First, when you make enough sales face-to-face, hire someone to manage social media for you. You don't have to do it like everyone else, but you need to have a presence online to be a serious contender in the marketplace. Even people who meet you face-to-face may be less enthusiastic about buying from you (or even suspicious) if they can't find much about you online.
Here are some of the more successful approaches I've used to increase "face time" with clients and prospects:
1. Book speaking engagements and speak on subject matters where my expertise can shine through. Chambers of commerce, civic organizations, trade associations, etc.
2. Join a meet-up group or, better yet, start your own. Figure out what kind of networking your prospective clients want to do and give them an opportunity to do it. You'll create value for them and fill your Rolodex with leads.
3. Join a chamber of commerce, networking organization, or trade association and (emphasis here) take a leadership role. Chair a committee. Run an event. Organizations like these have hundreds or thousands of members. Only a percent show up. A smaller percent actually gets a lot of business from it. Which small percent? The ones who take an active, visible leadership role.
I'm sure we could come up with a lot more if we could talk specifically about your business and industry. Please set up a phone call if you want to brainstorm.
I think it's a great idea to get out and meet people face-to-face and expand your circle of influence. Consider joining networking groups such as your local chamber of commerce, a referral group such as LeTip, visit local MeetUp meetings (http://www.meetup.com/), You could also consider becoming a speaker as an expert in your field and then sell your services or products. Good luck getting out there!
That would all depend on who your clients or customers are. What are you selling them? Have you sold to them before? Do you even know who they are yet? Are they in your system? Once you can answer those questions then it becomes the best way to target them (also a lot of this depends on your product). Another suggestion is to become familiar with social media. I'm not saying you need to be a jack of all trades social media whiz however knowing the basics can help. My suggestion in terms of social media is to find where your customers are most likely to be. For some companies that might be twitter, others facebook others instagram and even some others pinterest. You don't need to be great in all areas however if you can effectively find where your customers are most likely to be and learn to use that channel it can go a long way in your business.
If you need help becoming comfortable with social media or just want to shoot some ideas don't hesitate to give me a call. I'm here to help you succeed.
I love this question for it is a concern for many small businesses that are social media shy.
The answers provided already are great and some of them I am going use. I think we all agree that social media and internet marketing is where things are going. You are limiting your profitability by not using this very powerful medium. I would suggest that you consider including paying someone to do that for you as an advertising/marketing budget item.
Now back to the question at hand. Tradeshows and exhibiting at major conferences or events that attract your target customers is GREAT for face to face selling.
Another way is blogging. Information is king. If you have information that would be of interest to your target customer, a blog allows you to share it and drive them to your website. There are article repositories all over the internet, such as Ezinearticles.com, that are quite effective.
The blog should give just enough information to appeal to your prospective customer but leave them wanting more. It can also tell them of upcoming events where you'll be. You see, one hand washes the other.
Another medium of sharing information is holding weekly conference calls or inviting prospective clients to an event about a topic you know is of major interest. From there, you can book individual meetings with prospective clients. This might work well for local clients. If travel is involved, some prospective clients might opt for a webcast or Skype for the initial screening. From there, they determine whether travel is warranted.
I hope that I am both answering your question while, at the same time, encouraging you to become comfortable with social media, even if that comfort is hiring someone to make sure you have a social media presence.
Of course we don't know what your business is, but I suggest it's fine to go "old school" and work your face-to-face mojo. As the author of "Turn Your Business Card Into Business" I am all about finding people to interact with personally. This is the ideal way to grow a local business. It's how I grow my video business.
There are too many ideas to share them all here but basically you want to begin by looking at your current network. Then start getting in contact with everyone and let them know what you are doing. Create opportunities for people to introduce you to others. Have breakfast and/or lunch everyday with someone who is either a current, past or prospective client. Do not miss a holiday party in the next few months. Attend networking events. Don't act desperate, just be professional, share information and be sure the people you know understand you are really trying to grow your business and would appreciate a referral. Then meet those new people and do the same. Use the phone to call people you cannot meet with.
Make a plan to talk with 10 or 15 people per day if possible. Make another goal to meet one new person every day, tell them what you do and give them a business card. It may seem daunting but one you get started you will see it begin to snowball as you have more follow-ups and more contacts. The truth is these people usually respond quicker and are better clients over time because they have met you personally and will want to help you. Don't assume people know what you have to offer. Talk to everyone and remind them about your product or service.
I do this periodically myself and recently contacted about 50 people who I interact with on the web or see periodically and I got 5 new projects being discussed. Each of them said, "I've been meaning to call you" or "I'm glad you called I have an idea I want to talk about." This is how it works. Keep reaching out. Oh and be sure you do it with a business card in your hand to have as a reminder ,-)
Honestly I wouldn't recommend you avoid social media. There is such a diverse world of social media out there I would look around until you find a social tool that fits your style. Once you find it find your niche or demographic within the tool and work to reach out diligently.