Anyone of you can do this exact thing and propel your businesses into another level of revenue should you follow some of this in your area and in your way following some of what I am about to share here. I'm no different than any of you and I do this sort of thing to generate clients on a regular basis and, although it is work, it pays off over and over again and works every time. This is a process that you are going to need to set up as you can't just go out and do it but if you are providing any kind of service at all in IM (really any B2B service) to others you can make a killing with it and build your business as well. This is work, real hard work actually if you put your self into it. You can use it for events like the one I am going to share as well as Chamber of Commerce meetings/events, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and other social services clubs, trade association meetings for specific industries, Meet Up.com events (They work like a champ!)... heck, think of where business people gather and you can generate revenue from those events. I make a nice buck from selling to IMers with websites that they are looking to rank but my main focus of marketing is not IMers, and has not been for several years, as I make a ton more offering my services to businesses of all kinds under a lot of different brand names. I brand my different businesses to target the industry so I don't do the Universal Brand thing most of the time. That is a rookie mistake for someone in our industry (it is the ONLY way to go for many industries) if they want to make serious money; pushing your universal brand to niche business industries will get you some business but not propel you to the top usually. Ask the crew at ConAgra (NYSE: CAG), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A), Dupont (NYSE: DD) and many many other players. You rarely see their name attached to a product that they are tied to, and yet they own hundreds or even thousands of different brand names. With the event I am about to share I used a Universal Brand as I was in a universal situation and I had other opportunities aside from SEO services as well and am negotiating with 4 different businesses to be a partner in them as well. I'm sure that at least one will work out as we have about 90% of the framework in place with them already. Here is what I did/went through last week and I am still working the leads from the event so the numbers should get even better after a few more weeks of interaction. I went to an event which is dubbed "The World's Largest Crowd Funding Festival", One Spark, the week of April 7 - 12. I did not attend every day but did go 3 days in order to see what was going on, offer my online business strategies and SEO services and also see if there were any businesses that I could buy into that made sense to me. Preparation is king here so you need to start a few months before the event. In preparation I did the following: 1) Created a business card especially for the event. 2) Created sales materials and put them on my tablet. 3) Rented a hotel room in the same area for the time frame. The card I created did not have my name on it, there are several different ideas as to whether this is best or not; I chose not so that I could get them to ask me my name thereby making it easy to get them to shake hands and interact. It is an old school method to get people to interact with you and start asking you questions so you can pitch without them thinking they are being pitched. The sales material were graphs from my personal sites showing KWs that I am ranking for them. That is a good tie in as the sites I own have a lot of business and finance KWs and they could relate to the KWs and be able to grasp the ranking charts and graphs. There was some sizzle in the sales materials on my tablet, there has to be to be effective, but the meat of the material were actual graphs and images of KWs ranking so they could see and relate. On a couple of occasions I tethered to my phone to show them real life Google searches... that was fun to do. The hotel room, although pretty pricey, was where I could go to regroup, relax and organize things. A few hours of shaking hands, kissing babies and asking about different businesses and you need to get those thoughts down on paper. A hotel is the perfect place as you can do that plus take a shower, a quick power nap etc. You need to be on your "A" game when you are doing this and that is a perfect place to recharge your batteries. I went three days, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and must have walked 3 or 4 thousand miles in that time frame. Wednesday I may have made a footwear error as I wore my Topsiders which are find for kicking around but not a good choice if you plan on walking all day long. I wanted to dress business casual professional though so it made sense to bypass comfort and deal with a little discomfort at the end of the day. First appearances in an atmosphere where people are in professional mode is important so I dressed the part and if you do something similar you should do the same. Showing up in a pair of raggedy pants, with a T-shirt and wearing flip flops may be how you like to express yourself but if you are looking to generate a well balanced client base, dress properly. Wednesday Day 1 was mainly a see what is there, meet some people get my cards in some hands and get a feel for the land... I went to as many of the different exhibits as possible and met as many people as I could in the process. I put my card in more hands in that one day than a car salesman does in a year as I wanted to make sure that at least I got that one shot at them. I spent a little time with a couple of people but for the most part I used a very soft sell, "Hi, I can see you have a lot going on here today, mind if we trade business cards?". That was it for the most part, a soft get my card in