But, in reality, they are very different from one another.
Basically, your brand is who you are and what you promise.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the act of promoting your business and its product or services.
You can’t effectively market your business without first having a strong handle on your brand.
And, you can’t grow your business without marketing.
There are many ways to embark on a marketing campaign.
Person-to-person marketing can require a big commitment of time, but it offers great return on investment (or ROI).
Here are just a few person-to-person marketing strategies to get your marketing on track…
Attend networking events.
Too often, networking events get a bad rap.
Truth be known, you might meet some boring people.
There will be uncomfortable silences and bad coffee.
There will be people who just want to throw sales pitches at you.
Get over it.
You don’t have to feel trapped. You always have options.
You can politely excuse yourself and move on to the next person.
If you’re worried about conversations going stale, you can prepare in advance and come up with ice-breakers and conversation starters. You can even research online and find out a little about the other attendees so you’ll know in advance what to talk about.
Understand that most (if not all) people at a networking event are there for the same reason and will not waste your time.
No one expects you to hustle and collect cards from every single person in the room. Focus on making a handful of quality connections.
Do not believe the negative hype.
Do not be afraid to network.
You are missing out on a lot of potential business growth if you don’t give networking events an honest effort.
Use networking events to meet potential new clients, collaborators, referral partners, and suppliers.
At the very least, use networking events to meet like-minded entrepreneurs you can lean on for emotional support.
Earn business referrals.
While networking events open the doors to meeting new people, you will want to take things a step further in order to earn referrals.
A referral is when someone can vouch for you and your business, and recommends you to someone they know.
This is a very efficient way to get new business.
But in order to get referrals, two things must happen.
First, you need to meet new people who can become referral partners with you. This is achieved by the afore-mentioned networking.
But, it’s not enough to just meet people. You also have to form deep, committed relationships. You have to build rapport. You have to build trust.
When someone recommends your company to another person, their reputation is on the line just as much as yours is.
Making a bad referral makes the referrer look untrustworthy and incompetent. No one want that.
So, once you’ve made a connection at a networking event, your next step is to follow up and have longer, more in-depth meetings, preferably one-on-one, with the people you share a lot of common ground with.
Take this time (perhaps over coffee) to get to know one another’s businesses and brands, and learn how to be good salespeople for one another.
Do not vouch for anyone or any business you don’t fully have faith in. Keep your values intact and grow your business by forming referral relationships based on trust and respect.
Getting up in front of a crowd of people is not easy for everyone.
Actually, it’s rarely easy. It’s been said that more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of death.
But if you are a business owner, mastering the art of public speaking is a worthy endeavor.
When you are standing in front of a captive audience, giving valuable advice and being helpful, your credibility soars through the roof.
You are immediately positioned as an expert in your industry.
You are immediately perceived as someone who cares about helping people.
And, by making a personal appearance, you immediately become relatable and approachable.
Creating speaking events and filling the room with attendees can take a lot of effort and become its own side-business if you let it, but with a little research and creativity, you will also find that there are many pre-existing organizations and meetup groups who would love to have you give a meaningful presentation to their members.
Just make sure you get access to an email list of the attendees so you can follow up and network some more!
Support your community.
Sponsoring an event or a local sports team is a great way to improve the visibility of your company.
It also shows that you are involved with and care for your community.
Just make sure that the events and organizations you sponsor are in alignment with your brand. In other words, make sure you are reaching people who would be included in your target audience.
If the idea of spreading goodwill and supporting your community appeals to you, consider supporting local charities by volunteering and donating your products or services.
When it comes to marketing your business, don’t be afraid to get in front of people. Person-to-person marketing is both effective and efficient. Consider attending networking events, building relationships with referral partners, booking speaking engagements, and supporting your community via sponsorships, volunteering, and donations.
Need a hand with your company’s brand? Contact Kim Speed at Purple Moon Creative today!