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Community Manager Drew
Community Manager

Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

Hey pros, we want to hear from you!

As you know, the Pro Community is a great place for pros to connect with each other and share best practices. We want to hear from you for a chance to win some Thumbtack credit!

To enter, respond to this post with your answer to the following prompt:

Networking is important, but not always easy or fun. What are your best networking tips for other small business owners? Do you attend events, carry business cards, or reach out directly to potential partners and customers? *Extra credit if you include a time that you went out of your comfort zone to network and it paid off!*

The contest will be live until Wednesday, November 6 at 12pm PST, and winners will be announced on Friday, November 8.

We will be selecting 2 pros to win:

The first winner will be the pro whose post received the most kudos so if you see a post you like, give it a thumbs up! This pro will receive $100 in Thumbtack credit. 

The second winner will be the post of our choosing that we feel has a particularly inspiring lesson that other pros can learn from. This pro will receive $50 in Thumbtack credit.

Happy posting!

 

Fine Print

  • Stay within the Community Guidelines
  • Make sure your post is just about the contest (posts that stray into different topics will be removed and you will not be eligible for the Thumbtack credit.)
  • Only one post per pro. If you have multiple lessons to share, we’d love to hear it as a community discussion topic!
18 responses
tr8theta
Level 5

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

I am a Transfer Specialist (I convert family home movies on Videotapes, Old Film Reels and Color Slides to DVD (and if also desired, to USB flash drive.) My customers consist of leads from Thumbtack and many customers that reside in my local community and nearby townships. I attribute my most successful marketing strategy to the lawn signs I put at various road intersections all over my service radius areas. People STOP at the red traffic light and see my signs. They take a pic with their cell phone. I keep the signs simple:    Transfers to DVD/Flashdrive plus 3 photos graphics: A VHS tape, a Film Reel and a Color Slide. Followed by my telephone number. My phone is ringing off the hook! Sometimes there is a line of people outside my studio during the Holidays!  I make thousands a year providing this much-needed service. We're talking about people's precious and irreplaceable memories. Almost all are too afraid of having them get LOST in transit by having them outsourced 'somewhere" to some 3rd party they don't even get to speak with or meet in person. I'm the only one in my area who offers FREE pickup and delivery. Besides Thumbtack and my signs, NO other marketing has been successful. I tried magazines, local merchant flyers, leaving flyers on cars. putting flyers in mailboxes. NOTHING!  Once, due to Hurricane Sandy (here in NJ) there were huge lines formed by people in cars waiting to buy gasoline. I handed out about 500 flyers. I got ONE CALL!  However, I have exhibited at some vendor fairs and craft shows with some success. I can't sell anything on the spot, but I can PROMOTE my transfer services. I have a table with tapes, slides, film reels and service flyers. If you do a vendor show like this, make sure you keep a GUEST BOOK available where customer prospects can enter their NAME and PHONE NUMBER to receive a special service discount!  Don't bother having them put down their e-mail address - they don't ever respond for the most part. But I follow up with a phone call every once in a while. Not too many times so as to not harass them. DON'T RELY on them to call you. They forget or put it on the back burner. The follow-up calls do result in opportunity. Wishing you ALL tremendous success. TransfersByTR (Middletown, NJ)

EK88
Level 1

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

I m a calligrapher and an artist, i work mainly by myself in my home studio which makes my netwrorking hard..

i try to find local networking groups and attend then, i try to schedule craetive dates with people that do similar work and we can get luch together and talk life and busienss too

I try to send emails to wedding planners with any updates on my services so that way they are reminded about me and my service

i carry my busienss cards everywhere 

i try to talk about what i do with people when i have that chance

 

its hard to get out of your comfy clothes and comfy studio and go out and talk to strangers but in most cases it turns out to be fun and useful conversaions 

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

If you make networking fun it will be easy, if you make it into a burden then it wont be ,.. simple.

Go with a mindest of offering value to the client and you will connect with people you have asked the universe for.

Expo's are a great space to network. Get a booth and people who are warm clients will approach you and starting a conversation would get easier. Keep a raffle or contest to encourage new leads for your email marketing and bam potential clients Smiley Happy

 

cheers

mkaufman
Level 5

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

I use business cards and get as many emails as I can. I add them to my newsletter. I talk about my business in my group classes and mention my social media. If I'm in a new area or studio, I may literally walk around and verbalize to people that I am there. I find face to face engagement to be very beneficial.

amach645
Level 4

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

Networking is important, but not always easy or fun. What are your best networking tips for other small business owners? Do you attend events, carry business cards, or reach out directly to potential partners and customers? *Extra credit if you include a time that you went out of your comfort zone to network and it paid off!*

For me, my networking success has been fundraisers.  Particularly for Cancer patients since that personally hits home for me.  The expense that these patients & families have to endure is tremendous so when I provide the entertainment (Dj's and Live Bands) for their fundraisers at no cost to them, it's a big deal.  Most of these events have huge turnouts which in turn gives me great exposure, networking and hopefully some business.  

