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What Offline Networking Means for Online Brand Success

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When you attended your last conference, did you notice people mentioning social media channels? For example, did guest speakers give attendees a hashtag to follow? Or did workshop hosts ask participants to “like” their Facebook pages?

If so, you’ve witnessed individuals maximizing their offline activities, in order to increase their online personas. These methods keep highly-networked audiences engaged with your brand after your in-person encounters. As a podcaster, it’s to your benefit to recreate and personalize these techniques to draw attention to your show,

Research shows that “90% of word-of-mouth conversations about brands take place offline, primarily face-to-face.” While we hope our social media campaigns go viral, the data tells us that most links only reach 5-10 people. Therefore, conversations with folks at the grocery store, your favorite restaurant, a baseball game, or anywhere people meet offline brings a greater sense of credibility.

Create relentless buzz about your podcast. Here are four ways to use your offline networking efforts for online success:

  1. Participate in Conferences

Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard it many times: attend conferences to get people interested in your podcast. However, I need you to go the extra mile and actually participate in the conferences.

Before the conference starts, review the agenda and select sessions that will challenge you to think outside the box. The next step is important: actively listen during sessions.

During the Q&A portion of a session, ask questions but also offer insightful commentary, and don’t forget to tell people where you can be reached‐your website, Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

Some conferences let people submit proposals for demo sessions. These specific meetings offer individuals an opportunity to demo a project or discuss their research. By participating in demos, you can showcase your work and gain valuable feedback.

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Source: dustn.tv

Networking Tip: Create a deck of cards with only your social media contact information.

  1. Host Workshops Regularly

Did you know as a podcaster you’re growing your expertise? You’re an expert in your particular show topics. Now, it’s time to position yourself as such.

Stay active in your industry by developing a reputation with your colleagues and listeners. A great way to stay involved is to host in-person workshops. Bonus Tip: Record the workshop in front of a live audience.

Listeners enjoy subscribing to podcasts when they feel like they’re part of a community. Give your audience a better sense of who you are as a person by meeting them face-to-face. Connect your online presence by offering to answer additional questions via Twitter or invite participants to a webinar.

When planning your workshop, identify the purpose of your event. Then, create an agenda based on that purpose. Just like podcasting, develop a planning schedule and an estimated budget.

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Source: PMx

The most effective workshops include tailored information and a hands-on component. You want participants to understand how your resources can improve their lives.

To get a diverse group of attendees, market your workshop in various outlets. You may want to include a simple flyer like the image above.

Don’t be the best-kept secret in the podcast community. Instead, take advantage of valuable opportunities to connect with people one-on-one.

Networking Tip: Plan to host one free workshop to your target audience quarterly.

  1. Create an “Unexpected Sales Call” List

Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer of Vorsight Steve Richard says that sales leaders don’t cold call anymore. Instead, they make “unexpected sales calls.”

DiscoverOrg “surveyed more than 1,000 senior executives to determine the effectiveness of unexpected sales calls or emails.” According to the research study, 75 percent of the executives took an appointment or attended an event due to a so-called cold call or email.

Apply this same approach when seeking sponsors for your podcast. Do your research and select companies with similar demographics. Then, figure out the best time to contact the person; the administrative assistant may be willing to provide this information if you ask.

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Source: Noah Rickun

Make the call, but don’t sell on the first call. Instead, offer valuable insights on your podcast: topics, subscriptions, and potential growth.

More importantly, discuss how your show can enhance their brand or how your podcast produced results for other sponsors. Leave the potential sponsor with your online details; so, the individual can check out how awesome you really are.

In addition, these unexpected sales calls are a great way to reach out to fellow Spreaker podcasters to propose collaboration opportunities.

Networking Tip: Select five people to call unexpectedly.  

  1. Send Thank You Notes via Snail Mail

Express your appreciation. Let people know how grateful you feel toward their actions.

For a podcaster’s integrated marketing campaign, direct mail works well to boost podcast subscriptions, intrigue sponsors, and attract partners. A well-written piece to a targeted group of people can generate more listeners and money.

Rather than sending a sales letter or advertisement flyer. Try something different. Send a personalized thank you card through your postal service.

In the note, you can thank listeners for their participation, offer gratitude to sponsors, or acknowledge a guest speaker’s contribution to your podcast. This unique message also serves as a reminder to the recipient when he or she thinks about your brand.

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Source: FlipKey

Start by handwriting your thank you letter. Handwritten notes show the reader that you care about the words written. On scratch paper, write down your thoughts. What do you want to say?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Address the person by name.
  • Say “Thank you for…” and state the opportunity you’ve been given.
  • Explain how much you appreciate the opportunity.
  • Continue developing a connection with the person by saying, “Hope to see you soon” or “Let’s make plans.”
  • Add your signature.

Networking Tip: Handwrite and send three thank you notes monthly.

Make Your Offline Moves

The digital revolution has a major impact on how we interact with people. However, don’t lose sight of the benefits of offline networking.

Your in-person conversations can greatly influence your online brand. Yield results on social media with the help of offline activities.

 

Featured Image by StartupStockPhotos.com.
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2 Comments
  • Chris Williams Sep 26,2016 at 9:40 am

    Nice article Shayla – I think one of the biggest problems in today’s business world (especially in the web industry where I predominantly work) is that people rely too much on digital and automatic communication. The techniques outlined here are a good way of separating yourself.

  • Russ Johns Aug 19,2015 at 3:33 am

    Thanks Spreaker for sharing the great post on connecting in the community. I love audio and it’s always great to meet in person.

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