Content Marketing & Your Kingdom

December 19, 2014

Bill Gates once said that “Content is King.” And who am I to disagree with the world’s richest man? But today, I’m going to do exactly that.

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Image: @Wikipedia

Well, I’m not going to disagree with him entirely, though I am going to interpret content marketing in a different way. By trailing through a stack of ‘to-read’ books – that’s developing into quite an accomplished coffee cup table – I have by the side of my desk, I was able to pull out something that perfectly captures content marketing in its fullest.

“Content isn’t King, it’s the Kingdom.” This is something that Lee Odden (author or Optimize) opens with in the ninth chapter of that very book. And boy, do I agree with what he’s saying.

If you consider content as king, then what is he a king of? To me that just says content is a man sat on his throne with a crown on his head. That’s not content marketing.

On the contrary, if content is a kingdom, then content marketing is all about building a civilization that consists of houses and buildings that’s the basis for all social interaction, the development of business, and a whole lot more. Online, each bit of content you produce contributes to the development of your kingdom (your business). And each makes the business bigger and stronger.

Each time you produce a piece of content, you’re building on your kingdom. Building on your empire.

And the roads to this kingdom all begin at a click of a mouse on Google. If you are to expand your kingdom, here’s the place where it’ll all begin. Here’s the place where online browsers begin their journey – each day in fact, there are 3 billion Google searches. That’s 3 billion potential leads.

With Google demanding that content, to rank your website then you have no other choice but to begin producing content. Just like I’m doing right now.

No content? Then no rankings.

The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is reach for my mobile and hit Twitter to discover what the people I follow have to say. I’m looking for information to begin my day. I’ll do this in the bathroom, and I’ll do it when I eat my breakfast. Even before my day has started I’ll have used up nearly 50% of my battery because of this! And it seems I’m not alone with 46% of internet users also looking for content.

And each day businesses are marketing to me in the process. But it doesn’t feel like that. It certainly doesn’t for me anyway. That’s simply because content marketing is marketing without marketing.

Engagement, though, is one of the biggest factors of producing content. You’ve heard all the social media gurus speak of how brands should be speaking with prospects and customers. Now, you also know that producing content is the best way to start a conversation and engage in this manner. This is the case, because you’re giving them the power to search for their own stuff, and talk to us when they want to.

It’s that term you see so often: inbound marketing

Think back to when you were last inside a shop or a retail outlet. What you probably got after entering a store was “Is everything okay?” or “What are you looking for?” or “Your size there?” by the store assistant. Damn I hate that! Well you won’t get that online, because engagement means long term here for your business. Forget Dan Kennedy and the rest of the direct response crowd. In fact, I tend to feel that engagement online in this sense is more ‘human’ than engagement with an actual human in a store!

I believe this to be the case because of the experience and customer service aspects. You can better keep in touch with a customer online through the various channels available to you that wouldn’t have been if you owned a physical store. If you’re constantly producing good content then people will always hang around. Then you can increase the value of your customer. This is where most marketers go wrong and forget about marketing to their current customers.

With content marketing, you get full control over your content whether it’s to your current customers or to your potential customers. It doesn’t matter. As a publisher of information, you’re in the driving seat but you also put your customers in the driving seat too. It makes perfect sense. And you know that people WANT you to publish that information just as people have consumed information for thousands of years. Hell, you only need to look at my bookshelf and the bookmarks on my computer to see that I personally consume content every single day. I’m sure that you’re similar.

But what isn’t so obvious are the authors behind these books and digital content. To be honest, I don’t even think they’re ‘authors’ at all. Sure, they’ve written content, though with that content comes business consulting and public speeches in events and conferences. They’re making money from producing that content because they’ve positioned themselves as an industry expert, an authority figure and a person that can provide solutions to problems.

This could be you. This could be the way that you bring customers into your business. And all by providing something that those customers crave in the first place unlike some direct mail or pop-up advertisement. This is why you really need to be investing in content marketing in 2015.

Need some reassuring?

Content marketing can increase website visitors by up to 55% that will generate 3 times more leads than traditional marketing and will reduce the cost per lead by up to 13%. Those are numbers that you simply cannot ignore if you’re serious about digital marketing.

That’s more inbound traffic, more customers and more revenue. That’s an expert status, a potential for increased prices and more power. That’s providing something that the public want without having to sell anything. And that’s lowering the cost of customer acquisition by getting targeted audiences, with doubled conversions that’s also easy to measure and tweak.

