In your quest for new business, you might want to consider what you can give instead of what you can buy. Specifically, your time.
Raising your profile in your community doesn’t always mean putting your face on a sign. In fact, one of the best ways you can build relationships with people in your market is through regular volunteerism.
While it’s generous of you to sponsor an event, make a donation, or promote a cause, there’s nothing that equals the “boots on the ground” impact that volunteering has when it comes to meeting people.
Consider some of the benefits:
1. You’re helping your community. Whether it’s a soup kitchen, a tutoring program, or a weekend a month on a Habitat for Humanity construction site, you’re making a positive contribution to the place you live and work.
2. You’ll feel good about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with a little private “patting yourself on the back” for your good deeds, and there’s no shame in the feeling of pride you get from giving back through action. You might just find it’s a tremendous stress-reliever.
3. You’ll get better perspective on your life. It’s funny how problems with your smartphone synching sort of fade into the background when you’re volunteering at a hospice care center. Stepping back from the day-to-day can help you refocus your priorities.
4. You’ll meet people. We meet some of our best friends in situations where we’re simply forced to work together. School, summer jobs, sports teams… they’re all great sources for networking.
5. You’ll seem more successful. Having the “free time” to volunteer is a subtle sign that you’re successful enough in your life that you can afford to give back to the community. You must be good at what you do if you’re not running from pillar to post, trying to scrape by.
Look for opportunities in your community to volunteer. While the good you can do should be reward enough, there are probably unanticipated benefits that will develop in time.
by Scott Levitt