Every SMB owner knows that networking is the backbone of business. Meeting industry professionals who can add value to a small business keeps things fresh and moving forward. The best part of networking in the 2019 landscape? The majority of it can be done online, for a faster and more efficient experience. Experts from all over the globe have opened themselves up to be contactable online, giving you loads of opportunity to meet the perfect people to help you and your business excel.
That said, there’s a method to the madness when it comes to online networking. Besides proper etiquette, you do need to throw a bit of strategy into your social media socialising. Here are five ways you can help grow your online professional network:
1. Consider who you’re networking with.
Say you want to connect with the CEO of an enterprise in your field. It may not be the most tactful move to reach out directly to her or him. First, as a company lead, they’re likely swamped and inundated with messages from folks just like yourself. Second, having someone vouching for you never hurts. If you reach out to anyone in a position lower, and make a great impression, you’ll be able to send a message to the person you want to connect with and be in the good graces of the people around them. Great reviews lead to great interactions.
2. Do your research first.
Though it may seem obvious, it’s incredibly important that you do a bit of digging on a person you’d like to network with. Including some details that stood out to you about them when you send a message or email is essential in catching their attention. But at the same time, a good balance is key. Including extremely personal details can be detrimental, and downright creepy. Instead, dig in the places they’ve offered up information, like LinkedIn or Facebook, and leave the information you found on Google out of your initial impression.
3. Get active on LinkedIn.
Out of all the spaces for professional networking, LinkedIn is arguably reigns supreme. It was built for that purpose specifically and offers plenty of opportunities to connect with people in similar fields. The best way to show you mean business? Be active on the platform. Leave insightful comments on posts, create your own posts and respond to commenters and join Groups to open yourself up to professionals working in your industry.
4. Keep in touch with the network you’ve worked hard to build.
Once you’ve started to accumulate social followers and connections, keep in touch with them. Don’t let them forget about you – or your SMB. It’s also a good idea to try to meet up with online connections face-to-face if you ever find yourself in their area. It shows you’re interested in knowing them personally, which really, will never become obsolete.
At YES Victoria, it’s our mission to provide you and your business with the tools to build meaningful relationships, grow, and create a long-lasting rapport in the community, online and off. Get in touch with us for more details on how we can help you expand your network.