Networking is one of the most efficient ways of getting your business name out there. It can be tough, of course – especially if you aren’t the most social creature in the world. However, if you can face your fears, it can bring spectacular results. But, for the best outcomes, it is vital that you understand where to start networking – or it could be a waste of your time. Here are some ideas to get you up and running.
OK, so not everywhere is great for networking – but it could be. You never know who you might meet on any given day or night. Always carry a business card around with you. Some of the most successful deals have come about by a chance meeting – so be prepared.
The online world is ideal for those who need to network but feel uncomfortable doing it face to face. You will need to overcome those fears at some point, of course. But, if you want to get started, try online first. Connect with authority bloggers in your industry, and get involved in their communities. See how the professionals do it, and then do something similar to your website or social media channels. You can also get some great results from using services like Linkedin.
Local business groups
Check online for your local business directory, and see if there are any groups set up that apply to your company. Find out when and where people are meeting, and just sign up to attend. Local business networks are a great place to find potential new clients – and even partners. Don’t have a group in your local community? Then why not try and start one. There will always be small businesses in a similar situation as you, so it might just kick start something special.
Trade fairs offer fantastic opportunities to get up close and personal with your ideal audience. And, it is easy to get involved. First, book your spot at a relevant trade show. Then, visit website services of stall sellers and buy an eye-catching stand. Get your team together and come up with a strategy. With a little luck and good positioning, you will find trade shows are the perfect place for networking.
Make sure you are attending relevant conferences, too. They are an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people and businesses and can often result in new deals or partnerships. Conferences are also ideal for the more timid business owner, as they give you something to talk about straight from the off. Also, think about becoming a speaker at a conference. You will be amazed at how many people want to speak to you, and you will find many more business opportunities start to come your way.
Charities and volunteer associations are also a great place to meet influential people. Take a look at your local community and find out how you can get involved. In this day and age, many people look at the company culture of the businesses they choose to hire. Connections with local charities are always going to help.