So many business owners get sucked into ideas that they can build their website, tweak their landing pages, be active in social media and then sales and customers will just pour in.

That’s a lie.

It’s a lie that I told myself the first time I started my Pacifika Spirit Jewelry Store online and it’s the thing I told myself for my yoga site too. The truth is your business will only work when you start contacting real people and having real conversations.

You don’t believe me?

There are two ways to makes sales online.

1. Have a highly, responsive list who are hungry for your product or service

2. Get others who have big lists to promote your product or service

Think back to when you last made a purchase online to buy a product from a person (not Amazon or any large company). You were either referred by a person you trusted OR from someone’s newsletter, a person whom you trust.

So as a business owner how do you achieve that?

  • You collaborate with other business owners (also called Joint Venture or JV partners)
  • You meet new people and talk about your business and services to people who fit your ideal client profile

Either way that’s getting out of your comfort zone and going to meet people. Real people. Or joining a business organization or mastermind group. Yes it’s painful, yes you don’t want to do it  (I know, I’m the ultimate introvert) but if you’re ready to turn your online dabbling into a business, this is the most important thing to do.

So let’s talk about how to market your business:

There are many ways to do this. Here are 3 ideas to start you off:

1. Join your local Business Network Group or Chamber of Commerce

Do not do this to get clients, but to know other business owners and eventually either JV or refer people. Don’t be desperate, don’t hand out your card to everyone. Go to the meeting, give your leverage or elevator speech and ask for feedback. I’ve joined a group called the International Association for Women Business Coaches. Find out where you can join a group where you can interact with like-minded business owners.

2. Join a meetup group or organization that your ideal client will frequent

If you are a yoga teacher go to a yoga conference or form a yoga meetup group. If you are a business coach, go to a mastermind or business support group. Again, you don’t have to try to hand out your card to everyone, but make sure that people know what you do and are clear about the results they can get.

3. Join a committee or social group

I personally don’t do this, but if you’re more of an extrovert, by all means this is a great way to meet new people in a casual setting.

My jewelry biz never took off until I hosted my first jewelry party in New Jersey and things were fairly stagnant in my yoga business until my first mastermind group. From that point on I got my first mentor, a few JV partners and a whole set of new contacts and ideas. So never underestimate the power of people. Especially if you’re authentically trying to help people through your business.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and grow your online business today!

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© 2012 Lakshmi Gosyne

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“Lakshmi Gosyne helps women entrepreneurs learn, love and profit from online technology and social media. Find out more about how to make technology work for you by visiting www.lakshmigosyne.com