December 15, 2009
One of the most difficult aspects of being an independent service professional is being seen as credible and as a viable expert in your industry. Until recently, that process often took years and required an investment of much blood, sweat and tears. Ultimately, it wasn’t until you paid your dues that anyone of influence in your industry would pay any attention to you or be interested in speaking with you. Thus, any hope you had of creating a strategic alliance or joint venture would fall on deaf ears because your potential VIP had no idea of your existence.
However, with the advent of Internet marketing, that time process has been greatly accelerated. You can now become a person of influence in your industry and become known to other industry VIPs in a matter of months, rather than years. Here are 7 strategies that will help you build successful relationships with your industry VIPs:
- Become the instant guru. One quick way to do this is by recording an audio. You determine your target market and the top 3 problems that plague your target market. Then, create an outline detailing solutions to those top 3 problems, and record an audio of yourself speaking about those problems and your proffered solutions. Create an audio CD and CD cover and have the CD duplicated. Offer your CD as a client attraction device on your web site and blog.
- Create your strategic alliance list. Write down your ideal list of strategic alliances or product launch joint venture (JV) partners. If you’re just starting out, you might want to begin with a second- or third-tier list (i.e. those who are not as well-known as the industry gurus but have some standing in their own right).
- Use Web 2.0. Use social networking on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter and follow/friend the members of your list. Interact with them often, commenting on their status updates, videos, etc. Retweet useful information to your followers that they send out to their followers and friends. Go to their blog posts and comment on those, as well.
- Become a customer. Buy a product from your person of influence. Review the product on your blog or in an article and submit the review through your social networks. If you purchase a physical product, take a photo of yourself holding the product and send the photo to your VIP or send the VIP a card containing your photo and some word of praise about the product.
- Attend live events. Many industry VIPs attend a number of live events each year. Because you’re now following these industry VIPs via social networking, they will tell you what events they plan to attend. Attending these same events and meeting these people in person helps them remember you, especially if you take a photo of yourself with that person and send it to them or post it to your social networking profiles. Many times you can buy your VIP a drink or take them to dinner and have a 1:1 conversation with them. Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
- Become an affiliate. If you love your VIPs products, become an affiliate and promote those products to your list. If you can genuinely talk about how this product has helped you, you’ll be of service to your list members and attract the attention of your VIP, as well.
- Stay in touch regularly. Set up a direct mail “stay in touch” campaign. Rather than using email or social networking exclusively, I think the most effective strategy at this stage is to send a direct mail card or postcard, as those get more attention as they are used far less often these days.
Begin your campaign today to increase your visibility in your industry by connecting with industry VIPs. You’ll soon discover how quickly your business will grow when you’re in touch with those in the know!
Internet Marketing Automation Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals create prosperous online businesses that make more profit in less time. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==> http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com