After much thought, my first post is about searching for my first projects and customers. I’m not sure which is scarier, writing this first blog post or getting out into the big wide world on my own to help businesses reach their potential.
So what to do?
First and foremost I am speaking to friends and family. I am working on the 30 second spiel of what it is I am doing and how it will be of benefit to my customers/clients (are they customers or clients and what is the difference?). This exercise has really focused my mind on what it is I’m trying to achieve and the best way of getting there.
Anyway I digress; this activity is called Word of Mouth marketing. Online it’s called Social Media marketing. I’ll talk more about these in future discussions.
Earlier this week I went to a breakfast networking group called the BNI (BNI stands for Business Networking International), who specialise in word of mouth marketing or rather referral marketing. Each week members are encouraged to bring in visitors or referrals for other members to get in touch with to develop their business.
This activity, which takes place early in the morning, appears to be remarkably successful. The group I attended had racked up £144,000 in referral business for the month of March. One of the printers in the group attributed £60,000 worth of business to his membership of BNI last year. This is a massive ROI of 13,483% or £134.83 worth of business for every pound he spent on membership – that makes you sit up and take notice right?
In addition to referrals the BNI also encourages its members to bring along visitors. These visitors are potential members of the BNI networking group or it is an opportunity for them to make new network contacts as well as find out more about the network members. Today I met a guy who is running his own CRM marketing business using Microsoft CRM. Now I don’t have a use for him right now, but I hope that he and I can develop some business together in the future. I’m looking forward to discussing more about CRM in the future.
Feel free to comment on your first steps into the wide world of working for yourself, or if you’re not there yet how you’d go about it.
See you next week.