How To Build Business
Why networking is essential to business building
Quite simply, the more people know about you, the greater the chance they'll use your product or services. Studies show that people are 78% more likely to do business with someone they already know.
The most effective way for people to get to know you is through networking. And if you network online, you'll uncover potential customers you might never have found through simple advertising and marketing.
Find out more about how to get people to know the person behind your brand-and how to build better business.What is online networking?
In a nutshell, online networking is about building relationships. Think of the internet as one big cocktail party. When you arrive at a typical party, you introduce yourself, mingle, and eventually, find people you really click with and spend the night in deep conversation with them. It's the same in the online world as well.Where to network online
Think of your target audience. Chances are there's already at least one thriving online community that they frequent. Join in and get involved, and you have the potential to reach thousands of new customers.
Online communities usually form around blogs, forums, and groups on social networks. A quick search of the internet, using your target audience as a keyword, will help uncover these communities for you.
You may need to register on a website or sign up for a social network before you can join the conversations taking place. If this is the case, you'll likely have an online profile to fill out first-or at the very least, need to choose a username and a profile picture.
If this seems like an unnecessary step, remember that you're preparing to meet a whole bunch of strangers at once. You would never attend a party without putting your best foot forward, and the same applies to online networking. Effective online networking strategies: introductions and finding common ground
Start with a friendly hello and give a bit of information about you and your business. Leave the selling for later-now is the time to explain what you do and how it helps people.
Just like at a party, this is the point where you'll find out you have more in common with some guests than with others. Some people will read your remarks and move on-and others will want to know more about your products and reply back.
This is your chance to establish common ground. Ask people questions about themselves, what they do, and more about their business needs. This will help you qualify the people you've met online. Not only might you find potential customers, it helps readers realize they could be potential buyers. The most important rule to remember? Form relationships first, sell your business second.
If this is all a little nerve-wracking, breathe easy. Remember that many of the people you're speaking to are there because they're looking for solutions-or they're there to do business as well.Dos and Don'ts of networking for business
Now that you've joined the conversation, practice online etiquette to form relationships. Here are the dos and don'ts about networking online for business.DO
show an interest in the people you're speaking with. Ask them more about themselves, compliment them on their profile picture, and make suggestions and advice if asked.DON'T
make a sales pitch. People join online communities ultimately to enjoy themselves, so a hard sell is a big turn-off. Worse, someone could report you as a spammer.DO
share links to articles and reports that people will find useful and relevant. This will help establish you as a reliable source of information.DON'T
make spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. They will make you appear unknowledgeable. If need be, write your responses in a word processing program with a spell-checker before posting them. DO
listen. You might just hear some valid concerns or questions that you can use to improve your business, product or service. Online networking builds business
Networking for business does more than uncover hidden customers or clients. It helps you build strong relationships with your target audience, and establishes you as a reliable and dedicated entrepreneur.
It's the best way to show people more about the person behind the business, and by following a few simple guidelines, easy enough for every small business to do.