Has anyone ever told you that it takes too much time to network? I overheard someone stating that just after telling me all the places they advertise their business. I was shocked. How could they be willing to spend money and take time to hang fliers around town yet not be willing to meet people… Continue reading It Takes Too Much Time To Network
Do you attend local networking events? It’s great fun meeting new people and learning what they enjoy about there work.
Tonight I learned about the how’s and why’s of electronic recycling, learned about Lancaster startup weekend (which is highly interesting) and saw a friends presentation on webcam photobooths for a local business. It’s got my head swimming with ideas.
To keep your business operating, what additional businesses do you need to connect with?
- web hosts
- graphic designers
Businesses need each other to build their own business. Mutually beneficial relationships help both businesses expand their success. This is the basic premise behind attending Chamber of Commerce mixers, or other networking events.
True networking online
LinkedIn is primarily business to business, or also seen as a business formal platform. While here, the Q&A area is a great way to give value to others. Find questions to answer. Be more interested benefiting them than announcing yourself. You will stand out.
Facebook started as strictly social fun, and many still prefer to keep it that way. Others see it as business networking exclusively and don’t build much personal interaction. As Facebook is seen as business casual, we want a happy balance of both. This a great way to connect with others, beginn chatting, and move to a phone call.
Twitter is the constand cocktail party. You can make up all your own rules as to how and why you show up here. (See previous post: Calvinball). Sites like Twellow and Wefollow are directories to find connections in specific places. It is like the yellow pages for Twitter listings.
But I want to do business with someone I know or is referred to me
When you are searching for a new hair stylist or barber, you likely ask others “who do you go to”. The same principles can apply online. In his program, “Endless Referrals“, Bob Burg shares principles on building your business using referrals. By being more interested in them, you make them stand out. To follow up, The Go-Giver, provides great insight into being more focused on giving value to others. If your true intention is to promote others and make them look good, you are a great value connecting them to things that help further their business.
How does this work online? The same principles still apply. A few months ago I attended BarCampHarrisburg. I learned about it through Twitter. While there, I met a few great people in different aspects of web development than I offer. I followed them on Twitter promptly. We’ve since met at Tweetups, a networking event of other Twitter users. Now I find myself working with a client that may be in need of services that others I’ve met online and later in person can provide. I want to refer business this way. I asked them about their services, and have established a degree of relationship with these individuals. I’ve asked them how I can refer business to them, and I’ve watched how they are representing themselves and clients online.
Also, I have asked others – what are you looking for? Projects, jobs, new clients, and referrals are things many people need. By knowing what others seek, I am more aware of how to refer others to them or refer them to potential clients or employers.
Nearly a year and a half ago I was invited by Dave Saunders to sign up for LinkedIn. As any compulsive social media joiner, I created my account, and then abandoned it. I hardly paid notice of it, until just the past few months that is.
What led to the switch? Well, the obvious part about teaching it to others in an upcoming online training program means that I first must understand, apply, and implement LinkedIn. More importantly than just teaching it, I now have see how to help other businesses get noticed by participating in LinkedIn.
I’ve been working with a chiropractor. Out of curiosity, I did a quick search on the word “chiropractor” to see what information LinkedIn offered. To my surprise, several people had posted questions asking for recommended chiropractors in a specific reason.
Lesson learned: create an account, complete your profile, and participate in Questions & Answers with LinkedIn.
Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/courane01