When people talk about marketing or advertising, they are usually focused on reaching more people. While this is important, it’s only part of the equation when it comes to generating more clients. The other piece of the puzzle is follow-up. In fact, that’s where I’ve found most of the opportunity to exist in marketing.

We’ve long been told that we need to help people come to know, like and trust us if we want them to become clients. Most business owners try to accomplish this by sending automated emails, broadcast text messages or posting on social media to nurture their relationships in a leveraged fashion.

I’ve long been a practitioner of this approach, sending a daily email to my readers for 17 years, so I believe in the value of mass follow, but the other thing I’ve noticed over this span is that you can build a relationship much faster with personal interactions. With that in mind, here’s a simple, three-step approach to make personal relationship building part of your marketing mix.

Step #1: Set aside 30 minutes, 5 days per week.

Step #2: In that time frame, either send fiver personal emails to members of your existing network, make three calls or spend the entire time with one person face-to-face (Zoom is fine).

Have a conversation. Ask them for advice, tell them they did a great job or just see if there is anything you can do to help them. No selling. No bribes for referrals. Yes, you can invite them in if they’re not a client. You can give them gift cards to give to their network.

But think bigger. How can you help them become an ambassador for your business? It starts with them liking you and knowing that you care about them.

Step #3: Follow up. No one-time-only emails or calls.

If you reach out to someone, do so with the full intention of reaching out again and again with no expectation of immediate gratification. That’s it. This approach will work. You’ll likely soon see more activity and opportunity than you ever have before by staying at the top of people’s minds and letting them know you care about them and their success. It might just become the highest value 30 minutes you invest each day.

Pat Rigsby is one of the fitness industry's leading business coaches and the owner of PatRigsby.com. He has built over a dozen businesses in the fitness industry as a CEO and co-owner, ranging from two-award winning franchises to certification organizations and equipment companies. Now he focuses exclusively on helping fitness entrepreneurs build their ideal businesses.