t do them all. Like I said, I didn’t call local businesses. It would require me to do a little more research. But gosh, with these other areas that opened, it’s like I didn’t have that free time to research and gives calls. Instead, other things were happening, which is fantastic!
In order to stay in business, you’ve got to have a full pipeline.
You’ve got to have clients that you’re working with ongoing. You’ve got to have one-off projects, and people that are in the pipeline, meaning they are interested in your services. Maybe you’ve scheduled a meeting with them and are waiting on the meeting, or you’ve sent them your proposal or your rates and you’re waiting to hear back from them. It should always be going, always be going.
You’re the center of steering that and making sure that it’s going. Otherwise, you’re on the down end of your business. So keep it going. I encourage you to go back, listen to episode number four. Get some information on that.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.