Social Media Marketing is an important factor in the success of small and medium businesses in the Digital Age. But there is another, equally crucial purpose in having a strong social media presence: business networking. While social media enhances your global reach and widens the “net” of your network, it’s important not to neglect the proverbial pavement pounding that helps build connections and contacts on a local, regional, state, and even national level. At Little Egg Solutions, we understand that digital marketing and content are only one part of a successful strategy, and we’ve put together this list of benefits and tips for business networking, both online and in person.
1. Opportunity Knocks
One of the major advantages of building a professional network is the opportunities that arise from networking with the right people. It really isn’t just about what you know; who you know matters when trying to grow your business or build lasting partnerships. A good connection can open doors that you would otherwise find shut tight, and reciprocity is the name of the game. Be willing to do favors for beneficial contacts, and they will repay you in kind.
Check out your community’s networking opportunities! Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start, but be sure to check out additional resources, like local or state business associations. They often hold events for members to meet and socialize to build your professional network organically.
2. Mentors Matter
Another important benefit of business networking is the opportunity to learn from those who have stood in your shoes and made it work. Industry leaders know the importance of networking and they are exactly the right people to give you the secrets to success. The perspective and guidance of a more experienced leader can be the difference between repeating a common and costly mistake and finding a better way.
Having trouble finding business networking connections on personal social media sites? Try LinkedIn instead! LinkedIn is a networking site specifically geared towards professional and business networking. It’s a great place to get your name out to the right people and build a beneficial network.
3. Grassroots Support
Small and medium businesses thrive on local patronage. Building a professional network allows you to reach the eyes and ears of people who you might otherwise miss by drumming up support from your local community. It’s not just B2B connections and mentorships that you’re building when you add connections to your network – it’s lasting partnerships and potential leads as well.
First impressions are sometimes the only impressions. Make sure you make a great one with a professional appearance and crisp, new business cards for in-person events and a clean, professional profile or page for online interactions. Books are often judged by their covers (even if we wish they weren’t); what will your or your page’s appearance say about you?
Just like marketing, in-person networking efforts are only half of the equation. A seamlessly integrated digital networking strategy, combined with face-to-face contact, will help you build your professional network and take your business to new heights. If it seems like networking is just one more thing you have to add to an already-impossible to-do list, don’t worry. The experts at Little Egg Solutions are here to help you reach your full potential. Contact us today to learn how we can lighten the load.