The Key To Networking Online

Networking online

 

 

There is an increasing choice of places to network online, so what are the 4 keys to benefiting from online networks?.

 

 

  • Build Profile  –  online networking is about YOU not the business, so mix personal information with business and remember to include a photo. People do business with people and many will want to know who you are, especially if the product or service you provide is significant to their business. Be clear about what you can offer to others and equally clear about what you need as you never know who will be able to help you.

 

  • Generate Content –  Some sites allow you to add blogs and articles directly and to comment on others blogs. All sites will allow you to link to a blog or article that you have placed elsewhere on the web. Use them to demonstrate an understanding of your subject and to show the expertise that you and your company can bring to it

 

  • Build a network –   it should be obvious to all that networking is about connecting with people, though there are many who seem not to understand that. If you connect directly with many people then have at least one online conversation with them to explore areas of common interest. If there is nothing immediate, don’t discard the connection, develop it over time and build the relationship on a personal level. It is not just about business. Remember that you are building advocates, sounding boards and friends- not necessarily customers.

 

  • Whilst our network is not our prospect base, be open to doing business where it is possible to do so. Be tuned in to the needs that are being broadcast by others, help others selflessly and gain a reputation as someone who ‘knows how’ and ‘knows who’. Explore collaborations with others where there is a basis to do so.

 

Networking is not an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Networking for business has a cost and can bring a return – but the return may take time to appear. Take your time to find the right mix for you.

Want to know more about online networking?

 Then follow me on twitter   or linked in or contact me at Janette Whitney & Associates

 

 

 

Thought for the day

 

To all fellow networkers:

He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

How To Create The Network You Want

How strong is your network?

As the saying goes ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ so how can you widen your network of contacts to create the network that is important to your business.

Here are 10 tips to help you create the network you want face to face.

 

1, Be alert for opportunities to meet new people

Everyone is connected. The typical person knows about 250 other people. Each time one new person feels they know, like and trust you; potentially another 250 people may also come too.

2, Be open to people knowing you

It’s not just about whom you know, it’s more about who knows you. Share something of yourself, allow people to get to know you. You will be more memorable.

3. Find new ways to meet people

It’s always easier to meet new people when you share an experience .Most schools & universities have alumni organisations containing people in a wide range of occupations. Whatever you do, there will be a relevant professional organisation where you can meet other people in your field. More importantly, get invitations to meetings held by institutes and trade bodies where your clients are.

4. Don’t be too choosy

Consider all invitations to events even if they don’t initially interest you. Such events can still often turn out to offer valuable networking opportunities and that is what you are there for. You never know who’s going to be there. If you have time, go along,

5. Carry distinctive business cards

Make sure you have plenty of business cards and don’t be shy about passing them out. Be distinctive. Have something about you (clothes, accessories, tie) that people will remember and associate with your card.

6. Follow up with personalised notes

Follow up meeting new contacts with a handwritten note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. Takes a little longer than an email, but gives a really good impression and cements you in the person’s memory banks.

7. Create a brief ‘script’ you can use at events.

To stop you fumbling for answers when you meet new people, jot down your brief reply to ‘what you do’, what your company does, and what makes you and your company unique. Then practice it!!

8. Find out that you’re great

Think about all the people you know and identify one fan, a person who thinks you’re interesting or fun. Ask him or her to tell you what makes you good company. It will help you to feel less inhibited when talking to strangers. At least one person thinks you are great!

9. Show a genuine interest in people

Start by first listening to the other people. If nothing else, it helps you to relax. Ask them questions about themselves and really listen to the replies. Listen well, respond promptly, and maintain eye contact.

10. Keep a key people list

Make and maintain a list of everybody you know who has some relevance to your work. Use either a CRM software system or create your own excel spreadsheet/manual card system- whatever works best for you. Regularly (at least weekly) select one person for a ‘hello, how are you?’ call. Update your contact details with what you learn from meeting people.

For Professional & impartial business advice contact Janette Whitney at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 or email jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk

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