A version of this blog was originally posted in Mark Schaeffer's Grow blog.
We are Going To Move!Moving is never easy, especially when it affects your personal brand and business. I just moved nearly a thousand miles from New Jersey to Charleston and wanted to share how I used social media and Internet connections before and after the move to get my personal brand off to a fast, productive start!
1. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest
- Send a note to all of your Linkedin contacts, telling them about your move. Request help in getting new contacts in the new location. An interesting observation — Some people who you are close to don’t respond at all while others who you can’t entirely remember give you great contacts. Don’t judge anyone, just appreciate those who reached out and remember this in the future if you are asked. Pay it forward.
- Join local Linkedin Groups. For example, in this area, there are several local LinkedIn groups like Charleston, South Carolina Professionals and The LowCountry Business Network. Reach out to them to ask for advice and recommendations. Find related groups on Twitter.
- Do a search of your target market in the local area. My target is CMOs of mid-sized companies so you can use Linkedin search to find them. You can’t find everyone on Linkedin unless you have connections in common but if they are in one of your Linkedin groups, you can reach out and ask to connect. I also upgraded my LinkedIn account to have access to more information. Again, ask for advice and recommendations, don’t ask for business. Do the same on Twitter.
- Look for Alumni from your University. I happen to have gone to a couple of universities: Wittenberg, Wake Forest and NYU and I looked up local graduates and reached out. Many responded and were willing to meet. In fact the CEO of the local Chamber of Commerce Bryan Derreberry graduated from Wittenberg too and gave some good advice.
2. Business Organizations
- Look at the organizations you are currently in. Determine if they have a chapter in the new location. If so, reach out. If not, see if one is needed and think about starting it. I belonged to several groups in New Jersey: ACG( Association for Corporate Growth), MENG,(Marketing Executives Networking Group), and Vistage ( An organization designed to help CEOs of mid-size companies grow their businesses). The local Vistage chairperson Dan Wertenberg asked me to join his group and has given me a lot of valuable counsel.
3. Community Organizations
- What organizations are you involved with now? If you are active with a charity or university, reach out to your contacts there, ask them to send a letter to chapter contacts in the new location. Draft the letter yourself to make it convenient for them to send and to highlight what you want them to share. Look at the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary. Lions Club and groups like that.
- Do members of your target market belong to these groups? If so, join and become active. If not, look for other groups where your target market is active. These could be church groups, volunteer groups, neighborhood groups. Do not join the group unless you are interested. No one wants to meet someone who has only joined a group like this to get business. But when you have interests in common, you can make good friends and connections over time.
4. Events and Publications
- Subscribe to the local business journal and local newspapers. Check their websites for events and activities. Often, people make the mistake of going to events for people just like them and hoping for business. Go to different events targeted for your potential clients. I went to Knoxville and attended Social Slam and met Rosemary O’Neill, who sat down with me, shared her experiences and asked me to write a blog post on the topic. Charleston has a harbor and so had a world trade event recently. There are lots of technology event held by The Charleston Digital Corridor Go, check out the booths, see if you can volunteer, be there, meet people.
- When you read the periodicals, check for people you want to meet. Keep a list of them and ask others you meet if they can introduce you. For example, if one of your target markets is professional service companies and you are meeting a lawyer, have a list of several accountants, lawyers and other professionals. When you meet your lawyer, share the list, tell him or her you are planning to contact them and ask who they might be able to introduce you to-then ask for people similar who aren’t on your list yet.
5. People You Meet during a Move
- You meet a lot of people when you move, including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, real estate repair people, home inspectors etc. Make sure everyone knows what business you are in and ask for their help. My real estate agent helped. My mortgage broker Lorcan Lucey added his support. The man renovating our house Phil Bennett gave his advice.
Has it all been successful? I have been here three months and am making rapid progress. This is still a work in process. I am meeting people and getting referrals to others. I have moved a lot in my career. However, with this move, I was effectively able to use Social Media and the Internet. It makes a big difference! Any advice to share?