We live in a digital world where we communicate while hiding behind our computers. We send emails and market ourselves from behind a screen instead of going out there and selling our ideas. However, even in these modern times, it doesn’t have to be this way. Developing personal connections can help grow your audience and rebuild the human connection.
Here are a few simple ways to reignite personal connections when marketing your work:
1. Pick up the phone and introduce yourself. You don’t have to send emails and mass texts in order to market your brand. If you have the right numbers to dial, then start making calls. Your connection will feel much more genuine when you’re talking to someone one-on-one instead of copying and pasting your words to send out to everyone at once. Make your clients feel special. Make them feel like they’re worth more than a quick email.
2. Attend creative events and mixers. Even though you work from home, that doesn’t mean you have to do your networking from home. Market your brand by attending events in your city. You can even search for major events across the country and consider flying out to them. Even though it will cost you a little bit of money to get there, you will earn it back with the new audience you acquire.
3. Have a networking coffee meeting once a week. When someone asks to hop on a video meeting with you, ask them if they’re able to meet up with you in person instead. You don’t have to sit with them for long. Make a quick stop at a café to buy coffees and discuss your work. Switching from video meetings to face-to-face meetings is a small change, but it can have a big impact.
4. Hold your own events. If you’re an author, do readings at a local bookshop. If you’re an artist, set up a gallery. When the event is finished, make sure you have time to stick around in case anyone has questions for you, compliments for you, or simply wants to meet you. The friendlier you are, the more excited people will be about supporting your work.
5. Set up a table at a craft fair. Sometimes, marketing yourself to a smaller crowd will end up gaining you more clients than marketing to a bigger crowd because you’ll be able to form more genuine connections. Bringing your work to a craft fair is an easy, laid-back way to meet people from your hometown (and who doesn’t want to support locals?). You’ll get a chance to hand out marketing materials in person – and you’ll also be able to sell your product right then and there if someone is interested in your work.
6. Carry business cards with you at all times. You never know when a networking opportunity is going to arise. If you’re an author who sits next to someone on the bus who happens to be reading a book in your genre, you might want to strike up a conversation. If you’re a photographer who happens to see someone snapping nature photos at the park, you might want to walk over and say hello. Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers – and don’t be shy about slipping them your business card when you part ways.
7. Be more visible on social media. You don’t have to ignore social media completely. You can use it as a launching point. When you visit a certain city, let your followers know where you’ve landed and let them know they can meet up with you if they’re in the area. Give them open invitations to introduce themselves.