Networking - Old and New
Networking has changed over the years although in some ways it’s the same as it has been for decades. The basics are the same, and it’s all about the people who you “touch” and how you interact with them and whether you can create a relationship. There is an adage that states “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” which sometimes comes into play when looking for potential clients or customers for your business. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to offer products and services that consumers want.
Regardless of the type of resource you are using to build your network – it’s not always about you or your business! Using the “me-me-me” technique may get some short term business or “sale” although by being an asset to someone else will ultimately build a long term relationship and referrals.
Who would you rather work with – someone who is constantly tooting their own horn or someone who steps up to help YOU to succeed? Referrals are very powerful.
The key is to make a plan and stick to it! Remember unless you have a staff to help you or you hire an outside marketing resource like Willow Marketing Solutions doing everything can become overwhelming. Take baby steps and see what works for you.
Below are only suggestions; keep in mind that each business is different and has different type of customers or clients. Obviously, if you are business to consumer OR business to business your tactics will vary.
1. Join and be active in your local chamber of commerce or be active in your industry groups
2. Maintain an ACTIVE social media presence via Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter.
3. Periodic e-marketing newsletter campaigns.
4. Ask for referrals.
7. Sponsorship of organizations / activities such as kids sports team, local food pantry or animal shelter etc.
8. Be an expert in your field and help educate others.
9. Submit news worthy press releases – this is where you can TOOT you own horn.