Building products, services, and customers for your business is only half the battle when it comes to successfully launching a new venture.
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The other half comes in the form of professional networking amongst your industry peers, building relations, and garnering feedback from industry experts. An easy way to jump start your professional networking activities is to attend tradeshows, conferences, and industry meetings. Better yet, apply to present or showcase your businesses at industry events and you will see a real positive impact for you and your business.
Taking the initiative to present, demo, or showcase your new business amongst industry peers and experts is an exceptional way to build a positive reputation for yourself and your firm. Just like marketers market to your customers, small business owners must also market within their professional industry to build rapport, create business opportunities, and establish key networks and connections. Professional marketing is just as important as marketing to your customers when it comes to launching your new business as it often times opens opportunities for business development, new sales, and free PR.
Many conferences today are covered and written about by multiple media sources that can help you build a solid PR foundation. Grabbing the attention of media professionals at industry events can quickly help you gain traction in building your brand and acquiring customers for free. Customer acquisition is often a challenging and costly part of a new venture, however leveraging free media resources at industry events is an invaluable marketing tool that would otherwise require costly expenditures to get the same media coverage for your business distribution to potential customers.
Professional networking will also provide you the opportunity to meet and learn from fellow industry experts that can open many doors and opportunities for your business. Professional referrals can help you land meetings with investors, industry executives, and other key personnel that can help you succeed with your venture. Building relations with other professionals in your industry is a must for any startup.
As you evaluate your marketing strategy, remember to include plans for attending and presenting at professional events and use those opportunities as a way to increase your presence as well as an opportunity to garner feedback and advice from other industry professionals and experts.