Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

Networking at Your Child’s school: Do and Don’t

September 11, 2017

class

Back to school! Even for a busy professional like yourself, that can mean plenty of activities. School plays, concerts, home and away games, field trips, and let’s not forget Career Day. (Hopefully, nobody in your child’s class has an astronaut as a parent – everything’s a letdown after that!)

While you will be interacting with your children and your classmates a bit, you will also be interacting with other parents, teachers, school administrators, and staff. Are you going to reach out to them professionally? Of course, but you also don’t want to run the risk of making a school function about yourself. Here are some tips for making that effort without “crossing the line.”

DO have business cards. You may not keep your personal number or contact info on your business cards. That’s okay! There are situations where it’s appropriate to give out contact info to teachers, staff, and other parents. Writing it on the back of your card gives them the info and also creates a connection.

DON’T be too forward. Gear any personal conversations toward the other adults. Ask them questions about their professions. Focus on making connections first, clients last – you’ll find that it progresses organically that way.

DO respect everyone’s time. If you are taking part in an activity during school hours, remember that the other parents have likely taken time off from work to volunteer. As for teachers and staff, they ARE at work! At afterschool activities, people are there to focus on their children, and teachers are adding hours to an already long day. Do not try to manipulate conversations toward your business if they don’t go there naturally.

DON’T take on your child’s teacher as a client. At least, not immediately. While educators do have needs that you can help with, you also don’t want to create a situation where your business could conflict with your child’s education. Keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they may be assigned to the same teacher at some point in the future, or that same teacher may move on to teach a higher grade and your child could have them again. If you want to reach out to your child’s teacher, talk to them after the school year is over, and be informed.

Respecting the time and boundaries of school staff and parents may mean developing friendly relationships now, and reaching out to them at some later point, down the road. You can cultivate that relationship and maintain it through occasional greeting cards and other mail and email outreach. www.Marketing.Pro offers vibrant, relevant content that will help you maintain that bridge.

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Six Marketing Channels

March 1, 2013

Everyone accepts the importance of demonstrating the value of their services to the public through marketing. What may not be as obvious, especially to less experienced marketers, is where to direct your marketing energies when you’re starting out.

To that end, here’s a list of channels you can use to get the ball rolling (or pass along to a colleague or protégé for their reference).

Client Referrals: Some of your best referrals may come from the folks you are already doing business with. You can’t put a price on word-of-mouth recommendations. Provide your valued clients with a few business cards and let them know you’d appreciate them passing along your information to friends, colleagues or family members who may benefit from the services you provide. If you don’t ask, they may not think of it. Speaking of which: don’t neglect your current clients. You’re far more likely to receive referrals from clients if you stay in regular (meaningful) contact and provide excellent client service!

Professional Referrals: Forge strong relationships with other professionals and communicate clearly to them that you’re interested in receiving referrals. When and if they refer someone, treating their referral with care and demonstrating your superior client service can help to grow the referral relationship.

Seminars: Hosting a seminar where you can engage a group of potential clients is a great way to inspire some new business and break new ground. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and professionalism. Select comfortable surroundings and let your personality shine through as you speak; just because it’s business, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pleasant.

Client Events:  Speaking of pleasant, don’t discount these relationship-building opportunities. Try starting out with educational events and, as you get to know the tastes of your clients, you can expand to more entertaining, social events.  Don’t forget to invite your clients to bring a friend.

Automated Communications: Staying in touch on a regular basis can be a valuable way to nurture your client relationship and keep them informed. A regular newsletter, either through the post or email, can become a resource to them, not to mention demonstrate that you’re invested in the relationship.

Networking: Being an active member of the community and taking advantage of local events may help you to develop your client base. Don’t join a club, group, or attend an activity with the sole purpose of touting your services, of course, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there in groups you belong to and care about – after you’ve established yourself as a committed, active member of the group.

Also, when people hear the word “networking” these days, it’s usually preceded by the word “social.” Incorporate Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online options (as your Broker/Dealer allows) into your marketing arsenal.