As we know, meeting new people and building a strong network is one of the best ways to grow your online business, but networking isn’t always easy for everyone. It can be challenging to find connections who share your interest both online and offline.
Chances are you won’t just casually bump into people who can help you grow your business on the street. Even if you attend all the right events, you’ll still have to try hard to meet the right people. Relationships with those people spur our creativity, help us land more clients and help us learn things we wouldn’t have learned on our own.
Fortunately, we live in a time where there is an app for everything, so if you’re having trouble networking in the more traditional ways, or just want to make the job a little easier, then you should check out some of the networking apps available.
Now keep in mind that there are new apps coming out all the time and as diligent as I was with my research for this lesson, I haven’t personally tried all of the ones I have listed below, but they all have good ratings and they will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect when it comes to using an app for networking.
This app uses your location to detect where you are and connect you with the people in your area. You can then group people together and text the entire group to let them know about an upcoming event that they might be interested in attending, or other great things happening in your business.
Have you ever tried to find a central location for you and your business associate to meet and came up empty? Well, iPhone has an app for that. MeetMe takes the hassle out of picking a place to meet. You can put in both your locations and it will generate a list of places you can meet in the middle. It will even give you and your contact directions to the selected location.
This one is best for networking with new people at conferences. It filters through lists of event attendees and helps you connect with relevant people. You can connect your LinkedIn account to the app and find out who in your contact list is attending events even before you register, pull up their profiles for quick access to their business info and add events to your calendar from in the app.
Are you terrible with names? Not the best problem to have when you’re in business and trying to build your network of connections. This app allows you to add names to your database quickly. When you do the current address is automatically suggested if you allow GPS access. You can also include a short description a photo and filter all your contacts by name, description or address.
This is an iPhone app that will help you locate upcoming events in your area. Pick and choose however many of these events you’re interested in attending and add them right to your calendar.
This handy app allows you to explore and discover groups in your area that are all about the things that are important to you. You can also create your own Meetup and invite people from your community to come join the fun.
Have you ever been at a conference and received so many business cards that you can’t keep track of who’s who? This is another handy iPhone app that makes it easy to add all of the information from those cards to your contact list by snapping a quick picture. It makes it easy to exchange electronic business cards securely when you meet new contacts. You can also add notes, set reminders, and use tagging to make finding specific contacts a breeze.
This app quickly matches professionals in the same industries. It’s almost like Tinder for networking. It’s available for Android or iPhone and makes it easy to grow your network by screening a large database of shared contacts that match your criteria. You can swipe anonymously through profiles and when the interest is mutual, you’ll be matched, then you can arrange to meet.
These are just a few of the apps available for networking. There are many more that can help you make great connections, but they can’t do the networking for you. It’s your job to make that connection work for your business. Make sure that you take time to cultivate relationships with the people you meet, and your efforts will pay off.