In other words. That’s a higher ROI.

Okay, putting a content marketing strategy in place isn’t going to be easy, and it certainly isn’t going to be free. And I can understand that it’s hard to ditch the traditional marketing methods that have worked so well in the past for you and your competition.

But take a look outside at the constant traffic passing by your door. That happens on the internet (just that there’s a whole lot more) and if you are to go outside and place your business in the middle of that traffic – those that are looking for information and content that may or may not buy from you – then I highly recommend you pick up a pen and paper and begin producing content. As that traffic can easily be yours through high quality, unique and good content.

Build your kingdom with the foundations that will serve you forever, because this is long term marketing.

Secret Amazon Affiliate 2.0

December 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

Before becoming an Amazon Affiliate, there are a few considerations… 

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Last week I wrote a post called ‘Secret Amazon Affiliate’ which was based around being an Amazon Associate at a time where Amazon Associates reap in the most sales and commissions.

It was actually based on an eBook I wrote to accompany a WordPress plugin that I built which enabled Amazon Associates to make commissions right offer their websites and blogs by selling products that have historically (and still do) sell well at this period of the year – and that’s discounted products.

But what I found based on the feedback I received, was that people are happy to sell Amazon products at this time of year, though they weren’t exactly sure WHAT KIND of products to sell. In other words, what niches to go into.

So here are the best ways to find your most profitable sub-niches (in any market). These are the type of products you could be selling – because you cannot possibly become an “expert” or build authority in a large number of niches. You’ll discover how the expert Amazon marketers think when it comes to discovering niches and profiting from them.

To build more traffic you need to be the expert to get the traffic. Don’t forget, if you cookie a potential buyer and he or she visits Amazon and buys more products that are completely unrelated to you niche, it doesn’t matter. You sent that buyer to Amazon, and you will get the commission. Amazon makes it easy for you to do this. It’s exactly how I research sub-niches and found areas for potential that you can now expose and profit from during the holidays.

#1 Amazon (of course!) It’s as simple as typing your potential niche keyword and then looking at the ‘suggested’ results. The left hand side then displays more ‘sub-categories’ which offers even more results for you to search through as potential sub-niches. I’m sure you’ve used this search feature loads of times, though did you ever think about them as sub-niches? If yes, then well done. I’m sure you’re already making money as an associate. If not, then take a closer look. You may find your perfect niche.

#2 PLR websites. Now I know you didn’t think about this one. Go on to any PLR website (I would suggest http://www.theplrstore.com) as a starting point. You’ll see the list of categories down the right hand side and you’ll find a solid list to begin browsing through. Look deeper into these lists and you’ll find literally tonnes of sub-niches that you can start selling in.

#3 Wikipedia. This is another great place to zero in on the best sub-niches. Type in your niche keyword, then in the ‘search results’ it will list a variety of sub niches right below your keyword. Those are the best untapped niches that you can find on there because the results you find are totally at random. Anything at all can pop up here, and you’ll be surprised by the quality of some of the results.

#4 Forums. Go into any reputable forum, and you’ll find thousands of ‘sub sections’ within that forum that is usually focused on just one niche topic. Just type your niche keyword into Google then the word ‘forum’, this well take you to a number of blogs where you can get searching for various forums. You’ll notice which are the most popular, and which ones aren’t simply by looking at the amount of people discussing and commenting within them.

#5 Google. Never forget the daddy of the internet when it comes to searching and discovering absolutely anything and everything. Type in your niche area or idea and then scroll right down to the bottom where it displays the ‘searches related to’ section. Right there are your laser-targeted sub-niches that will almost 100% guarantee you traffic and huge interest. Perfect niche selection material!

Now you’ve seen the top 5 places to discover your niches, you’ll be able to tell that there are hundreds of potential areas to keep looking that are similar in nature. Think blogs, social media websites and other affiliate and associate networks… all you need to know is how to look, then you will soon discover a lucrative niche.

My only tip is, that when you search for your sub-niches, be sure to pick something that you are passionate about, or have experience in, or simply a topic you’re interested in. Knowing enough about your niche and showing you’re passionate about it is the key to determining your success – after all you have to believe in your niche for it to succeed.
Okay, so you’re probably all asking yourselves the same question… ‘What are the niches that are going to bring me the most commission for the holidays?’ Let me reveal them for you. Take a look and head off and explore the internet to find the niche, sub-niche and product that is best suited to you.

