Sometimes who you know can lead to more opportunities than simply what you know.
While working hard to improve your skills and business know-how will definitely pay off, it doesn’t hurt to have some help along the way. Networking is a simple tool that allows you to meet people who could potentially benefit your business by being a client, customer or even a collaborator. Here’s how growing your network can grow your business in the long run.
Tell everyone you know
When it comes to networking, a good place to start is your personal network. You never know who you may already be connected to! When you’re first starting your business, be sure to announce it on your personal social media accounts and let your circle of family and friends know that you’re open and ready for business (aka looking for new clients or customers).
You should also turn to social media — whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram — to let people know what you’re up to and even to ask for recommendations or advice. You could have someone in your network that you could potentially work with or who could contribute to your business, and not even realize it until you put it out there. Your personal network is a valuable tool that should not be overlooked.
Make social media connections
The majority of modern-day networking happens primarily in one place: social media. While face-to-face connections will always be important, the accessibility of online networking can’t be beat. With social media, you have the ability to connect with people from far and wide, people who you may not even know about if it weren’t for Instagram or Facebook.
If you’ve discovered people or businesses who you want to connect with, start engaging with them by liking and commenting on their posts. You can also message them introducing yourself and letting them know who you are, what your business is, and why you want to connect.
Attend business events
It’s much easier, and definitely more comfortable, to network behind a screen. But eventually, you’ll need to step away from your desk in order to make genuine in-person connections and that’s where networking events come in.
As a business owner, attending any type of business event can prove to be beneficial to you. Whether it’s an event that focuses on a single topic like marketing or sales, or it’s a general meet and greet type of deal, events give you the opportunity to connect with people who could potentially become clients or collaborators.
And while it may seem natural to attend events that are based on your industry, it’s also a good idea to expand to events that gather people from across all industries. This gives you the chance to meet a variety of business owners who could benefit from your service or product or who could help your business in some way.
If you’re looking for networking events and conferences in the Denver area, head on over to our other post, 2018’s Best Networking Events & Conferences in Denver, CO!
We’re all busy people who tend to have a lot going on, so it’s easy to forget about that one person you met at a networking event. If you made a connection at an event, or while networking online, it’s key to follow up to keep the momentum going — especially if you discussed an opportunity that you want to pursue.
Be sure to follow up over email shortly after the event (or online conversation) with a quick recap of what was discussed as well as a call-to-action, like inviting them to meet for coffee.
Always keep in mind that networking is a two-way street. If there’s something you want out of a new connection, be sure that you also have something valuable to contribute and remind them of that in your follow-up.
Have Some Tips You’d Like to Add? Comment Below!
We’d love to hear more about ways you can grow your business through networking! If you know of a strategy we didn’t include in this list already, give us some details below!
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