As a small business owner, I’ve learned first-hand that it takes time to spread the word about what you do and to generate new
business. And it’s a never-ending process. Since spring has finally arrived, I thought it would be a good time to talk about planting seeds for business growth. Since coming off maternity leave in January, I’ve been in business development mode. Below are some of the tactics that have worked for me so far.
Reaching out to existing contacts on LinkedIn
One of the first things I did in January, even before I hired a nanny, was reach out to old clients to see if they’d hire me again. I’m happy to say that some of them did. However, I still needed to do some work to replace client projects that were no longer in the pipeline.
One of the first places I went in order to generate new business was my contact list on LinkedIn. I started by strategically going through that list to pick which contacts might be interested in hiring freelancers. I then sent those key contacts an email via LinkedIn to let them know that I was back from leave and looking for work.
It has taken some time but some of those emails eventually turned into leads and ultimately paid work. I’ve also done a lot to pay it forward for other contacts on LinkedIn by making introductions for business opportunities where I was not the right fit. After all, it’s not just about growing my own business, it’s about helping colleagues grown their business as well. I believe strongly that what goes around, always comes back around in some shape or form. And it just feels good to see my friends and colleagues succeed.
Blogging and sharing on social media
Part of building my business back up includes scheduling time into my calendar to actively blog and participate in social media. This includes guest blogging on other websites, in addition to writing on my personal blog. Welcome!
It also involves talking to colleagues and current and prospective clients on Twitter. Of course, I’ve never been one to tweet to someone I’ve never met before and tell them about my services. To me, that seems too sales-ey and I don’t ever want to be too pushy with a new customer. Instead, I prefer to write about and comment on trends in the industry. If someone likes what I have to say, then they’ll reach out to me and I’ll take the conversation from there.
Re-kindling and nurturing existing relationships
In addition to reaching out to contacts virtually, I’ve been meeting face-to-face with people – even just to catch-up and find out what they’ve been up to in the past year. I believe that the more people that you tell that you are back in business, the more chances you have of them passing your name along if they know a colleague who is looking for someone with your skills.
Now that I’ve got some of my lead-generating channels running again, I can already feel the momentum of my business picking up speed. I am passionate about what I do and love B2B marketing because as I discover new ways to find customers, I learn more about how I can help other businesses to grow. Do you have tactics that work for planting seeds for business growth? If so, please share in the comments section below.