Don’t be shy!
In my business it’s important to be an active networker, both on and offline. I meet a lot of people at networking events, collect business cards, and browse scores of websites and social media profiles. I’m often surprised at how “disconnected” many business people seem to be.
Look, if someone had told me a couple of years ago that in 2012 I’d be a member of several networking groups, on the management team of one, and quite happy to chat with strangers about business matters on a regular basis, I’d have said they were barking! But this is what has happened – I started networking seriously last summer and haven’t looked back – I really enjoy it and have made many valuable contacts.
If you want to be easily found online and offline (and why wouldn’t you, if you’re in business?) – then you need to integrate your communication channels. Here are a few tips to help with your networking.
- When you meet people at networking events, make a point of connecting with them on LinkedIn – always send a short personal message when you do this.
- Connect on Twitter if the contact is active there (it’s very easy to recommend/refer on Twitter and is always appreciated).
- Consider setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of your offline connections, and update it regularly.
- Add your social network link URLs to adverts, business cards, brochures, posters, newsletters and any other literature you use to promote your business.
- If you have social media accounts (please tell me you do?), make sure they’re updated regularly. Having an account and never updating is worse than not having the account at all.
- Although it’s good to cross-reference occasionally, please don’t duplicate the same content across all your networks. Tweets sent to Facebook and LinkedIn are particularly disliked.
- Automation tools have their place, but you still need to interact daily, in person, on all your networks. Your followers will soon realise if you’re never actually there.
- Establish a routine & find your best times to update (monitor engagement at different times of day).
- Make sure your profiles/bios are fully completed on all networks – give as much information as possible about your business, but do add a few personal touches too.
- Brand your accounts – be consistent with your logo, colours, background images etc. as well as your “voice”.
- Always include your social network links in email and forum signatures.
The takeaway message here is that you need to make yourself highly visible both off- and online. Are you ready to step into the spotlight?
Need help getting found online? Take the first step! Contact me on 01777 249075
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org