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You'll need to know who's doing what you're doing. Check out their Web sites, bookmark their URL, and enter names and contact details into your contact management program.
(Go to Better Whois, at http://www.betterwhois.com/ to get business owner's contact details.)
See whether they offer services or products which are complementary to yours. You might be able to form a loose partnership.
If it's appropriate, you could offer them a link on your Web site in return for a link on theirs. However, be careful with this. Don't go linking here, there and everywhere online for heck of it. Ubiquitous linking makes it look as if you don't know what you're doing.
==> Step Two: In what fields do you want to expand your client base?
When looking for prospective clients, think in terms of industries or professions.
If many of your clients are doctors, perhaps you want to contact more doctors, or perhaps you want to contact dentists or lawyers.
If you're a writer, maybe you've been targeting health and fitness magazines. What other interests and knowledge do you have? Perhaps you once worked for a construction company. Trade magazines pay quite well, so investigate construction magazines. Enter magazines into your database, and send editors a letter or e-mail message introducing yourself.
==> Step Three: Budget time for networking
Networking won't pay off with instantly, and too much networking can eat up a lot of time. So make a networking schedule for yourself.
If you're working in your small business fulltime, budget half an hour or so every couple of days for networking, or put in an hour a week. If you're a part-timer, try to put in a couple of hours a month.
==> Step Four: Don't be put off by a lack of response
If you send an e-mail message, and don't get a response, don't take it badly. Like most other people, I've got a rapid-fire delete finger, and I'm sure that occasionally I delete a valuable message by mistake. Blame it on spam circus that e-mail has become.
Don't badger people, but if you're not getting a response via email, send them a fax or a letter.
Start making online contacts today, and watch your business thrive!
***Resource box: if using, please include***
Veteran multi-published author and copywriter Angela Booth crafts words for your business --- words to sell, educate or persuade. E-books and e-courses for writers on Web site. FREE ezines for writers and small biz: http://www.digital-e.biz/
Writer, journalist and author Angela Booth has been writing for print and online venues for over 25 years. She also writes copy for businesses.