You never know where new opportunities will come from. You can meet people in the elevator, while waiting in line, or on a subway, plane or train. But you have to take the initiative. It’s not about exchanging business cards willy-nilly or being overly aggressive. It’s about reaching out and talking to people that you admire or want to work with or for. Look for opportunities to connect, not just ways to build your business.
Read and research
Stay aware of trends and trendsetters. Stay updated on industry publications, blogs and social media postings. Listen to podcasts. Then narrow your focus; identify companies and specific individuals you admire or who are doing intriguing events in their field.
Whether it’s local, smaller events or large national conferences, attend events where your potential collaborators and connecters meet and gather.
Nurture relationships with industry connections
These connections are your best ally and strongest referral source for new business. Give them something to say about you by doing great work and providing them with anecdotes and stories to tell others.
Stay in touch and follow up
Send a message after you meet someone new. Why not even send something in the post? Most people are inundated with emails, many of which are left unread or sent to spam. On the other hand, most people don’t receive ay enticing mail anymore. But if they receive a coloured envelope or a personal letter, they become intrigued.
Support your clients or collaborators
Personally and publicly promote and praise the work and efforts of your clients and collaborators. If they wrote an article, read it, quote it, post on social media about it and tell others. If they win an award, congratulate them. If they have a baby or get married, send them a gift. Spread the love. They will reciprocate.