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Attending Conferences as a marketer: Networking for Leads

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Too many articles exist that tell marketers to “work the room”, or “follow up with potential leads”, but there’s nothing really substantial that you don’t already know being shared. What about the practical things a marketer needs in order to create the most effortless conference experience; one where people seek you and where your services are followed up by potential clients? As monotonous as industry conferences can sometimes be, they are a must for marketers who want to show their genuine beliefs that they can serve potential leads better than any other company.

Network marketing leads don’t just fall into your lap after one chance meeting at a conference. It takes time to cultivate a relationship, slowly encouraging the potential client to wean from their existing provider to join your company.

The trick is that when it comes to attending conferences, think about it like you would a campaign strategy. You need personas, goals, keywords and content.

Personas:

Just like your campaigns need to target personas, so do your network marketing leads. Any marketing manager should know their personas inside and out in order to create an effective personalised marketing experience. What the persona knows and doesn’t know, what they earn, how large their companies are, what their pain points are; everything. Before going to any networking event, brushing up on this information will help you to move around the room, speaking to individuals to see who fits the persona and being prepared to wow them with answers to their questions. More importantly, knowing the personas your company targets will help you to save time by eliminating conversation with anyone that doesn’t fit the bill.

Goals:

It’s going to sound cliché, but your goals for each event need to be specific. And I’m not just talking “Get 5 leads from X Conference.” Your goals should be aligned with your company’s goals. Questions to help you get more out of conferences to meet your goals:

  • What kind of leads do you hope to achieve? Are they 200+ employee companies? Or 50-200 employee sized businesses?
  • How many resources are available if to you at this time in order to gain a lead? Just because you need leads to run a company, doesn’t always mean you have the ability to nurture potential leads into customers. You might need to turn down a lead in favour of another in order to provide the preferred customer with the best experience.
  • Where is your company headed? If you have a business that’s looking to branch out to a new country or industry, it could be that conferences you attend may not be the best venue for lead generation. It’s ok not to work every event - but to be seen to be actively involved in front of existing clients.

Keywords:

Taking notes from your persona documentation, you should have a plethora of keywords at your side in order to help you connect faster with potential network marketing leads. Speaking to a potential network marketing lead and hitting the terms they know will impress upon them your expertise, and anyone overhearing your conversation may also be intrigued.

Using keywords means that you research trending subjects to your target industry and seeing what comes up. Not only is know what new terms are but knowing what’s happening around those keywords is also important. Look at what news stories are generated, what research data exists, what questions are being asked.

Gather information from places like Quora, Google Trends, Gartner, Roy Morgan, IBISWorld. There are also industry-specific researchers that you should know (because it’s listed in your persona documentation) that will give you the most current insights.

Content:

In the same sense that you create campaigns with content to support and drive leads, you should be ready with an index of information for questions that network marketing leads have for you. From case studies to FAQ’s, blog posts and offers. If you come across a question that hasn’t already been explored by your company, add this to your list to blog about, or write a white paper on - and then share it with your lead. Each conversation you have is brimming with pain points, waiting to be resolved.

For the upcoming conferences you attend, take them onboard as you would any campaign. Challenge yourself to meet new goals at every event and don’t be afraid to have goals that might just be built around being seen at events. Having purpose for industry networking events is the best way to stay sane and bring value back to your role and company.

Go further with your leads in more areas than networking events with our eBook and learn how to convert your everyday website visitors into inbound marketing leads for your business.

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Topics: Marketing, Driving Market Leaders, Networking