1. Toys, 2. Beauty, 3. Electronics, 4. Photography, 5. Cooking, 6. Clothing, 7. Digital Entertainment, 8. Furniture, 9. Arts & Crafts, 10. DIY.

Remember, choosing the right niche is dependent on a few different factors, but the most important are; you, your audience and the time of the year that you are selling that product in that sub-niche.

(If this article interests you, then I urge you to check out the previous post on Amazon Affiliate Marketing.)

Have I covered everything?

Secret Amazon Affiliate

December 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

It’s as easy as this: if you’re not an Amazon affiliate making consistent commissions through their range of products then you’re missing a trick. It doesn’t even matter what kind of website or business you have…

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People every single day of the week, and that includes you and me, are buying off Amazon – literally hundreds per minute, without breaking a sweat. What’s also happening in the background, without those buyers knowing, is that 50% of the time there are affiliates (or associates for Amazon) that are making consistent commission on those sales. Sometimes, on complete autopilot.

Chances are you have probably purchased off an associate without even knowing it. This is quite often the case with the increased cookie lifetime you’ll see on affiliate and associate programs these days. This is the market that you need to tap into, whether you see yourself as an Amazon associate or not. Why?

Because the Amazon market does not look like it’s slowing down. Which means the potential earnings you gain through their associate programs won’t be either – people will always buy physical products, and associates will always make money off those customers.

Here’s some basic but highly practical tips to selling through Amazon at this time.

#1 Look to cash in at the right times. The fourth quarter of each year almost always shows a spike in Amazon affiliate earnings for the simple fact it’s Christmas and Thanksgiving which kicks off from the moment Black Friday lands. This is the time to keep your eye on Amazon as it’s guaranteed to make you the most money. It’s the same story every year. Work your content to your advantage when the holiday season arises, as people are naturally more switched on to buying.

Content such as buying guides, reader questions, lists of popular/recommended products etc get people talking about what they’re looking to buy or would like to receive for Christmas, so make sure you keep this content fresh.

#2 Do your research! By researching the demand for a product you can tell whether it’s going to be a go-er. Be confident that you’ve done enough research to define whether or not the product is going to meet your audience’s needs. After all, if you try selling a product that’s low in demand the chances of getting sales are slim, regardless of how hard you try. If your website gets a decent amount of traffic then you can conduct an online survey, easily getting input from your visitors.

#3 Relevancy matters. May seem like common sense, but actually many people can get this wrong. Make sure you choose products relevant to your audience. Even if your website focuses specifically on say, cooking, there’s always opportunities to cross-sell products. Have you thought about promoting the likes of recipe books, how to’s on using new kitchen appliances, utensils, even food items. The list is endless. Amazon makes this simple, just take a look at the section entitled “Customers who bought this item also bought…”

#4 Use genuine recommendations and reviews to your advantage. Let’s face it, more and more people who are considering buying products will read reviews and make their decision based on them. Plus, real reviews help to encourage your reader relationship in the long run, which you’ll probably find will help with more sales in the future.

So, always test the products you’re wanting to sell, that way you can relate to your experience and go into greater detail when you’re writing about it. Your review should be genuine and unbiased and, whilst it’s easy to chat on about the good points, it’s better to point out the cons of the product too.

#5 Use more than one source of traffic. Rather than just taking the most common approach of advertising on your own website, take a look at other traffic sources too so that you can promote products simultaneously elsewhere. The more targeted you are with your traffic the higher the chances are of you making money.

Click here for more on traffic generation.

#6 Track Your Campaigns. As an Amazon Associate, Amazon will allow you to create 100 tracking IDs. Because there’s a 100 tracking code limit, try starting off by creating a few general tracking codes, that way you can use the other codes for the ‘bigger’ promotions you’re working on – the most important ones.

Another method for tracking is by setting up Google Analytics. You always need to know what kind of people look at your websites, what they read and what products they are most likely to buy, so keeping an eye on your analytics helps you to do this. If you know your visitor, then you’ll know how and when they will buy off you – if you don’t know this then you’ll struggle to build authority with your visitors.

That’s some ideas to get you started.

If you’re an Amazon user you’ll know about their one-stop shopping feature, so this should encourage you to send people straight to the product you’re advertising. If people really want the product they’ll go ahead and buy right away, but even if they don’t, but still buy the product within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link you’ll still get your commission.

If you’re an Amazon customer, you KNOW the potential I’m talking about here.

