When it comes to growing your business, networking is by far the most important tool in the shed. But not everyone does it effectively. It’s not just about reaching as many people as possible; it’s also connecting with individuals whom you can collaborate with and create a value exchange. Here are some ways to network effectively:
Make a List
Write down all of the people you come in contact with throughout your day-to-day activities, then ask these individuals if they know someone involved in your industry/field – a referral from a mutual contact will improve your chances of connecting with someone. People also buy from people they trust. A recent study conducted with the National Harris Poll revealed that over 80 percent of Americans make purchases based on referrals. As your network grows, use a customer relationship management (CRM) system for recording various interactions, such as phone calls, email, and social media.
Use Social Media Regularly
With over 467 million users, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professional networking. Users can join groups, and give testimonials and recommendations, in order to build their profiles of professional experience. You should also have a professional-looking Facebook and Twitter account in order to keep up with, and share, the latest trends and topics in your industry.
Whether it’s the 2017 NC REALTORS ® annual conference, XCHANGE’17, or another event, meeting with large groups of like-minded professionals is a sure way to help grow your business. And a lot of the most opportunistic networking happens between the scenes! Use these helpful tips to make more intimate connections that go beyond the scope of small talk.
Create a Professional Website
It’s not enough to have just a business card these days. Having a professional website 1) improves your credibility, 2) allows you to reach millions of people and provide them with information on your specific skill set or service, and 3) works as an around-the-clock sales department providing all the information you have to offer to potential customers or clients.
Remember, networking is all about making lasting connections. Be sure to stay in touch with those you’ve interacted with. Writing a follow-up thank you letter or email is not a bad idea, either.