I love going to networking events. So much so, in fact, that I’m actively engaged in several such groups. Some of those groups are specifically for finding new connections through a strong, like-minded network of high-level business men and women. In others, I get to help others (usually new business owners), discover the joys of networking through various mentoring programs.
The point is, though, that networking is an amazing tool. It’s one that’s highly underutilized, actually.
We all secretly (or not so secretly) hope that our business, company, or idea becomes the next viral sensation. But how does your company get enough traction so that it can have any dream of going viral? Well, it’s through word of mouth.
It’s frequently shared that when a customer has a good experience with your company, they’ll go out and tell 1 or 2 of their best friends about the experience. On the other hand, when they have a less-than-stellar experience, they’ll tell 8 people. The word-of-mouth marketing that we all want is the first one, obviously!
As you’re first starting out, one of the best few ways to get that positive word of mouth vibe building is to go to a great variety of networking events: trade shows, meet and greets, local events, and more. From there, you can expand to statewide and nationwide events as you’re able.
Another great way to network is virtually. How do you do that? Well, two ways spring to mind immediately. The first (and most powerful way to virtually network) is through LinkedIn. Having a killer profile will help you attract more attention – and more attention for your cause, company, product, or ideas is always awesome. The second is through blogging. Now, the great thing about these two is that they go hand-in-hand.
How is that the case? Well, just look at where you’re reading *this* article from. It’s originally posted on my company’s blog – on my website. However, this kind of information is vital to my clients and colleagues, so it’s also going to be posted on my LinkedIn page as a post there. Why double post? Well, because it doesn’t get seen by everyone on either venue – so cross posting lets me reach a wider audience. And when I’ve got some great insights to share, you better believe I want more people to see what I’ve written!
Plus, having this all written down helps me at networking events. When people ask me a question, I can always direct them to my LinkedIn profile and posts – or my website and blog. That’s win-win marketing right there!