And you’ll also know that when you buy a product on Amazon, you’re most probably going to be buying another product that they entice you with! As an affiliate, you’ll secretly be getting commissions on both of these products. So if you just promote one product well, you can end up selling multiple products completely unrelated to that original product.

The question is, do you have a little room somewhere on your website to make Amazon commission, and become a Secret Amazon Affiliate?

Get Your Customers Buying, And Buying Again

December 2, 2014 — 1 Comment

One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to market is to do so to your current customers, but many people can’t help but get this all wrong. 

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Gone are the days where the local shopkeeper knew your name, knew where you lived and knew what kind of stuff you liked. Gone are the days where it is the norm to get personal with customers, present individual recommendations and offer unique discounts. But, didn’t both sides benefit from this kind of relationship? I think so.

Think about all the money you’ve spent to get that one customer. Now, isn’t it a complete waste of time and money to think that that customer won’t buy again, and isn’t a fan of your stuff. That’s because that customer has entered your business willingly. Your customers are your customers for a reason. They love your stuff.

More so, a repeat customer can become an ambassador for your business and will spread the word. The more they buy and spread, more and more new customers will buy, and buy from you again. Just think of how many times you’ve seen businesses offer incentives for referring a new customer. The key here is to get it right on the first sale. Handle everything personally, in a friendly manner, and offer everything you can to that customer to make them feel valued. Make customers feel like your ‘friends’.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is absolutely essential at this point. I’ve used one in both B2C and B2B environments, and believe me, they’ll come to your aid more than you could ever imagine. Here, I’m talking about documenting every single bit of data you have on that person, including notes of all the contact you’ve had. This is something that can be done cheaply on an Excel spreadsheet, or simply on a piece of paper. So, there’s really no excuse.

Once you have these details down on record, each correspondence with that customer can be enhanced to demonstrate that you care and to show that you understand your customer’s needs. A salesman with knowledge is far more effective than one without.  Customers like to deal with businesses they trust, and this is one of the main ways to develop and maintain that trust. That’s how you get your customers buying again.

Your customers don’t want to receive offers that are of no relevance to them. They want tailored offers explaining why they’ll like an offer, which relates back to their previous purchase or purchases. The best way to get yourself into a position to be able to offer such promotions is through constant contact. In a nutshell, it’s all about getting to know your customer, and this is easier than you think. All you need to do is create something specific to that person; a call, an email, a text, a story, a feedback request. That’s super relevant offers, at a discount for that specific customer… just for being a customer!

Basically, as a lot of marketers will tell you, this all comes down to creating positive customer experience after that initial sale. Don’t look to satisfy your customers, look to blow their minds by offering an amazing experience, followed by great customer service. On top of making money, that’s got to be desirable for any business, right?

The best way to get customers/friends tied to your company is through a subscription-based model. This ‘subscription’ model doesn’t need entail monthly payments like what we’ve come to expect, it just needs to include a constant two-way dialogue. Think magazine subscriptions in a creative way for your customers and digital products.

Of course, attracting new customers to your business will always be hugely important. But it’s equally important (especially for small businesses), not to mention more profitable, that you get everything you can out of everything you’ve got. The longer a customer is in your store, the more likely they are to buy more than one thing.

It’s simple. So, why not pick up the phone for just a one minute conversation with each customer after a few months from that purchase just for a ‘catch-up’? Why not send those customers a card and maybe a discount on their birthday? Why not offer another product to that customer that’s highly relevant with a previous purchase?

It’s all about going back to the old way of doing business with your local trader. That trader would know exactly what you wanted the moment you walked into their store.

One of the best things you can strive to achieve is not for customers to love your products, but for them to love you. So, look to build relationships rather than sales. Create opportunities for a customer to buy off you again and look to have meaningful conversations rather than pitch them your stuff. Generally, look to make ‘friends’!

Attention & Reputation (And Revenue) Comes From Launching New Products

November 20, 2014

When you launch a new product you’re opening up a whole world of opportunities for your business. You’re giving current customers a new opportunity to buy something else from you, you’re opening the door to brand new customers and creating a massive amount of buzz within your marketplace.

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In the online space there’s a catalogue of tools and strategies you can use to make money. These include email marketing, blogging, sales letters, webinars, squeeze pages and of course, social media. But, without a product, you can’t really make any real money. Sure, you can promote other people’s products, but at some point you’ll have to step up because all you’re doing is drawing attention to someone else’s business.

