Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. You may not realize it, but it is also an effective way to grow your business. There are many ways to increase your business through volunteering; the following are some tips on how to go about it.
When people think of volunteering, they tend to think of volunteering in person, picking up trash on the side of the road or serving food in a soup kitchen. There are many other forms of volunteering that can actually show off your business skills. If you are trying to break into a field that you don’t have a lot of experience in, volunteering can help you gain experience.
Many types of organizations depend on volunteers to help them with every day office functions, and many more require volunteer help for special events. Perhaps you can volunteer your marketing services for a local non-profit group’s charity auction. If you are an event planner, you can volunteer to plan the charity auction. And if you are a web designer, offer to design the website.
Volunteer work can be done via cyberspace, as well. You can organize a virtual expo, for instance. You can also do lots of sales and marketing work online. Don’t forget about writing articles for an organization or handling some other type of administrative work.
One of the best things about volunteer work is that it gets you in front of a lot of people who may not have met you otherwise. A fellow volunteer may be in need of the type of services you offer; once they meet you and see what kind of work you can do, they may decide to hire you. In fact, the organization that you are volunteering for may ask you to take on some paid work for them.
Many charity events and volunteer organization receive a lot of publicity. If you are volunteering some of your services, your name may be mentioned in the press. If someone looking for the type of services you offer reads about you in the paper or hears your name mentioned on the radio, that exposure may spur them into checking out your website.
Don’t be afraid to ask the organization you are helping for referrals of people who may be willing to hire you. The person you report to at the charity may have several friends in other companies that routinely need your services. You can also ask your fellow volunteers and other people you meet while volunteering.
You may also start to receive phone calls from people, letting you know that you were recommended to them. The organization you volunteered for may pass your name onto many other people.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.