Who is on your Must-Know List?
In the above blog, gilbertglee asks about the types of people a web designer should contact in order to have a powerful network of contacts.
That’s an important question. Every web designer/developer should have a constantly updated “must-know” list. These are 10-15 people that you want to meet in order to expand your network and reach people who know people.
In the book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell), the author introduces the concept of “Connectors.” Connectors are people who know lots of people.
One of your top marketing priorities should be to identify the connectors in your area and build relationships with them.
So, which connectors should you seek out?
Well, it depends on your target market. If you focus on your geographic community, then find people who are community leaders: banking executives, members of boards of local non-profits, religious leaders, political leaders, executives at the Chamber of Commerce, and the people you see mentioned in the newspaper over and over again.
If you focus on a specific industry, then find people who know people in that industry: association executives, journalists for trade magazines specializing in that industry, successful non-competitive salespeople marketing to your industry, and people who hire people in your target market.
All of us should have a list of 10-15 people we want to meet to expand our network. Then develop a plan to meet them. Asking for advice is an easy way to do that, and then find ways to develop the relationship over time. Not everyone on your list will cooperate, but all you need is a couple.
Questions to ask include:
– Who would you suggest as good people to know, given what I do?
– How can I help you with your goals? What kinds of referrals/customers do you seek?
– Who do you know who is looking for [the benefit you provide, e.g. ways to get more business, ways to get a jump on the competition or stay ahead of the competition]?
– What are key organizations to join or become part of in order to be visible in the community?
Then, as you go through your list, keep updating it. Stay in touch with people you’ve met. And keep meeting more people.
Is anyone actually taking any of the advice in this blog?