Category Archives: Traffic

Networking Your Online Business (5)

Well, we have come to the final lesson in the Networking Your Online Business Crash Course. I hope you’ve enjoyed your lessons and learned a lot about networking. In this final lesson we’re going to go over a few common mistakes people make when they first start building their network, so you can avoid them.

As we discussed in your second lesson it’s very important to track your progress, so that you know whether you’re getting results or not. It’s also important to make sure you’re doing things right, so your business will grow.

However, knowing what to do is one thing; knowing what not to do is something else completely. You might even think you’re doing everything right, but if you find that you’re not making the connections you expected, then it’s time to re-evaluate and adjust your strategy. To help with this we’re going to go over some of the more common mistakes you can make, often without even realizing it. This way you can avoid them.

– Not accepting help

Networking is all about making connections and learning from our peers but when it comes to accepting help many of us find it difficult. Even if it’s simply in the form of advice. If this is you, try to keep in mind that people don’t know what you need unless you ask them.

The whole point of networking is to build a personal or professional network of people you can call on when you’re struggling to move forward. That’s why it’s so important to be connected to the right people.

– Not maintaining relationships

It’s very easy to fall out of touch with people, but if you want to form a strong network it’s important to maintain communication with your current contacts. As I mentioned in lesson three, you want to have at least five to ten strategic relationships that you’re always nurturing.

Set aside time in your schedule to follow up with them on a regular basis. See how they’re doing, offer aid if they need it and let them know how you’re doing too. This type of mutual accountability is one of the biggest benefits of networking. It’s a great motivator.

– Not using social media

We live in a time where networking is something that most of us do on some level every day. Social media makes it easy to connect to countless people all with diverse knowledge and skills to share. If you’re not taking advantage of this, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to grow.

If you aren’t sure where to start LinkedIn is a good choice for making professional connections. As I’m sure you know this isn’t the only social media platform you should be using, but it’s a great place to begin getting your business in front of the right people.

– Not making connections in-person

While we’re in a time where social media is very important to networking, that doesn’t mean you should stop meeting people in person. If you want your online business to really grow you should make a real effort spend time with your contacts in person whether it’s locally or at conferences. Remember, you can’t do everything over the internet.

– Not expressing gratitude

Showing gratitude is more than just a social grace. When someone helps you, gratitude goes a long way. After having a conversation with someone in person or online, send them a quick thank you note for their time. It’s a small thing, but letting people know they’re appreciated encourages them to want to build a stronger working relationship with you.

– Forgetting it’s a two-way street

The law of reciprocity is extremely important when it comes to building a strong network, so when someone helps you, no matter how big or small, always be sure to reciprocate in some way.

Hopefully this will help you avoid making some of these mistakes as you go out and start networking your online business. Remember it should be a scheduled activity to connect and follow up with the people in your network. Before long you’ll have a strong and very beneficial group of people in your corner that are more than willing to help your business grow.

 

 

Network Your Online Business

 

As we have been discussing in these lessons, networking is an important part of any business. You need to network if you want to grow. Just because you run your business strictly online doesn’t mean you have to miss out on local networking events because they can be very beneficial.

Many online business owners avoid local networking because they feel like it won’t work for them or they’re unsure how to get started. When in fact it can help you make more strategic connections in your community. It can also be a very enriching experience because it puts you in touch with people who understand what it’s like to run a business.

The best way to start is to go out into your community and meet people and other business owners, whether they are like yours or not. Contact your local chamber of commerce, often they’ll have a calendar of local events you can check into.

– Go to fundraisers

Remember, this isn’t the place to be selling your business, but you can definitely meet potential connections this way. Even just going out to the golf course or taking a crafting class is a great way to network and meet people with similar interests to you. It doesn’t have to be a business relationship when you network with people. Anyone who is going to spread the word about your business is part of your network.

– Check out your current contacts

You might already have people you can network with locally that will help you grow your business. They might already have a network that could be beneficial to growing your business too.

