I attend a small business/network meeting every 2 weeks in town here, and have been doing some thinking about one thing many of the attendees can do to help increase their business. Almost of them have some sort of website, but they’re all missing one common thing – a mailing list signup. Honestly, even my main site doesn’t have that right now, although it probably will in the next few months, but I’m not in a position where I’m currently looking for work/projects – I have too much going on at any one time as it is.
What I do see many people doing is participating on linkedin as a primary form of networking and marketing. While it doesn’t seem to do much in the software development circles I’m in (correct me if I’m wrong and it works for you!) it does seem to have some impact in other circles. But I see that impact as limited, because the communication tools linkedin provides are themselves pretty restrictive.
The common approach in our group is for people to periodically post articles they’ve found in to LinkedIn groups, then engage in some discussion. I get told “I get more views on my profile, I get more visits to my website”. Great – more visits to the website… but then it stops. There’s generally no way to capitalize on that *unless* someone needs you right then and there and happens to find your phone number.
If you have a website, adding a mailing list that people can subscribe to will give you permission to reach out to those people on a regular basis. That may be monthly, or quarterly, or annually. It doesn’t need to be daily or weekly.
Example: I have some lists I’ve signed up to which are blatant sales pitches every 3-6 months – I’m *fine* with that, because I think I may attend one of those workshops she’s selling next year, but it’s my decision. Had I not been able to get on a mailing list, she’d have long since been gone from my mind. Instead, I get these gentle reminders every few months – I bought a book from the same author because of those reminders making her ‘top of mind’ during a crisis last year.
When I talk to people about this, they seem to get that first part – getting some discussion going on linkedin (or maybe facebook), and that usually translates in to some direct traffic to their site, but then it stops. Set up a mailing list for your website and start capturing some of that potential to be harnessed later. If you’re not sure how to get started, give me a call at 919-827-4724 and I’ll help you get set up.