When you start your Image Business it can be difficult to find new clients once you have exhausted your friends and family contacts! This is when networking and building business joint ventures or strategic partnerships can be invaluable for your business growth.
I will look at how to network successfully in my next post. But before you go networking you need to think about the people who you might meet at these meetings and whether it is going to be the right group for you and your business.
Who do you want to work with? What would your ideal client look like? For example, do you want to work with small business owners, helping to improve their personal brand or would you prefer to work with mums in their 30’s and 40’s?
Who to Build Joint Ventures With.
When you are networking you aren’t necessarily looking to find these people at the meeting BUT what you are interested in is THEIR clients and contacts. So for example a personal trainer, life/business coach, beauty therapist, hairdresser, tailor or nutritionist would be great contacts to make as their ideal client is likely to be very similar to yours! Arrange a one to one meeting with these people, away from the networking meeting, so that you can get to know them and their businesses better; this is to see if you could work with them and if they are open to any joint ventures.
You could start by bartering services so that they understand what you do and you have experienced what they offer. (You may decide at this point that you don’t wish to go any further!) However if you would be happy to recommend them then you have their name and number in your “little black book” of contacts.
I have done this with massage therapists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, homoeopaths, beauty therapists, interior designers and mortgage brokers – all useful &/or pampering for me but I know they would (and have) recommended me to their clients and I would do the same for them.
Another way of building these joint ventures is through running events together or sharing an exhibition stand at say a wedding fair. This way you can advertise the event to both your databases and to your separate social media channels, therefore expanding the number of people you connect with.
Think about who you could connect with at your next networking meeting and how they could help your business grow. And if you can think of someone who you think would be an ideal fit with your business – don’t wait for a meeting contact them directly and offer to take them out for a coffee!
Good luck and let me know how you get on…..