You may be someone's best friend, but they still could forget you if you aren't doing what it takes to remain top of mind.
For example, we never got a chance to pitch a project for a former client, who when asked why sheepishly said he forgot about us.
On the other hand, a long-time colleague invited CFM to be part of his proposal after he read one of our blogs that touched directly on what the potential client wants.
If you are sitting on the sidelines, don't blame your clients or colleagues. Look in the mirror, then get out of the bathroom and remind people that you exist and do quality work.
How you stay in the line of vision of potential clients can take a lot of forms. Give speeches, write blogs, keep up regular correspondence, share a white paper, take people out for coffee or do someone a simple favor.
Success is less about what you do than whether you do what it takes.
Integrated approaches to networking work best. Take an idea and turn it into a blog. Promote your blog on your Twitter feed and ask for feedback on your LinkedIn page. Self-publish press releases on your website. Start a conversation that attracts the eyeballs of your target clients – and your existing ones, too. Let them see you are thinking and offering ideas.
The best posts, speeches and coffee chats center on sharing something useful. It won't seem as much like a sales pitch if you offer information or a tip clients can use. It will remind them of your value and relevance.
You can't stop with a single outreach effort. People are busy and can overlook your post or miss your speech. It may seem like you are saturating your communications channels, but that is unlikely unless you screw up like Justin Bieber. Staying top of mind demands being a regular part of the thought leadership landscape.
As a colleague once said, professional networking is a contact sport. No contact, no client, no gain.