This isn’t just online though, this goes for the offline crowd too. No matter where you are or what you do, there will come a time where you need to renew your offer. No matter how sustainable your product is in your market, competitors will always enter with an alternative. So, you need to show that innovation is your thing through a launch.

Where should you start? Well, it’s with a new product. The first task is to identify your goals. For example, will you be looking to get more sales, increase awareness or use it as part of an existing marketing strategy? Those are your internal issues. But, more importantly, what are your external issues? Be aware of the countless new products that are constantly launching every single day of the week. There’s increased competition, and that competition is something you need to study. One of the biggest mistakes marketers in all industries make is they don’t do their homework and research the market. To be unorthodox, is to be highly knowledgeable of the market around you.

Providing that your product is one that the market wants, the next step is to build the product around those customers. That is, focusing exclusively on the potential customers who you believe make your ideal customer and will purchase from you. Look to fill a need rather than create one – if the demand is there, then supply. Be sure to create a unique value proposition too, and not just launch what your competitors are. It needs its own clear positioning and message because a confused buyer doesn’t buy.

You need to communicate this in your sales material, your sales letters, emails and web pages. Copywriting is a difficult skill to master. If you’re not overly confident about your abilities then you can always outsource, but just give it a go. First off, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Imagine yourself as the reader; what would you like to read? Always write with the customer in mind, using simple language that anyone, of any age or nationality can understand with ease. Look to get your readers interested and capture attention. Think headlines, subheadings, case studies, testimonials, product benefits and build on each to encourage the reader to keep reading. But most importantly, encourage your reader to take action. Potential customers won’t know what you want them to do unless you tell them what to do next.

With a product in place, and the sales and marketing materials drawn up, your new offer will need potential customers to find it. There are tons of traffic generators online. You could consider Facebook, Google and the host of other media and news outlets, but I always like to focus on using Joint Venture partners. Here, everyone can win. You get partners working as your ‘salesmen’ to sell your stuff, and then you pay them back a percentage for every sale. In theory, they do all the heavy lifting.

I’ve personally brought in tens of thousands of online sales through JV partners, and I’ve very rarely encountered any problems by selling this way. Of course, look for organic and other paid-advertising sales, but, even in the big league, bribes and golf days out are constantly happening. Instead of having to get involved in the dark arts, your online writers and bloggers can write about your product launch and still get a cut. In doing this, I always liked to make the product available to the big influencers and the big partners as early on in the development stage as possible. This psychologically ‘involves’ that person to an extent that it’s impossible for them not to promote your product launch.

To check out my latest software product called “Azon Commission King” which launched a little earlier this week, please click here.

Rule The World By Telling Stories

November 7, 2014 — 2 Comments

Great marketing is great storytelling.

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Once upon a time… you were a small child being put to bed by your parent. “One more chapter…” “One more story…” “Just one more!” Why? Because, as children, we loved stories, but more importantly, unknowingly we still do. It was the highlight of the evening when mum or dad would sit with us and read a story before going to sleep. A simple story, with simple a meaning, in a simple language anybody could understand.

But how can a story improve your sales?

Well, it can be applied to any stage of the sales process, because a well-told story can affect listeners on multiple levels that you’d fail to do on otherwise. Not only can you better capture a reader’s attention, but you can motivate action, better build trust and make boring data more interesting and relevant. More importantly though, through telling a story, you can transform common beliefs to change minds much easier than you would otherwise.

Sure, storytelling isn’t a breakthrough technique but as marketers we’re not doing it enough, because we believe we’re not trained as fictional writers. That’s a big mistake. The greatest storyteller is the everyday man; the man who isn’t trained or skilled in the art of writing. The everyday man, that uses simple language, which comes straight from the heart, because that is the man who can influence. We need to speak like that person.


 “The most effective structure for any argument will always be story.”
Gerry Spence


Why do we love stories so much?

Because they activate the areas in our brains that give us sensory experiences which influences our way of thinking. They did back then when we were children, and they still do now. More so, when a story captures our imagination, it can cause us to develop new thoughts, opinions and ideas that align with that story, thoughts that bring us alive. This is where we, as marketers and sales people, come in. We can alter perceptions about our products and services and rule our world:the marketplace. Unorthodox marketing is all about this kind of thinking.

A narrative that’s compelling and exciting has social benefits too. If you think about it, it’s been central to mankind throughout history. It’s a community act of sharing knowledge, and it’s entertaining! What would our ancient ancestors have had to talk about around the camp-fire in the evenings when TVs were non-existent?

