1. Attend an Industry Conference
For example, deals in food or fashion, the most popular even you might want to attend is the Gtb food and drinks festival or fashion week. A quick Google search will show you other relevant conferences as related to your industry.
For a start it’s always advisable you go as a regular attendee. This will avail you the opportunity to consider whether or not to return as a vendor or never to return at all.
2. Sponsor Relevant Meetup Events
Meetups are organised daily all over the world and they are often just a handful of people. If you target relevant Meetup groups and offer to sponsor their next event, you will find a lot of takers. Sometimes money to buy pizza is all you need to do and the organizer will add a special offer on their Meetup page and if you’re lucky and/or persuasive they will announce it at the event. Printivo for instance give out her office space for meetups for creatives and SMEs.
3. Solicit Individual and Personalized Feedback on Your Product or Service
Early on it’s a struggle to get even 5 or 10 people on board as customers. When you do get the first few customers reach out to each one of them with a personal email and thank them for trying you out. Ask for pointed feedback and if you can get them to spare 10 to 15 minutes on the phone that is fantastic as they will provide helpful insight about your product.
4. Reach Out To Related Companies for Joint Marketing Efforts
If you are a photographer, it would make sense to contact a fashion designer as they often need professional shoots when launching new line of clothing. You could create a co-branded landing page that provides a discount to the fashion designer if their customers want to have access to a special offer on your site.
5. Create Handwritten Letters as a Relationship Builder
The old school approach can win you big points. If you take time to create a customized handwritten note like this example here, you have a great shot at making a beneficial introduction. Do your homework and understand what the person likes and dislikes before writing the letter and make sure to send it to their place of business.