written by Aleksandar Debeljak
For many small business owners, it is important to constantly grow and try to develop their business network. Most companies today have a website and communicate through social media where they try to be seen and get more customers and grow their business. But to succeed, it’s important that you both have a good offline and online presence. When it comes to networking, it’s no longer just about who you know, it’s also who knows you.
The benefits of establishing a strong network for your business are seemingly endless. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. And we have the right tips to help you build a strong business network.
Networking tips for an increased offline presence
1. Attend networking events
Attending different networking events is essential for meeting other entrepreneurs and hopefully creating long-term relationships. Keep in mind, do not try to be too sales-oriented, and do not give out your business cards to people you have not talked to. Remember to build a relationship with the person you want to collaborate with, which may require you to spend extra time and effort before reaching a result together.
2. Show how you can add value
It is important that you think about how you interact with people at these events. Do not brag about how amazing you and your business are. Instead, focus on how you can help other companies. Keep in mind that it’s about “What do I get out of this?” when you meet other entrepreneurs at different networking events. If you can effectively show how your business can help them, you will be able to connect with companies that are ready to work with you.
3. Create relationships
Your relationship with your customers is essential for you and your business to succeed in the market. Many people make the mistake that they treat people differently depending on whether it is a personal or business relationship. Keep in mind that people do business with people, not with companies! Therefore, it’s important to be professional and create personal relationships with both your business contacts and your customers.
4. Have a mentor
Whether you have started a new company or if you have been running companies for several years, it is good to have contact with a mentor or adviser. They can help you with guidance and also provide important tips on how to improve your business. It’s smart to have someone external who has a different perspective on how your business works.
5. Take help from others
The challenge that many self-employed people have is that they are having trouble being seen online. Therefore, it may be good to contact a professional marketer who can solve your problems or challenges. There are very few self-employed people who are experts in search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, etc. If you are not an expert in marketing, it may be difficult to grow your brand and it may result in your business standing still. Therefore, think about making smart investments that make your business move forward.
6. Join a group
Last but not least, it may be wise to start or join a mastermind group to develop both as a person and entrepreneur. A mastermind group aims to help members in the group achieve success. By participating in the group, you challenge each other to set important goals and then achieve them.
Networking tips for an increased online presence
7. Be active on social media
To succeed as an entrepreneur, your business must have a good online presence. Social media is today a tool for companies to reach and interact with their target audience and customer base. Being active on social media gives you valuable insights from customers who can help you make smarter business decisions.
8. Communicate with your customers
Keep in mind how you choose to use social media. Avoid spamming too much about your business by sticking to the 80/20 social media rule. Keep in mind that social media is a place for consumers to learn and build a connection with you. Therefore, it’s important that you listen and help your customers. The relationship between companies and customers is essential on social media.
9. Keep track of the competition
Keep track of what your competitors are doing. By following your competitors on social media you get an insight into how they work. This can provide you with helpful information to make strategic business decisions.
10. Promote your business
Get an increased brand awareness through social media. Sharing content or different offers from your company has never been easier. Selling products via social media has proved to be an effective method for many businesses where 75% of companies selling via social media increased their sales.
Remember to backlink to your website when sharing content on social media. You want to direct web traffic and give your customers an even better experience once they visit your website.
11. Keep track of your statistics
It’s easy to find out how effective your website is and what improvements you need to make to reach more customers. You can find statistics on everything you do. For example, if you write a blog, you can see how many people read it, which gives you an insight into what content your customers like to read.
12. Invest as needed
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of having a website is that customers can always reach you regardless of the time of day. Marketing online can cost you a little or a lot, depending on what you are prepared to pay for and the quality you want to receive.
13. Show who you are
Be personal on your website! Show who you are, your interests and how to contact you. Stand out from the crowd.
14. Optimize and distribute
Having a good offline and online presence is essential for small business owners. It takes time and dedication but if you work efficiently and make smart business decisions, your business network will grow.
How do you or your business focus on creating both a strong offline and online presence to grow your business network? Share your thoughts in the comments below!