1. Don’t wait until after tax season to do business development
This is your most opportunistic time of year. Set aside time each week to attend a networking event or meet with a referral source or prospect. Spending a little time now can generate a lot of return now and in the future.
2. Participate in a social network
And by participate, I don’t mean just set up a profile. Spending a few minutes a couple of times a week to connect with people, review your networking updates or answer a question can result in big dividends. Not only that, but as you grow your network, you will be able to use it to help you build more business in 2011.
3. Share your knowledge
Don’t keep all that wonderful knowledge and experience bottled up in your head; share it with the world. How? Write an article, host a seminar, record a short podcast on a topic, write a white paper, start a blog, create a video, host a conference, mentor a staff member, host some training……
4. Carve out time each week to market
Success in marketing can be widely debated. However, what isn’t debatable is that consistency is required. Dedicate a few hours each week to work on marketing. Finding time can be easy if you know what you need to accomplish. (Hint: see No. 9)
5. Build a prospect list
Knowing whom you want to approach will make getting in front of him or her a little easier — especially when you employ idea No. 3. Pick five to 10 prospects you would like to do business with. Then put a plan together to get yourself in front of them.
6. Ask for one referral per month from a satisfied client
Our satisfied clients are often our best referral sources. Unfortunately, most clients fail to ask a referral. Pick one client a month to call, meet with or take to a game and ask them for a referral.
7. Ask your clients how you can provide better services to them
I have never met a firm or person that couldn’t improve on something. Whether formally through a survey or informally through a conversation, ask your clients what you can be doing to better serve them.
8. Write down your marketing activities and attach a timeline to them
We are more likely to achieve something we write down and can reference to keep us focused. Create a list of activities and give yourself a deadline for accomplishing it.
9. Attend an industry conference
Industry conferences are great places to stay current on the trends, issues and challenges your clients are facing, as well as great places to meet prospects.
10. Try something new
Embrace something you have never done before. Some of the most ”out-there” ideas can have the biggest impact.
11. Have fun!
Sarah Johnson is the Director of Marketing Consulting Services for PDI Global and works exclusively with CPA, law, and financial services firms across the country to help them grow more effectively. When she’s not working, Sarah spends time cooking and completing triathlons. Sarah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-245-1681.