When you first think of networking, you may imagine face-to-face interactions at lunch-ins, happy hours, and dinners. But there is so much more to it. Online networking opportunities take these conversations to a whole new level and can seriously benefit your business. Here’s what you need to know about online networking for your business and how to effectively build connections.
Benefits of Online Networking
Digital networking is a popular trend that many businesses are doing on a daily basis. Since many teams are working in hybrid offices, reaching out to new connections virtually is that much easier. Whether you’re sending messages from your couch or conference room, the same principles apply for networking for both online and in-person interactions. The main goal of these is to build genuine relationships with people who might become your referral partners, business partners, or even future clients. Here are some additional benefits you may not be aware of.
No Travel Required
Traditional networking requires businesses to drive, or sometimes even fly, to a specific location to meet. Online networking, however, eliminates the hassle of booking extra time to get from place to place–and lets you cut down on travel costs. Businesses that focus on virtual networking save an average of 30% of their travel expenses. Virtual meetings can be more economical and can be set up in a matter of minutes. You also don’t have to be limited geographically. Online networking will allow you to meet with any potential partner anywhere in the world. With this benefit in mind, you can quickly build out a global network without ever leaving your office.
Online networking is not limited to just Zoom video calls. Networking also includes building your reputation through guest blog writing, podcast interviews, and even contributing to forums. You can find these opportunities by reaching out to industry leaders or publications and pitching a blog topic or podcast interview. You can also tap into LinkedIn groups to communicate with others in your industry and share your expert advice on posts in those groups.
Between securing the location, speakers, promotion, and food, in-person networking events can be very overwhelming for many businesses to create. Online networking events are the solution. Hosting your own event allows you to set the tone for all of your potential connections, and lets you share your knowledge and expertise. Many businesses create these events to be specific to certain topics that are popular in the industry or important to people they can connect with. Examples of these include women’s summits, location-based networking events, and even one-on-one coaching sessions. The online event possibilities are endless. All you need to get started is a topic and a target audience.
The last 18 months has been a challenge for many businesses. Online networking can help you build connections with other business owners that may be experiencing the same challenges. With these relationships, you can exchange advice and support to overcome common obstacles and even develop collaborations or long-term partnerships. Your community can give you the mental and physical support you need at every stage of your business, from others who have worn the same shoes. Many of these connections will also turn into referral partners, who can help keep your business going strong long-term.
Embracing online networking can make a huge impact on your business. The key to being successful with your networking efforts is to create a strategy that helps you meet the right people in the right places. Being strategic about how you spend your networking time can make the difference between a small network and a community that supports the growth of your business.
38% of professionals find it difficult to maintain their business relationships.
Do you want to start networking for your business, but aren’t sure how to get started? We develop a fully customized strategy based on your unique needs and help you build the connections that are important to your business.
CLICK HERE to learn more about KWSM online reputation management.