Small businesses are becoming more popular as the well-known brands start falling one by one. Eastman Kodak, Best Buy, Hostess Brands Inc. (maker of yummy Twinkies), Barnes & Noble and slew of other supposedly established brands. Even tech giants like Sony, Yahoo, RIMM, and AOL are facing continuously low-profit quarters. On the other hand, small businesses and startup companies are thriving. Pinterest and Instagram’s valuation of $1.5 billion and $1 billion, respectively, prove that smaller companies are starting to take the lead.
Nevertheless, no matter how small a business is, its brand perception is still very much important. If you want to make sure that your small or medium-sized company’s brand is recognized, you have to do a bit more than just online marketing. Sure, the main reason why people resort to online lead generation is because it’s cheap compared to traditional methods, but offline marketing strategies will always remain relevant. Why? Because we are people. Your company is made up of people who communicate and do business with other companies who are likewise made up of people. If all your lead generation campaigns are done online, no matter how many followers you have, they will still feel disconnected and brand loyalty will suffer. That is the reason why business appointments are still held face to face, as much as possible, even if there are video conferencing softwares available.
How can you use offline marketing strategies to find quality business leads for your company? Here are a few simple tips:
- Attend or plan conventions and seminars relevant to your business niche. Sometimes, it may even be beneficial to go meet people outside your niche market. You never know when that guy you just met knows someone who knows someone who owns a company that needs your services.
- Take the initiative to strike up a conversation, don’t just wait for people to come to you and ask about your company. In all likelihood, they won’t, more so if a high profile company executive is present.
- Do talk about your business, but don’t sell it yet. You’re here to network, and though all those people fit the characteristics of your target business leads, they might not be qualified….yet. You don’t want to risk losing the chance of doing business with them.
- Start by building relationships before they even make a single purchase. When you have established a good relationship with your business leads, then the next time they or someone they know needs the services that you provide, it will most certainly become your profit.
- Don’t overdo it. When you go to meet with people in these events, don’t act like you are on a quota, hopping from one conversation to the next. Spend time really getting to know your business leads. Remember, two or three qualified leads are better than 50 “maybe’s”.
Just because online marketing is cheaper and easier doesn’t mean you have to rely on it 100%. Go beyond the digital plane and meet real people.