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You’ve just had one of your “eureka” moments in the shower. You realize your business needs to expand to a nearby town to capture a niche market. There are a ton of urban, hipstery kids who live there and would love your product. However, they can’t buy it unless they see it!
So you pick your brain and think of someone who can help you expand to this exciting new market. You come up empty, though, so it’s high time you meet some new people. Now you have a specific type of person you need to meet to fulfill a certain goal – how do you go about finding this person?
Check out the following tips and see if they help you find who you’re looking for. After all, the right person could grow your business in ways you never imagined.
If you’re not on LinkedIn it’s way past time to change that. LinkedIn is social media for the professional – Facebook with a nice suit on and resume in hand. It’s a place for people to share their accomplishments in the working world and find others like them for future prospects.
It’s also a great place to find people in certain fields or to connect with someone you need to talk to. If you know their name, a simple search should bring them up. Now you can check out their history and see if they really will be a good fit. Now, send them a connect request – but be sure to include a good message that will show them why they should be friends with you. If you don’t give them a good reason, they may just hit “ignore.”
If you admire a certain company’s work, check to see who works there through LinkedIn. You can then expand your search and see who their connections are and who they communicate with. This could potentially lead to better results than you were hoping for.
Many business owners are a little wary of just sending a blind email, but it can go a long way in building a relationship. After all, your preferred contact has no idea you want to talk to them until you let them know. They could’ve even been waiting to hear from you!
Don’t know their email? Google “CONTACT NAME + EMAIL” to see if anything comes up. It sounds overly simple, but you’d be surprised how many results this will bring. News items, blog posts, and even company documents will have email addresses listed. Another tip is to try this how-to to find virtually anyone’s email address.
As for the email itself, be courteous and quick but also know your audience. A famous story is Jacob Bijani gaining a job at Tumblr through a quick email to the CEO. However, he knew his audience as he had spoken to him earlier.
This is another woefully underused resource, especially in this fast digital day and age. You operate a business in a community, yet you don’t talk to these people once in a while. Meanwhile they’re out doing all sorts of cool stuff you probably wouldn’t mind being a part of.
The idea here is you want to provide a benefit to your new friends. You want to give them as many reasons as possible to communicate with you. Then in the future you’ll get some great benefits in return.
So after reading up on your desired contact you figure out they need contacts in a completely unrelated area. Instead of shrugging your shoulders and ignoring it, you should do what you can to help them out. This way you don’t come in completely unprepared or with nothing to offer and they’ll always remember how you helped them.
There are tons of ways you can provide help to your potential contact. Provide them a way to get new customers in a new area. Offer free consulting advice for a problem they have. Send a kind message about a recent blog post they wrote. Ask them how their dog is doing. Whatever it takes to get their attention!
What techniques do you use to get to the right person?