Networking Tips for Business Owners
In person networking may seem a little old fashioned with all the different social media platforms that are available to us. Networking doesn’t have to be at face to face events, it also happens on social media. Either face to face or on social media are both great for you and your business. Here is why:
Referrals– You can get some really high quality referrals from networking and they are likely to be of high quality and a good fit for your business. People are more likely to pass business your way after interacting with you.
Increased business– again, people are more likely to want to do business with you once they have ‘met’ you, like you and trust you. You are also getting your business out to a wider audience.
Opportunities– lots of opportunities come from networking such as joint ventures, partnership, speaking opportunities, increase in sales etc
Friendships– possibly my favourite thing from networking is the friendships that you build with others whilst networking. These new friends may not live in the same country as you and you may never get to meet them face to face but thanks to networking you have formed an amazing friendship.
Advice– get advice from business owners that have been there, done that or perhaps bounce ideas off of. They can also help you with personal topics such as taking time off from your business.
Confidence– networking for me used to be pretty scary. The thought of talking to strangers terrified me. However, talking to lots of strangers in a room or online has really boosted my confidence and it’s something I no longer dread doing. In fact, I really enjoy it!
Whether attending a network event online or in person, be sure to find out what is accepted in terms of promoting your business. Some in person events don’t allow selling but many online networking events allow you to sell and advertise your products or services.
Want to give networking a try? Here are a few do’s and don’ts
The Do’s of networking
- Build relationship
- Follow up a referral within 24 hours
- Initiate conversation with someone who is standing by themselves
- Take business cards and keep them handy so they are easy to access
- Take time to thank the host when you arrive, then find someone new to introduce yourself to.
The Don’t of networking
- Don’t think what in it for me when networking
- Don’t make the conversation all about you
- Don’t approach two people who are talking, as you may be interrupting an important discussion.
- Don’t sell, sell, sell at a networking event
- Don’t play with your phone whilst talking with someone, it’s just plain rude
- Don’t arrive late
- Don’t stick to the people you know
Starting with online networking is a great way to ease yourself in, if the thought of face to face networking events scare you. Twitter chat hours are a great way of creating new connections, making friends or even learning something new. Twitter chats are available for all industry types and local areas. There is even a Twitter chat about Instagram.
Read my blog on Twitter chats here
A great way to find networking events near you through the website meetup, Evenbrite and also through Facebook events.
I would love to know if you go to networking events whether online or face to face. Or let me know if you are going to give one a try by leaving a comment below