When it comes to your big business opportunities, it’s about who you know. If you want to be a driving leader within your space, you’ll need to use your voice by building genuine relationships. One of the most beneficial lessons I’ve learned in business growth is learning to open doors for myself by activating the community.
A community-based business isn’t just about enrolling your ICA. It’s also about enrolling your peers and other industry leaders into your vision and your offers. It’s the secret to having your name mentioned by three separate people at a meet-up even before you’ve arrived, or landing the opportunity to pitch yourself [alongside some other fierce entrepreneurs] for a SXSW panel.
Here are seven ways to activate your next revenue-generating opportunity this week, so you can build greater brand awareness that calls in genuine brand champions with your loyal Ideal Client.
Ask for an Introduction
Reach out to someone in your network and ask them to introduce you to someone you know they know or someone who can support your goal of X. I know, this may feel like a lot of pressure, but it’s worth it! You can say something like, “Hey! I know you know X — I’m looking to connect with them/people like this because (reason). Would you be comfortable making an intro?”
Give a Gift
Give a gift to someone in your network. Make it highly personal (consider something specific they’ve mentioned to you) or something to support a specific goal you know they have.
Introduce Two People to Each Other
When you consistently increase the amount of connections in your own network, you increase your market saturation. Be omnipresent by making your name be the thing people have in common, having your business mentioned in more conversations, and building brand affinity and loyalty.
Ask for Advice
Ask a trusted group of people how they would handle X situation, how they would frame X pitch, or how they would fix X problem. It’s easy to get stuck in your own head. Having a team of support behind you is invaluable. Gaining neutral advice in any situation can be helpful in shifting perspectives and seeing the situation in a new light.
Reach out to someone you quietly consume from, someone who you’ve seen around your space, or someone who others have mentioned lately. You can say something like, “Hey! I’m Pia — I saw your post the other day about X! The phrase you used — [insert phrase here] — was super unique and made me think about [insert takeaway here]. It seems like you’re up to some really rad things (that [insert specific example here] looks amazing!). Anyways, just wanted to say hey because your content is super powerful and wanted you to know. [Ask a question].”
Tap Into Existing Community
Look for where your ICA is most concentrated, then pitch yourself to stand in their path and offer value that will uniquely serve them. This can be a peer’s audience, an online platform, a launch event, or a brand’s loyal customer base.
Send a personal voice-note, an individualized invitation, or a ‘this made me think of you.’ You want to keep conversations going over time to build connection, trust and curiosity.
No amount of ad budget can replace genuine referrals. No follower count can replace someone saying, ‘how can I pay you?’ No automation can replace making someone feel, seen, heard, and known. Yes, they can be powerful tools, but they don’t replace people. By building relationships within your community, you’ll be able to leverage championship and contribution as strategic drivers, initiate a new way of creating customer-centered interactions, and, ultimately, positively impact your conversion rates.
Plan your next year in business with intention and innovation, so you can create industry-defining impact, by downloading a free copy of our Annual Planning Spreadsheet here.