There are three general ways you can grow your business: nurturing, prospecting, and mining.
You won’t sell anything without first developing and nurturing your audience and relationships.
Nurturing efforts include:
- Giving value in the form of educational content or freebies
- Checking in personally to see how people are doing
- Sending a card or a gift to people you value most
- Promoting people’s content or work out of good will
- Or any other number of relationship-enhancing activities
The more you invest in your relationships, the more you’ll get out of them.
Give, give, give before you ask anybody for anything.
Usually, the best place to drum up new business is by tapping into your existing audience and relationships to see if there are any ready buyers.
You can do that by:
- Asking for referrals and introductions
- Promoting something you are offering
- Reaching out to past clients to check in
- Contacting past leads to re-open a discussion
Of course, “mining” should be done in the most contributory way possible, hence leading with nurturing.
You never want to deplete your relationships—only present valuable offers to the right people at the right time.
Give people an offer they like, but avoid the hard sell.
The third approach is seeking to build new relationships by gaining exposure to new audiences in your target market.
You can do that by:
- Guesting on podcasts
- Speaking at or attending events
- Contributing to online communities
- Advertising and sponsorships
- Joint venture projects and promotions
- Cold outreach and range of other lead gen activities
Prospecting is a lot easier if you have pre-nurtured relationships with colleagues and others in your industry.
You also want to be prepared to give something in return for access to other people’s audiences, such as offering them exposure to your audience (i.e. invite them onto a podcast first).
Choosing your tactic
If you find yourself constantly prospecting, it might be time to focus on nurturing for a while.
Or, if you find yourself constantly mining, it’s definitely time to switch up your tactics or you risk depleting people’s good will.
Ask yourself this: for the next three months, do I need to be mining or prospecting most?
You should always be nurturing. So the question becomes where to spend your effort next to grow your business.