Smart Start-Up Tips: Want to Expand Your Reach? Engage People Who Are Already Where You Want to Be
Want more business? You need to reach more people.
Sounds simple enough. Where it gets complicated is HOW you reach those extra people. Reaching more people is easier said than done if you are marketing on a shoestring budget.
Often small businesses and start-ups lack the marketing budget to build a buzz by advertising. That’s where you need to leverage who you know and expand your reach via the people who already reach your target audience, both online or offline.
Engage with People Who Are Already Where You Want to Be
So you want to enter a new market – perhaps it’s a geographic region or a new vertical. The particulars don’t matter. What matters is wherever you want to go or whoever you want to connect with, there is already someone there who is connected with those people.
Instead of entering a new market or territory uninvited (so to speak), expand via established people who already have relationships within that market. Ask for strategic introductions, offer to write guest posts or suggest a reciprocal partnership.
#1: Find Gatekeepers – ‘Gatekeepers’ are the people and companies who are already actively engaged with the people you want to reach. For example, the gatekeepers for my copywriting business are web design companies.
By connecting with gatekeepers, you are opening the door to many opportunities. You only need to develop and maintain a relationship with that one gatekeeper instead of engaging with many individual clients.
#2: Influence the Influencers – ‘Influencers’ are similar to gatekeepers in that they hold sway over a particular audience. Unlike gatekeepers, however, influencers don’t have a client relationship with that audience.
Because influencers don’t directly benefit from including you in their service roster, the key is coming up with a mutually beneficial relationship. In some cases, that may be reciprocal referrals. In others, it may be direct compensation.
#3: Connect with Connectors – ‘Connectors’ are the people who know everyone and pride themselves on being the go-to people for recommendations. From plumbers to programmers, their Rolodex is both broad and deep.
Their greatest asset is their reputation and relationships with their network so treat warm introductions from them with the highest level of care and attention. Think of it as a barter system for goodwill where favors and referrals are exchanged in lieu of money.
When expanding your reach by leveraging gatekeepers, influencers and connectors, it’s critical to answer one simple question: What’s in it for me? That answer holds the key to locking new connections and building relationships that will help you build your business for years to come.
How do you find the gatekeepers, influencers and connectors who have access to your target audience? Share your tips in the comments below!