Hiring someone to do a service for you can be a scary proposition. The fact is that you just don’t know if you’re going to be wasting your money or not. Wasting money is of course the worst thing a company can do and should be avoided at all costs. Many people think that all they need to do to get their business started is to have a website and pass out business cards. What will this really mean to someone who is considering hiring you? To answer this question, you need to look at the situation from their prospective. Someone hands you a business card that reads “Joe’s Plumbing” on it. Will you hire this guy to come into your house and do repairs based solely on this? Who is Joe? Is he reliable and honest? These are questions that you would most certainly consider while looking at his business card. This is exactly what people will think when you pass out your business card at a networking event.
Business cards and websites are tools. They aren’t magic wands. They are very useful when properly used and should be part of every business, but remember that they are still just tools. They are not a substitute for charm, personality and communication. Could a construction worker construct a building by randomly hitting things with his hammer? Of course not! It takes planning, organization and hard work to do that. Don’t use a business card or a website as a crutch. You still need to use your social skills to build up relationships.
To help your business card do its job, make sure you smile and talk to the person about yourself and what you do. Don’t ever expect to immediately get hired by the people you give cards to. A business card is just the first step in the relationship you need to form. Business is really all about relationships. People will hire you when they know, like and trust you. Think of it this way. They won’t hire you unless they trust you. They won’t trust you unless they like you. They will never like you if they don’t know you. A good business relationship is a lot like a good marriage. You probably wouldn’t marry someone after a first date would you? After you get to know the person, you will know much more about them and you will be able to decide if you want to be with them for a lifetime. Think of a business relationship like a mini marriage. They won’t marry you until they know, like and trust you. Once married, both sides are expected to live up to specific expectations.
In order to build that repertoire and credibility, you must demonstrate your knowledge base. You must show someone that you know how to do something, not just tell them that you do. This can be demonstrated through social media marketing. You should put out articles, send out e-zines, and have a social media marketing plan in place. Once you build these relationships, interact with your contacts on a frequent basis. This will establish the like factor and build that trust that is so important to business owners.