KimKosteck
Level 5

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

Ohhhh such a subject I am truly passionate about. Without a doubt networking is the BEST return on your investment you possibly as for because it is so inexpensive and in some cases free. If there isn’t a local free networking group MAKE ONE. If you build it (facebook is promoting and supporting groups more) they will come.
But first... . Join your local chamber or commerce. (Now this isn’t free but it paysssss dividends!) local chambers are bound to their bylaws to do business with and promote their members. Chambers offer so many networking events from luncheons to evening mixers and expos. This is a great place to start relationships. GET INVOLVED. They have so many volunteer opportunities, sign up. People want to do business with good people.
Next tip BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. When attending a networking meeting they can sniff out the bs and your true intentions. Everyone is there because they want their business to grow but people do business with people they trust and are genuine and care about their success as well. Do not go into a networking meeting with a mindset of what is in it for me but how can I help someone grow their business and we can in return both experience growth and prosperity.
Bringing me to my next point. ( I warned you all I am passionate about this) don’t try to sell to everyone. Don’t try to sell to anyone and definitely don’t ignore someone that may not be your ideal client. treat all equally because you want their referrals more than you want their business. They may never do business with you but may send their coy sins sisters nephews niece to you because you didn’t move past them because you didn’t make an immediate dollar.
And my last (I think it’s my last) tip.
KEEP GOING. you may go to your first event and hand out cards and flyers and get emails and it may be lucrative but that is not is not sustainable. Keep going. Keep BUILDING the relationships do not treat them as dollar signs but build genuine relationships.
Did I mention build relationships?
It’s a pretty big thing and lasts much longer than a business card.
Don’t spam them... it’s kinda sleazy and isn’t genuine. If you made a connection pick up the phone. If you didn’t, make it a point to work on the relationship the next time. Never ever email someone without their permission and no Just handing you their card is not their permission.
As for my first stuck my neck out there moment oh man... I would say that was my first mixer. I approached the chamber president told her I would love to offer services and volunteer (within reason) next thing you know within a year or so I was a director on the board, voted small business of the year and business was BOOMING and those relationships have carried me for years.

Moral to this story... go build relationships. Smiley Happy
Kim Kosteck
Professional Organizer, Life Coach

“The greatest accomplishment is not never falling, but in rising again after you fall” - Vince Lombardi
JimFic
Level 5

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

My best networking comes from working within the non-profit communities.  I do mobile chair massage, and so I try at least once a month to donate a few hours of my time to doing free chair massages at either an event for a non-profit group or for the employees of clients of the non-profit group at their facility.

Sometimes, it's just donating my time and getting my name out their, by answering people's questions, giving a sample of my work and passing out business cards and brochures.

Other times, I do free chair massage at an event sponsored sponsored by the non-profit group and set up a tip jar and then donate my tips to the non-profit group as well.

The stepping out of my comfort zone example that comes to mind is when I did free chair massages for the clients of a local women's homeless shelter. I figured that here was a group of people who had a lot of stress and could use a relaxing chair massage. I knew that this would not be yeilding any potential clients or getting me any leads, as all of my clients that day were not exactly in a situation where they could afford my services any time soon.

What I got in thank you's, smiles, hugs (and a few marriage proposals) more than made up for any loss of job leads. I will be going back again the week before Christmas.

Not all networking has to produce additional income. Sometimes it's enough to just do the right thing and make others feel appreciated. Smiley Happy

KStanca
Level 4

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

Here are some current tips I use to network  my small residential business:

 

1. business cards - I carry them everywhere! I leave them at restaurants, use them when exchanging contact info, give them out to potential employees. They are so versatile, inexpensive, and give you that professional edge.

 

2. We encourage our clients to referr us to their friends. We like to take care of our clients with free upgrades or small gifts, that most of the time we don't have to try to hard. 

 

3. Make sure your friends know you have a business as they can be your best fans. I've had a ton of business due to friends tagging us on social media or just mentioning our business. It also doesn't cost anything!

 

4. The best one is volunteering and being involved in your community. When you help others, you attract only good. We have donated a couple of cleans and those people have in turn kept in contact with us for paid cleanings. In fact, this recently just happened. We donated a clean on Nextdoor, after that, several people contacted us because they saw what we had done. When you gain the trust of the people, you gain much more than just a sale.

While these are just small things to do to network, my goal next year is to joing the chamber of commerce or a BNI group. I think once a business has more time and funds, these are great opportunities you can't avoid.

Highlighted
ChaCha
Level 5

Re: Contest Alert - Win $100 in Thumbtack credit!

Networking is a process. Yes it can be fun or stressful. Need to provide value to the other person. I enjoy getting to know the other vendors by having a partner with me at the event. This way we can both take time with others to network! It pays off when you are interested in others and what they have to offer 🌸👍😘. You never know when our interactions have planted a seed and they end up sharing about Us with their friends and vice versa!!!! I also speak to any service oriented person at their business so we can share info. It’s fun!