Going to a co-working space, plugging your ear-phones and working from a corner might be a great way to be productive. By existing in oblivion, you are missing out a huge opportunity to expand your business.
When everyone is trying new ways to spread word about their venture, none will remember that guy who marketed his business like a salesman. Your co-working space is the best place to gain visibility, this includes being respectful of the space and the people working while gently pushing your services.
We’ve heard the importance of networking many times, but no one told us this secret leading to effective networking.
The secret is to be authentic.
Here I list out 5 ways to be just that:
It’s all about conversations
Learning the art of striking up a conversation requires courage. Initiate conversation near the water cooler by asking simple questions or by saying something pleasant. Avoid touching sensitive topics such as religion, politics and gossip or negative statements.
Here are some great conversation starters:
- “How long have you been in this place? “
- “I really love your work” – Before saying, background research on that person is very important
- Conversations about weather
- I saw your latest blog post, it was insightful
Networking is all about conversations and building long term relationships. Concentrate on creating a strong relation which means people will remember you, make them feel that you’re nice to spend time with.
Swap work trades
When you come across someone who needs your services, try exchanging work trades. By doing this everyone in the co-working space comes to know about your services without you having to outwardly promote it.
If you are a graphic designer and the other person is an online marketer, suggest swapping work trades. People with whom these cards are exchanged will know that you designed them.
The best way to display business expertise is when others talk about your services. Happy brand ambassadors bring in more customers, use your business expertise to build long term relations.
The most common trait of successful people is that they share knowledge. They share everything that they know, thereby helping their audience. There’s a difference between sharing knowledge and trade secrets. Sharing what you know establishes trust that in turn leads to future benefits.
If a coworker is stuck up in something related to your expertise, never shy away from offering help. This proves your thought leadership, and chances are that they’d recommend you to someone looking for similar service.
Useful promotional materials
Instead of distributing pamphlets or brochures about your business, make useful promotional materials. Stationary, pens, sticky pads, board pins are used by everyone, include your name/business name/ URL on them. Place them in areas used by everyone, in meeting rooms, near the printers and break rooms. Distribute them for free, these things are needed every now and then by everyone, you don’t push the services yet people come to know about you.
Let your passion do all the talking
There’s a huge difference between selling a service and letting your passion speak. While selling you convince the customer to buy something but when you display the passion you have for your work, it leads to curiosity and building relations.
There are chances that the person with whom you talk doesn’t need your services but they’ll definitely refer you to someone in their network whose needs them. They’ll do this because you are fun to talk, they like you and would like to be helpful.
You can use the co-working space the way you want. It can be much more than a workplace, you build relations and networks with potential customers and make new friends.