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July 18, 2019

Tips on How to Make Your Online Networking Successful

If you’re a business owner, you’ll know all about the importance of networking. Some people love it, and some people hate it, but regardless of what side of things you’re on, if you want your business to be a success you have to do it effectively. The internet and social media has revolutionised the way that we as humans can network with others. We no longer have to arrange meetings and line up times of convenience with potential clients. Now at the click of a button and simply typing a message, you can make new business connections on the web with ease. But how can you make sure that you’re networking successfully online? Read on to find out some top tips on how you can do just that.

Begin Close to Home

Even though the web allows us access to people all over the world, you need somewhere to start. So why not start chronologically, and focus on clients and connections that are local to you?

The good thing about going local, is if you don’t have a reputation built up for yourself yet, they’re more likely to connect with you. So many people go off a business’ reputation before either using or connecting with them, so you’ll have to work hard in order to build up a good one. The last thing you want is a bad reputation! A lot of people go off “word of mouth” reviews because they trust those close to them to have a similar perception to themselves. By starting off locally, it gives you the opportunity to start building these close client relationships, and meet people face to face. If there’s something that people love, it’s a service that feels personal to them, so if you provide this in the early days your reputation is likely to be nothing but positive. Plus, it can’t hurt to be known well in your local area as being the best in your chosen field, can it?

Make Connections

When you’re initially looking to approach new people, look for the things that you might have in common or be able to connect over. A shared point of reference can be a great way to seal a business relationship in the early days. This is because the vast majority of the time, people trust other people that they can relate to. For example, if you have a family with small children and they have a family with small children, this connects you by similar experience alone. If they’re looking to sell their home quickly and you’re out their promoting a company that claims to sell your house fast, then this would be a great way to connect. The upheaval of moving house and waiting for your current home to sell can be one of the most stressful things you’re likely to experience – particularly with young children in tow. If they know you share this in common with them, chances are they’re a lot more likely to trust your judgement if you’re promising to make their life easier. Now, this is just an example, but the point still stands. Your connective point can be just about anything, from what school you went to, where you were brought up or hobbies/teams you both enjoy. Just make that connection.

Know Who You’re Looking to Connect With, and Why

It’s really important to know your target audience, and why they’re the people you’re actually looking to connect with. In an ideal world we’d be able to approach the first person we found in order to make a business connection, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. You have to approach someone who either needs your service, or someone who can help to promote or extend it. There are so many forums online these days, that it’s not too difficult to get into the groups that you need to be in. By approaching the right people and knowing your reason for it, you’ll ensure you don’t waste any time in expanding your business. Time-wasting is one of the worst things you can do in business.

Organise a Meeting

Last but not least, although it’s great to connect with people online initially, a lot of the time before getting into business with you, people will want to meet face to face. People are so sceptical at times of those they meet online, that they want to meet them in person in order to build trust. Let the people you are connecting with online know that you are both willing and interested to organise a meeting with them in person at their convenience. Networking is all about trust and connecting at the end of the day.

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