It’s easy, isn’t it? Sell product, make money, repeat.

Not quite.

We need to introduce ourselves to people first; “Hello, my name is ___ and what do you do?” – not, “I sell purple widgets, buy one”. Taking an interest in someone else before ourselves is just good manners. We take the time to find out about others’ business in order to see how we can help them.

It’s all about benefits, not features. How does our product/service benefit our customer?

Take social media as an example, used with just a little care and attention it can boost our networking efforts hugely. How though? We all have different interests – so how do we please everyone? The bottom line is that we don’t, we can only offer what we find interesting, to show that we share the same values as our audience.

There’s an article on copyblogger.com about Affinity Content i.e. sharing free information with potential customers, inviting them to ‘know, like and trust’ us – so that when a customer has a choice between our business or J.Bloggs down the road – who are they going to choose? Well, that’s their choice, but if they ‘know’ us…

For example, if there’s an burger bar hoping to attract my business, I have to say that their chances of success are pretty slim, as I’m vegan. So, showing me an advert for the juiciest, meatiest, most mouthwatering tastiest burger EVER just won’t work; it slides off me (and every other potential vegan/vegetarian customer).

However, there are ways to sell even to me, just by finding what interests me. As a business, how can we do that?

Well, if our burger bar owner realises that some of his target market aren’t eating his food, they’ve joined their friend/family member and are politely waiting for them to finish  before going elsewhere. Thinking laterally, if s/he decides to make the juiciest, most mouthwatering tastiest vege-burger as well, they’ve just catered for the bored, hungry non-customer who didn’t want to be there at all. A whole new audience.

So, if we’ve gone the extra mile, widened our audience, catered to a different section of the community – even engendered goodwill amongst our customers. Then we get to tell everyone about about it by writing on social media or, if we’re hosting an event, informing the local press.

These are just a few ways to ‘Build our Business network’, there are many more. I look forward to telling you about them in my blogs. ~Sam

Sam Horsey is a journalist and copywriter. To see her work, go to https://samhorseycopywriting.wordpress.com

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