their hand and get theirs as well. I was not looking to sell, buy, invest at that point, just make some face to face contact. I did get a few that wanted to interact at that point and I did with them but that was not my goal for the day. Two times during the day, and of course at the end of the day, I went back to the hotel, wrote notes on the cards and wrote notes in my notebook as to who looked promising and for what. Making notes while the info is fresh in your mind is real important or you'll lose business when attending an event like this. That is as important as getting the initial information from them when you first meet them. Trust me on this, you fail to do this and you'll have things fall through the cracks and lose out on potential business. Thursday I took off and let them do their thing there which, for most, was to try and raise crowd funding money. Plus I had work to do and could not spend the day meandering the streets. Friday I went back on Friday and was dressed business casual again but changed up the shoes. I had met most of the people, they had my card and most had a handshake, and I could easily explain the footwear should it come up or if they looked down. For the first impression the pain was worthy but I didn't see it as a need for the second interaction. BTW, not one person even looked down that I noticed so maybe I was just being too careful but in business you cross your T's and dot your I's as a matter of due diligence. Friday I was more in "share what I have to offer mode and see what their needs were". I spoke at length with 16 people and their particular marketing strategies and business models. Some had no need for the types of things I offered professionally and thus I did not share much of what I do. I don't sell to those that have no need if I know they have no need and I did not want to spend time sharing what I offer just to pontificate. I was there to generate revenue so on to the next one was my thinking. On Friday though I ended up with 5 pretty strong prospects or SEO/Online Business Strategies Services and 2 possible investment opportunities. after it was all said and done. Not a bad day in my opinion and if that was all I got for the 2 days of prospecting that would be an OK experience. Nothing was closed as to a client on any of the three days as the focus was not a one call close but rather get leads that I could close when they were a different atmosphere as they were not in a buying atmosphere. Saturday Saturday was a very casual day and I went in nice shorts, golf shirt and walking shoes. It is a casual day all the way across the board and many of the people had seen me twice already so they "knew" me and thus I did not have to make a businessman's impression on them. It was also a real productive day as they had their guard down a little too and were more open having seen me around and the atmosphere being a little more relaxed in general there. Again, I talked with as many people as I could but concentrated on those that showed a need in what we can offer them. 7 more prospects for SEO/Online Business Strategies and 3 more possible investment opportunities. I thought I hit it out of the ball park for the 3 days with that and am pretty excited from the time spent there. Where is the Money, BTB? OK, prospects are nothing more than a hope and a prayer so I had to turn them into clients. I waited until late Tuesday to start calling some of them as they needed to unwind from the event and process some of the information they gathered. We called everyone that gave us a business card... everyone. Some remembered us, some did not and some were glad we called as we were on their "to do" list to contact us. From those calls I got 3 paying clients right off the bat... 2 closed on Tuesday and 1 closed on Wednesday - total monthly revenue $3,100.00. I have 5 more that want call backs next week and some that said, "send me more info". Those that want more info will get one of my eBooks as part of the "more info" package as that is part of the long term sales process I use. I'm sure that I'll get at least 2 more clients out of the 5 that want a call back next week which could turn this into a $4,500.00 - $5,000.00 three days. And one thing to remember, this is recurring income so it could be a $35,000.00 event or so after all is said and done. Once a client is ranking, I usually do not keep them on board as they usually do not need our full bore services... I think that is gouging much of the time so 35K is a pretty realistic number. There are a couple of businesses that I may work out something with as to an ownership position as well from this event. One is about 90% good to go and is one that I can easily grow using my online marketing skills and SEO skills. Cost there - my skills and efforts. Pure trade out for a business that is netting close to 90K a year and my share will be in the 125 - 17% range. Those opportunities are out there just like SEO services are out there as people are flexible if you bring something to the table that will make them more money and take a burden off their shoulders. 1) Find events where business people are going to congregate. 2) Prepare something exactly for them; not something generic but something that will meet their needs. 3) Be willing to do a lot of work. 4) Don't jam your sales pitch down their throat. 5) Build as much of a relationship as you can during your interactions. 6) Close them at their convenience. 7) Expect to spend some cash (this event cost me around $1,000.00 after all was said and done). There is just a boat load of business out there, Folks, you just have to put in the effort to go and get it... business usually does not come knocking on your door. You have to do the knocking and this kind of event is an excellent place as there are a lot of doors all in one place. Be willing to do the work and it will be like shooting fish in a barrel.