Here are a few more benefits for you to consider:

When you network locally, you’ll have more opportunities to explain what your business does, and you can specifically tailor your message to the people you’re speaking to. You’ll also enjoy immediate feedback on your ideas.

– It’s more personal

Face-to-face meetings are always going to be more personal and give you a better opportunity to show who you really are. It’s hard to see someone’s personality when you can’t actually see them or hear them. If you want your personality to shine, then you need to network locally.

You can learn so much about a person just by seeing their mannerisms. In person you can read body language, hear tone of voice, see facial expressions and pick up on feelings.

If all your meetings are done online through email or on social media, then you won’t get that direct feedback that you do when you’re face to face. Yes, Skype and video chats are effective but it’s still difficult to read the other person’s body language when you aren’t in the same room. This makes it very easy to misinterpret their intent.

– Stronger relationships

It’s always much harder to build a strong relationship with someone you’ve never met in person. There needs to be a human connection. It just builds a stronger bond. You can think a person is great when you meet them online, but to actually see them in action and be a part of their energy is a whole other story.

– Maintain relationships

Once you have taken the time to add a great contact to your network don’t lose track of them. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 5 to10 strategic relationships that you’re always nurturing. Make sure you interact with them regularly and that you’re bringing value to the relationship. A beneficial connection is one that serves both parties involved, so you’ll want to take time every so often to re-evaluate your network, your needs, and perhaps even the needs of the people you’ve formed a connection with.

If you find that someone isn’t bringing value or just isn’t a good fit for your business, then it might be time to shift your focus more towards contacts that will help your network grow. You don’t want to burn bridges in the process, but always be mindful of your objectives. Remember the goal is to build strategic relationships that will help your business grow.

 

Networking Your Online Business

 

If you are running your business online, then it only makes sense to build your network through social media. These days it’s a must, if you hope to get noticed by your peers and customers. However, to achieve the best results it’s important to approach it properly. Take time to understand all the benefits of each different social network and focus on the ones that are the best match for your business.

– Who’s Your Audience?

The first place to start is by finding out which network your audience uses the most. Do they like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn? Maybe they are more into YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat. Think about the leaders in your industry. Check out their social profiles. Once you know where they are you can begin connecting with them.

Start by getting involved in groups that include people you’d like to build relationships with. For professional networking, the best places to participate in groups are on LinkedIn and Facebook.

If they like Twitter, then join some Twitter chats. These are generally at a set time and during the chat, you’ll use a hashtag that identifies the chat and shows your participating in the conversation.

There are several ways you can find twitter chats. Using sites like TweetReports or Twubs can make the job a little easier. You can also host a twitter chat, where you set up the time and hashtag, and invite others to join in.

Tip: you can register your hashtag on Twubs to get more participants.

If you’d like to know more about Twitter chats here is a post from Hootsuite that can help: https://blog.hootsuite.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-twitter-chats

As you participate in groups and chats keep note of the people you might like to connect with one-on-one. then follow or friend them, so you can connect with them and begin developing a working relationship.

– Participate frequently

You’ll want to post and comment on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to include a set time in your schedule for social networking. For example, you may want to spend an hour in the morning posting or commenting or maybe split that up into shorter blocks of time throughout the day. It may take some time to find the perfect schedule for your business, but once you do it will become a part of your daily routine.

– Offer value

To get the best results always offer something of value to your network as opposed to always asking for something. Don’t join in just to sell. Always keep in mind that the whole point of networking on social media is to be social. This means you must interact and engage with your connections. Don’t start by asking them to do or buy something, instead see what you can do for them, be helpful and informative.

– Track your progress

Know what kind of posts are getting the most interaction and what time you’re posting them. This will help you connect better with your audience by knowing what they like to see and when they’re most likely to see it.

Social networking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It offers fast and affordable ways to build relationships with people in your industry, just remember it’s a two-way street. The goal is to create a highly interactive community that can help you grow your business, so be sure to give if you hope to receive.