Your Network is Bigger Than You Think

Your Network is Bigger Than You Think

Those dramatic moments of realization we so often see in movies don’t happen often in real life, but when they do it can be pretty awesome. For many business owners, a moment like that is about to happen.

Your network – your clients, contacts, and colleagues – is a lot bigger than you realize. That phrase “the tip of the iceberg” applies well in this instance, because many business owners are only using a small portion of the contacts they’re actually able to reach.

The visible part of that iceberg comparison would be your regular, personal network. The folks you’ve relied on for years and are well acquainted with.

Outside of those individuals, many owners fail to take advantage what we’ll refer to as their expanded network. These people would be the connections of your employees and colleagues – and we don’t just mean the professional ones. We’re talking about the entire gamut – personal contacts, friends, family, social media connections, combined with all of the people they communicate with professionally, whether that be a client or a peer.

Right now, you’re probably not marketing to these people. But you can, easily.

More Connections than You Thought You Had

We all know about the power of relationships in careers and companies. Most of us probably got the job we currently have because of someone we know (statistics say it’s about 70 to 80 percent of us).

With so much value surrounding these connections, it’s safe to say quite a bit of untapped potential could be hiding among your employee contacts. Word of mouth and personal recommendations are exceptionally powerful referral tools. In that regard, every single one of your employees can be used to maximize your marketing efforts.

Email, Underestimated

Email marketing is often underestimated, but it’s been said that an “effective email list is the single most effective marketing tool that a business owner has” (Addion). If that were combined with your expanded network, you’d have a goldmine on your hands.

Literally, in fact. Employee email signature marketing and “relationship intelligence” became a multimillion-dollar topic in Indiana recently.

Sigstr, an Indianapolis-based software company that makes an email signature marketing and relationship intelligence software platform called Sigstr Pulse, secured $4 million in new growth investment from New Jersey-based Edison Partners. The company’s revenue tripled over the last year, in part due to clients like Amazon, Experian, and AT&T who are utilizing its software.

According to the company, Sigstr Pulse uses artificial intelligence to map and quantify the collective networks of all employees in a company, providing sales and marketing alignment and better account-based marketing.

“People are waking up to the realization that they need to foster relationships with key customers and prospects to make a real business impact. People drive relationships and relationships drive revenue,” said said Bryan Wade, CEO of Sigstr. “Our vision is to help marketing and sales unlock the value of employee email.”

A thing as simple as adding a “have you heard?” spot on your employee’s emails could generate an untold number of impressions for your company. Imagine what you could achieve if every employee was promoting your company across every bit of correspondence.

Build Brand Ambassadors

Another effective way to turn regular employees into marketers is by building a culture of brand ambassadors. They should be your champions out there, touting what you do and sharing those details with their networks. Social media can be used as a window into your company, exposing every one of your employee’s connections to what you do, what services you provide, and what kind of environment your company culture fosters.

Even if you’re in an industry that typically promotes itself to select demographics – such as an industrial contractor, for example – you can still enhance your public profile by building awareness about your company throughout your expanded networks. It doesn’t always have to be about soliciting new clients, as different companies have different needs. A contractor, for example, might need new workers. So why not show everyone that your company is a great place to work?

The point is, your employees have access to a large prospective audience. Any positive activity or materials you could use to build greater familiarity throughout this audience could do a lot to promote your company, from new candidates to new clients.

Leverage Your Whole Network

Don’t sell yourself short by sticking to just a small portion of your overall network. Everyone should know about your company. By taking advantage of all the points of contact that you’re currently overlooking, you could dramatically expand your marketing and promotional efforts with ease.

Category Features, Marketing