Stories are appealing to us because we can find meaning to a subject when portrayed through a narrative. Through a beginning or an introduction to a problem; a main body that’s the argument for the solution and a focus on adopting the ‘new alternative’; andfinally, the ending which is the close that solves the problem and showcases the benefits (the happy ending). Simple, right?! Stories also make us think, change the way we feel, and can surprise us. They make us visualise something that we can’t really portray otherwise.

It makes the unreal, real. And this is very powerful.

This is something you can do in all of your marketing activities, be it online in blog posts and on web pages, offline in newspaper ads and on sales calls. It’s a skill you will need to master moving forward. Social media has made talking with businesses and customers easier, but those businesses need to be consistently providing compelling content. If the reader isn’t engaged and entertained, he’ll go elsewhere. Just how many links have you shared this month, or this year, and which of those were narratives? Probably most of them.

Telling a story is a timeless skill because everyone has an interesting story to tell. You just need to unleash it to really make that emotional connection with your prospects. Start building a following, make your content more viral, and let that story carry the sale of your product. Real emotions are working much better than corporate language now.

Every marketer wants to add credibility to their messages. Storytelling is an opportunity to do so by bringing these messages to life by connecting to a natural human behaviour, by tapping directly into people’s emotions.

And if you can tell stories, you’ll make more sales. Because the storytellers of this world are the ones that rule it.

Networking: Being The Familiar Face

October 30, 2014 — 1 Comment

“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for…”

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People are reluctant to consider networking as one of the main marketing practices purely because you’ll not walk away from that meeting with more money in your pocket. But you’re not perusing a sale here, or anything related to money (in the short term, of course). You’re perusing a relationship. That’s the fundamental of networking, and it’s so   important to remember this. It’s what the relationship may develop into that’s most important. It may develop into a sale or a new job, or a joint venture project or a referral, or even give you the inspiration or the information you needed at that point to progress. It doesn’t really matter which. An unorthodox marketer knows this.

Throughout history people have had to network to achieve virtually anything and everything. How else were things going to happen without the technology we boast today? Civilizations, breakthrough products, marriages, you name it, all have been built through some form of networking. It’s been essential to our survival for so long, and yet at the critical moment we’re forgetting to do something we as a species did so well in the past. It seems strange to report on it like this, though this is what has become of our social and business behaviours. And it needs to change.

We now need to claw back, and re-develop those essential business (and life) skills that have been the life-blood of all economic activity over the centuries. The time to make
networking an everyday part of life is now, because the internet is taking away the ‘need’ to have to meet in person. Even the art of physically talking to one another is affected by Social Media, Instant Messaging, Email and the likes. That said of course, never ignore these digital channels as they are your means to keep in touch after the initial face-to-face meet. Though nowadays, I have personally experienced that from time to time people love to speak to you in person, and engage.

So, what needs to be done? Well, you have to work yourself up to be the ‘familiar face’, because that’s the person who gets the most opportunities. Whether it’s more customers, leads, clients, partners, mentors or friends it doesn’t matter. With more contacts, in your time of need, you’ll find yourself with more options to turn to as people always gravitate towards the people they already know and trust. That’s you!

The amazing thing about networking is not that you’ll build up a much better and more responsive list of stakeholders, but you’ll actually become much more knowledgeable
because of it. You’ll have many more interesting stories to tell, and not only will you be able to inspire people with these stories, but you’ll be able to position yourself as the
go-to-guy that has all the contacts in the industry. This is your social proof, and this association and community membership can always be leveraged.

Stepping out of your comfort zone cannot be any easier when it comes to networking. It’s a natural human trait to want to socialise, to exchange stories and to share company
(just that it’s a little more strategic when it comes to business). Think of it as trying to find a partner through dating; be brave, show your commitment to the cause and be a
little patient, but never forget to leave the meeting without getting closer to your goal. That’s asking what you wanted to ask or requesting what you wanted to request. Remember, you’re doing this for a reason. This reason is to surround yourself with the right people who want you to succeed, but more than anything, would be happy to help you succeed when the time comes. And I can assure you that that time will come…

Get out there amongst the opportunities. It’s always ‘who you know’ in business. That’s the same in every business, in every industry. So, go out and grab a coffee, dinner or a
casual Skype call with at least one person from your industry every week – and never forget to follow up. If you’re already doing this, then seek to meet up with even more people per week. It will bring you more customers in the long run.