Your peeps. Your gang. The guys and gals in your field who support you, maybe sometimes compete with you, but also cheer you on when you succeed. Listen to you, or take you out for drinks when you need to complain. This is your professional community. One of your greatest business resources.
But are you using this resource to the fullest? Your relationships with the people in your industry can help you in more ways than just being sympathetic to your problems or sorting out a project together. Here are ten easy hacks to form stronger alliances, become more efficient, help each other stay on track and even help each other get more business.
1. Mentoring Group
Create a group of people who you can learn from and can learn from you. Maybe of you is more skilled at marketing, another at IT, another at whatever service you’re selling. Help each other, formalize it. do
2. Accountability Group
Again, a small group (more than 3 and less than 8) that meets once a week, reveal goals and hold each other accountable for meeting them. The practice of having to report in, helps push each other, gives each other a lift and helps you become aware of what areas you may need to put more energy into.
These little audio gems are popping up like Orville’s in the microwave. There’s most likely at least one in your industry and lots on all the various aspects of business. (i.e. CRM, marketing, cold calling, supply chain, etc.) Download and check one out while you’re driving or exercising.
4. Chats Skype/Zoom
If you are a one man or one woman band (aka business) meeting other people in your industry to hang out or inspire each other, resolve issues. A couple of my colleagues lead biweekly chats and I pretty much always learn something from one person and share something with another.
5. Staying on Track (Sprinting Groups)
If you need to produce something like a number of words if you’re a writer or auditions if you’re a voice over actor, like me, or perhaps layout pins if you’re a graphic or web designer, try a sprinting group. You meet in a chat room, set a timer and go. Then check back in after the set amount of time and report what you got done. Knowing someone else is working along at the same time I am, helps keep me on track.
6. Street Team
These are people who spread around how cool you or your product is by word of mouth. i.e. on the street. This works really well for artists, writers, musicians, and P2P business owners. Your street team gets excited about what you’re doing because they think It’s All That. They usually get something (small, but exclusive) for helping you out with an event or spreading the word about your cool news. (i.e. back stage passes, entertaining backstory from books, etc.)
7. Social Media
You have to pretty much be living under a boulder if you’re not using some form of social media nowadays. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, they’re all great ways to engage and stay in touch with contacts, colleagues, help and be helped. Make sure you engage in Groups and Events, too.
8. Marketing Groups
Look over your friendly competitors. Could you package your services with a colleague or two? Pool your marketing budget to get a bigger bang for your buck and appeal to a greater proportion of your market together. Major corporations do it. Why not individuals providing a service?
9. Workshops, Conferences
Workshops and conferences are also great places to make connections among your industry, learn what’s trending and what’s disappearing, what people are talking about and what is missing. Perhaps even identify a need – something you can create a workshop about and present to your peeps yourself.
10. Hiring Within
Create your support list. Always have a ready capable solution for a client who asks, “Do you know someone who…” Have a ready two or three contacts who provide related services you can recommend or work with together on projects. Invite them to be reciprocal. Ask the people you recommend, to recommend you back.
I’m a female voiceover actor marketing my talents to producers of commercials, narrations, eLearning and pretty much anything else that requires a creative, confident, conversational voice. I coach, direct, produce and perform. I’d love to connect with you if I can help your business in any way.