Most builders and tradesmen have been invited to business breakfasts at some time or another. Very few attend.

The business breakfast, and other networking events, are seen by a lot of people as being for "The Suits". This is simply not true. The value of networking as a marketing tool is unsurpassed.

Every builder likes to say they get a lot of referrals through word of mouth but most are reluctant to belong to a networking organisation. Networking is word of mouth. It is the word of mouth of a much greater number of people than you can possibly work for, but because it is word of mouth you only have to work for one person and, if you have done a good job, its all over the networking organisation like a virus! This is the foundation of a form of marketing called Viral Marketing.

Attending networking meetings means getting up early and meeting fellow business men and women for breakfast. Yes, there are professionals of all descriptions, some in suits, some in uniforms. If you are a builder, dress as a builder.....They all need you, they will all welcome you.

Networkers rely on referrals. Every member of a networking meeting meets many people during their working day. Simply talking to other people will bring up statements like.....I can't get a reliable plumber at any price. If you are part of that networking group, and you are a plumber, you will get referred. It really is that simple.

You must be prepared to refer others of course. Its a team effort. If there are 20 people in your group then every business has an unpaid sales force of 19 people out there trying to get work. It works and it works well.

Becoming an expert in your field:

Whatever your trade, you are an expert not only in what you do, but probably some of the history surrounding what you do. For example, the origin of the word plumber was a worker in lead. Plumbus being Latin for lead. Plumbers began to fashion pipes from lead to carry water from one place to another and the modern day plumber was born. A plumber is also an expert on how the water system works in a house. Most people have no idea what happens when the turn on the tap, other than, usually, water comes out of it.

The point here is that a Plumber (as well as every other trade) has a great deal of knowledge that other people would like. This gives every tradesperson an ideal opportunity to put together a simple presentation on how things work. This presentation can be given at local wine circles, Chamber of Commerce meetings, networking meetings and other events which are crying out for guest speakers most of the time. Your input gives them a great meeting with valuable information. Their acceptance gives you more opportunities for word of mouth advertising. Your presentations can be turned into news and press releases for your local paper and you will be able to measure your success by reading our page about using web site statistics to get the most out of your web pages.

This is marketing. Better still it is free marketing, or PR. Public relations is a form of marketing requiring no outlay except if you choose a firm to do your Public Relations for you.

Use your website to publish testimonials from your customers and refer to these in your meetings. If you do not have a website, go to our page on how a website for builders and tradespeople works.

Networking works as much for builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen just as well as it works for Lawyers and Accountants.