Marketing Coffee and Connect

We have had some really great meetings this Autumn and one thing that has been very noticeable is that we have had lots of new people attending; indeed I have had a constant stream of e-mail enquiries / telephone calls about Coffee and Connect since September.

However this doesn’t just happen by chance – I do put a lot of time and effort into promoting the group – in fact I made a list of all the ways I promote Coffee and Connect:

  • Advertise every month in my own magazines – no surprise there then!
  • E-mail reminders including these business / networking tips in the hope that people find them useful / interesting.
  • Actively manage my mailing list i.e. I don’t do random sign ups – I always engage with everyone either by phone, meeting them or have an e-mail “conversation” before I add people to the list – this means that they expect to receive my e-mails and are more likely to read them.
  • E-mail newsletters after the meeting including offers / events from local busineses.
  • I promote Coffee and Connect on www.findnetworking – a really great service for finding networking groups.
  • Website – I keep this updated so it always shows the date of the next meeting and will add these newsletter tips as blog posts so that it is current when people look at it.
  • … all of which helps with SEO and people are now starting to find me when they search for business networking groups in the area.
  • Twitter; you can follow me on @MelWardle
  • I have an editorial feature that I run on an occasional basis in my magazines.
  • I always make sure I mention Coffee and Connect when I am speaking to new people.
  • I give out postcards which advertise the group.
  • Referrals and recommendations from other people

In other words – I do lots of different things and I have been doing them for a long time, consistently. (I also still have lots of ideas for other ways to promote Coffee and Connect but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything and I do have a magazine business to run!)

I have spent my whole career in sales and marketing and regardless of the size of business / budget there are two fundamental principles that have always have worked for me:

Give people lots of different ways to find out about you

Do this on a regular and repetitive basis

As you can see these are principles that I have implemented over the past 4.5 years with Coffee and Connect and just as importantly I will continue to do so as you can never afford to be complacent – so I have lots of exciting ideas for continuing to promote Coffee and Connect in 2013.

Anyway I just thought you might find it interesting and perhaps useful, to see what has worked for me with Coffee and Connect.

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