The chances are that at some stage in your business you will want to find new people as clients.
If you are a small business providing high value specialist or professional services this can be quite a challenge.
Many small firms attempt to address this challenge by investing large sums of money and time in trying to reach this new audience directly. They will try and craft the perfect message and use tactics such as email campaigns, search engine optimisation, or cold calling. The main problem with most of this activity is that it leads to one brief interaction and then nothing. The campaigns that do work are based on building a relationship rather than getting one message across.
The more service based you are the harder it is for this sort of approach to work. Very few small organisations have the resources of the very large ones who spend millions on building a trusted brand.
So how do you reach new people?
When I ask people where they get the best new business from the answer is nearly always 'word of mouth' or 'recommendation'. The best way to reach new people is to do things that generate more 'word of mouth' and 'recommendation'.
The chances are that you already know most of the people you need to know to get introduced to enough new people. Invest your time and money in strengthening your ties with your network rather than with strangers.
Even if you use other marketing tactics to reach new people your word of mouth networking is still important. Before someone buys your services they will invariably speak to someone else first.