I read a blog today about buying “leads and referrals” from a vendor. That vendor bought the leads from various sources and sold them to his buyers. The reality was, the same ‘lead’ was sold to a dozen competitors. That’s not really a lead, it’s an invite to a playground brawl. That made me stop and think….
I was recently elected Vice President of the Annapolis Thursday Morning BNI Chapter. It’s the oldest of all the BNI (Business Networking International) groups in Annapolis. I’ve been a member for 4 years and I “own” the chapter seat for marketing services. Each year I re-evaluate my membership. The investment is not just a monetary one, it requires my attendance every Thursday morning from 7:15am-9am. That can be a challenge.
Then I ask myself a few different questions…if not BNI, what will I do every single week to grow my business? I have my inbound and outbound marketing plan. But I also want to secure referrals and personal introductions. There are many questions to ask yourself. How will I market myself in the business community on a regular basis? How will I grow my inner circle and get them to market my services for me? What will make this a successful year? What are all the options?
The Chamber of Commerce, LinkAnnapolis, Green Drinks, Baltimore Annapolis Professionals, PRSA, are all great organizations….so who do you make time for and how do you maximize and monetize your participation in these groups?
BNI requires time, money and effort. But that’s time, money and effort that I’m willing to invest in growing my business. The other groups are valuable but they only meet monthly, and you never know who will attend. Every single week, my fellow teammates, in my BNI chapter, invest their time in me, they are an extension of me and my business.
I’m looking forward to the new leadership role this year. I left leadership training with a few new ideas that I will implement immediately.
I’m enthusiastic about visiting the other great local business groups and I will work toward securing introductions and referrals there as well. At each meeting, I encourage these new contacts to look at my website to learn more about Frances Marketing Group.
How have you invested your resources; your money, time and energy, to be more successful this year? When your networking works and someone looks to learn more about you, will your website rise to the challenge?