Marketing vs Networking. Lena in wheelchair.

Marketing vs Networking

After a few FB and Bing no conversion ads, I started wondering whether the old school traditional marketing still worked. It was a lot more fun sitting behind my PC in the comfort of my home, sipping a steaming cup of coffee with a spoon of peanut butter, creating social media ads than delivering countless leaflets, trying to convince receptionists at the doctors and nursing homes as to why they should use our services.

When I attended business training for a week earlier this month, we were told that to promote our business we had to cover multiple miles and deliver boxes of leaflets in order to be successful. My thinking was that this type of marketing was old school. Obviously, this kind of marketing has little, or no place in this modern digital world. I was going to change the way things were done and prove them wrong. I was going to spread awareness of my new business through social media channels.

Conventional marketing

But as the kids were feeling rather housebound this summer holiday, it did occur to me, that perhaps leaflet distribution could be viewed as an exercise rather than a marketing routine. And for once, they were excited to go on a walk seeing a purpose in the activity they were least passionate about. We walked the dusty streets of Surrey. Stuck our hands through post-boxes. We even had our fingers nearly nibbled off by lonely stranded dogs on the other side of the door a few times. This once-off activity seemed to turn into a daily habit and with the help of my son the never-ending pile of leaflets slowing slowly started to shrink. 

However, still, no leads followed and once again I re-affirmed to myself that the old school marketing does not work! Or did it…. like with everything, lead generation takes time, patience and perseverance. So, I decided not to give up and try another approach. This time in the form of a networking event which took place last Friday. Not knowing what to expect and not being completely comfortable with the new surroundings and people I did not know. I convinced a friend of mine who just launched her new book to join me.

Trying my hand at networking

The turnout for the event was rather small, around 30 people. However, it would have made no difference to me even if there were 300 people. Each person I spoke to had their own unique journey and was able and willing to help me with mine. I met a director of the local newspaper. A lady from the nearby hotel who turned out to be a regional sales director of a new chain of hotels and instructed her marketing lady to include me in their weekly FB, Twitter and Instagram posts. Another guy who seemed to be connected to everything and everyone in the community was willing to organise a few meetings with the local nursing homes. And those are just a few!

Besides the connections I made, it was just a great afternoon to spend in the company of likeminded individuals who all strive to make a difference in the community and help each other.

This morning, I received four emails which were all direct leads from the leaflet distributions. With 4 enquiries to follow up, it was converting quicker than my Bing and FB campaigns put together 😊. 

Of course, it is still early days and I am learning by trying new things and possibly making mistakes. But it is all part of my exciting journey.

How do you promote your business? Do you do leaflets, networking events or social media, or all of the above? Would love to hear about your experiences.

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