We all have them. Many of us just don’t know what to do with them. We try to organize them, keep them updated, and we certainly try to find ways to utilize them to network, market or communicate. Unfortunately, many of us just aren’t good at it – we struggle even just to collect them, let alone use them to grow our business.
I’m speaking here of your contact list, this highly valuable – if handled correctly – business tool, resource, first-rate measure of real connections and the power of our own network.
When I began my business 21 years ago, we called it a rolodex or an address book. In fact, I still have my very large rolodex in my office for sentimental reasons. Today, our contacts are still an address book, but it’s all about digital contact cards, keeping them on your phone or email software and developing a spreadsheet or two that serves a powerful purpose, especially when we want to communicate to a larger audience.
Too often, though, we just get overwhelmed by the idea of creating a meaningful contact list, and when it comes to using it to our benefit, we drop the ball and even give up. Companies with a content marketing approach, with a message to share, an expertise to showcase, or a service to tout, need a way to reach their connections. Old fashioned mailing doesn’t work much these days.
Now instead we often need to turn to digital approaches, and platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact are great tools only if you develop, maintain and properly use your contact emails to your advantage.
With a solid list of people – including your employees, vendors, current clients, as well as potential clients – you can build engagement, share your story and brand message, and make a virtual handshake mean something.
In our current normal, we all know direct contact through meetings, receptions or events is severely limited. All the more reason to reach people remotely. You can really only do that effectively if you create, develop, grow and maintain a contact list that gives you a practical, tactical resource. In fact, I would argue, that your digital rolodex is a foundational business asset of fundamental importance.
Isn’t it time to give something this important your undivided attention, and leverage your network as a critical tool in your marketing arsenal?