Look, I get it. Attending events can be a big deal. There’s travel costs, time away from work, time away from the family, etc. etc.
So why on earth should you bother? After all, between social networking and the telephone, you can meet all the people you want, right? And with all the classes and programs out there, you can get all the learning you need without leaving your house too. Right?
Well that’s not exactly true.
You see, going to events is a lot bigger than the networking and the learning. I would go as far to say something magical happens when you start going to events. Here are 3 reasons why you MUST make attending events a part of your marketing tool kit.
1. Gets you out of your “day to day” rut. It happens to the best of us. Between your huge to-do list and your commitments to your family, community, life etc., you have a lot going on. And sometimes it’s all you can do to focus on the next thing you have to get done.
The problem is when you’re in that mode (and trust me, I’ve been in that mode many times before) you can’t see the forest for the trees. You’re focused on the details, not the big picture. And when you get in that mindset, it’s really easy to miss something — maybe it’s a big opportunity, maybe it’s a problem waiting to explode in your face.
Going to an event means a break in your routine. It gives you a chance to breathe, to see things you might not have seen when all those to-dos are staring you in the face. It can give you a perspective you never had. You could end up with an idea that could transform your business, add an additional income stream or stop a problem in the bud that could cost you thousands in money, time, energy and aggravation.
2. Keeps you from feeling lonely. There’s no question about it — being an entrepreneur can be lonely. Chances are your friends, neighbors and family really don’t “get” what you do to make money, much less what it means to be an entrepreneur — the responsibilities you have and the decisions you need to make. Who do you use for a sounding board? Who do you talk to when something goes wrong — maybe your web site goes down during a crucial launch or your assistant sends the wrong email to the wrong list and causes all sorts of confusion and complications. Your friends and family probably don’t even understand the problem much less be able to give you any sort of help solving it.
But your entrepreneurial friends “get it.” They know EXACTLY what you’re going through because they’re living it too. And it can be such a relief to be surrounded by your “tribe” (not to mention having the opportunity to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of other successful entrepreneurs to see what “pops” for your business.)
3. Gets you in front of people you would never be able to reach any other way. Are there people you’d love to connect with but think they’re so “big” you’ll never get their attention? People like Alex Mandossian or Ali Brown? Well, I can tell you from experience it’s a heck of lot easier to connect with thought leaders at an event then it is to try get them on the phone or through social networking. (And yes, one of the reasons why I got both of them as a client was I first met them at an event.) Over the years I’ve met nearly all my clients in person, and that has really helped me develop deeper relationships with them. And that doesn’t even count all the joint ventures or other opportunities that have come up because I met great people in person at events.
I really believe one of the reasons why my business started taking off is because I started attending events several years ago. Events can be a great way to boost your business, especially if you know how to approach them. I’ll cover some tips on getting the most out of your event attendance next week.