Build It and They Will Come

Build it and they will come is not always true; you have to form a relationship with the company before you will get quality attendees or participants for a free service.

The key to a human's heart is through food. The key to a web surfer is free information and products. Simply offering free information is not enough to bring visitors to your site. The offering has to have substance and also be worthwhile. The web surfer is constantly asking, "What is in it for me?" If what you are providing is of value, then the word will get out fast. Your service can be anything from free training, white papers, advice, or even a newsletter. Even though you will have the information available, you must still advise everyone you know that it is in place.

My husband does a lot of volunteer work for Rotary and is the district webmaster. He has placed hundreds of pages of information on this site, offering the various clubs tools they can use. Although some do extensively, there are others that have difficulty understanding why they would go there. He spends a great deal of his time showing the value of the site. He even posted free e-learning components on the site so that they could learn how to use an application. It takes work to show people the value.

Eventually over a period of a couple of years, the website was being used by almost every club. Now, they are submitting information about events so that their club is part of the process. You should look at your site in the same way, it is a tool for your customers to access free information, and the more valuable you make that information, the more often they will look on the web. If your free information is only hype, they will turn away in droves.

Although you do not want to overwhelm anyone with information, you can make your site very informative. Make it easy to navigate and find what they want. If you have more information to give out than can be professionally displayed, you could consider putting out a newsletter on current events and other newsworthy items.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit

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