Online business networking looks like it will be here to stay.
Our online business networking meetings are far more than just promoting your business. They are about creating support around you and your business.
Support is what drives your business forwards alongside your passion and desire. Without support, it is much harder to create and maintain a successful business.
Since the lockdown, the support people have shown each other at Mums UnLtd has been amazing. The online networking meetings have been a safe space to share and express feelings. Our online meetings have been a real opportunity to connect and share business ideas. Expert speakers have shared tips and information that have helped create ideas and tasks that need to be done.
Here are more ideas about how you can support each other.
One to ones- a must if you are doing online business networking!
These can still be carried out online. During each meeting, you should be taking notes when each person shares what they do and what help they need. Then at the end, look at the list. Pick two people and contact them for a one to one.
A one to one is not about selling your business. These meetings are about finding out more about each other.
Here are some ideas of questions to ask -
- What made you start your business?
- What did you do before?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Why types of clients/businesses make good connections for you?
- What social media do you use?
- Are there any opportunities for collaborations?
Follow people you meet on social media. Make a point of commenting and liking posts, and if you feel these might be relevant to your audience, share posts.
Connect in LinkedIn, which will improve your network and may create more opportunities for you. Each person you connect to on LinkedIn, their connections become your 2nd-degree connection. Meaning more people will be easier to reach.
Could you interview someone in your Facebook group or page? This is an excellent way of supporting someone and sharing valuable information to your followers.
If you meet someone on one of the online meetings that you think has some great expertise for your audience, ask them to write you a guest blog. This is useful for your website and for them. Good for SEO as this creates backlinks to both sites. We have just run a blogging competition. Read the winning blog from Victoria Bell here
If you need help with a new service or ideas and feedback about your business, create a survey and ask the people you meet online networking to help you. This feedback can be invaluable and really help to grow and shape your business. Use Survey Monkey to create your survey.
Who can you help?
When listening to what people are sharing, keep in mind people you know who may make a good connection. People in similar industries often make good connections. Think whom you know that would make a great introduction.
The more people you help, the more people will help and support you. Good deeds produce positive effects!
Connect with people on LinkedIn - this is a great site for online networking.
Ask for help!
There is no harm in asking for advice about a certain issue instead of promoting your business during your one-minute introduction. There is usually someone at the meeting who can help or knows someone who can!
If your business is not trading right now, then others may be able to help you with ideas on what you can do to keep in touch with customers. Or ideas to keep your motivation going!
Maybe you need to share an issue you are experiencing. The online meetings are a safe space to share anything you need help and support with.
Who could you collaborate with? Online courses are the norm at the moment. There might be people you meet online networking that you feel have a business that would work in great synergy with yours. It is crucial to set boundaries and expectations for this to work. Think out the project and how you can execute it, so both parties are happy with the results. Online events and courses are a great way of capturing new clients and creating a buzz around your business.
Guest speaker slots
Could your expertise be useful to others? Volunteer to be a guest speaker and share your knowledge! Online networking meetings mean you do not have to stand up in front of people; something many people find daunting. Prepare your talk correctly and do not wing it! Create a slide show of your salient points and a handout you can email afterwards. This looks professional and means greater reach. Try and create interactive talks which get people thinking! Or tips which can add real value.
Online business networking is not dissimilar to face to face events. It still offers the same opportunities.
It is still vital to continue to build and maintain support around your business. Whether you are trading or not is irrelevant. It would be best if you continued to hold your place in the market in your area. Visibility is important, and maintaining a presence is essential.