While I run my business completely online, I really enjoy attending in-person events and seminars here in Los Angeles and around the country. I'm sure you find these events valuable too. The problem most of us have with networking, however, is following up with the people we meet.
An easy way to follow-up powerfully and automatically is to turn these folks into e-zine subscribers. This ensures that you'll have the chance to repeatedly teach them how great your products/services are while building their trust in you.
But how do you "capture" people in person? Remember, you can NEVER sign someone up unless they specifically ask you to be signed up - it's unethical.
So you need to encourage people you meet in person to join your list, and make it easy for them. And I have three successful strategies to share with you.
Advertise Your E-zine on Your Business Card (or Brochure)
Nothing gets passed around at a networking event more than the good old business card. But what's on the BACK of your cards?
Well, from now on you're going to use that valuable real estate. Next time you print new cards, use the flip side! Create a brief message that promotes your e-zine and gives information on how to subscribe. When someone you meet looks at your business card again when she's back at the office, she'll be much more likely to subscribe when she sees the reminder on your card.
As an example, here's what I have on the back of my new cards:
"Promote your business with an e-zine! Sign up for FREE biweekly tips at www.EzineQueen.com."
BONUS: This strategy also gets these people to visit your Web site, which they may not have done otherwise.
If you aren't ready to print new cards for a while, use your computer to print your message onto labels, and affix them to the backs of your cards. Cheap and easy!
Follow Up With Each Person You Meet Via E-Mail
After each event I go to, I aim to follow up with every person I met with via e-mail within three days. In that e-mail, I remind the person that she can sign up for my FREE tips at my Web site. Here's an example of a note I sent out recently:
It was a pleasure to chat with you at [EVENT NAME HERE] last Thursday. I'd like to learn more about your business and how we can help each other. Perhaps we can meet for coffee next week?
In the meantime, you may enjoy my FREE weekly e-zine "Straight Shooter Marketing" that gives tips on how to market yourself online. I write it for small business owners just like you! You can learn more and sign up at www.EzineQueen.com
Take care and let's stay in touch.
Best, Alexandria K. Brown, 'The E-zine Queen'"
Once again, this strategy also gets these people to visit your Web site, which they may not have done otherwise. (Very cool, yes?)
Are you the Speaker? Pass Around a Signup Sheet or Collect Cards
Whenever I'm the featured speaker at an event, I make sure to give the audience members an easy way to sign up for my e-zine. I either pass around a signup sheet to collect their names and e-mail addresses, OR I collect business cards when I draw a winner for a free book.
If you use the business card method, tell the audience to write an "E" for e-zine on their card - this lets you know they want to be signed up for your newsletter. Some speakers do the opposite, and tell the audience that if they do NOT want to be subscribed to their e-zine, to put a "NO" on their card, but I'm more comfortable with the former method.
Remember, Your List Is Your Goldmine!
People you meet in person will be very valuable subscribers, because they've already met you. And we're all more likely to buy from others whom we know, like, and trust.
Your in-person meeting will start that process, and your e-zine will follow-through for you, automatically!
(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/