Learning to network is one of the most important skills that should be developed as a business owner. Word of mouth referrals still remain one of the best ways for businesses to grow, so it's important you provide good customer service. Referrals can come from clients, referral business partners, or those in the media industry such as podcasters and YouTubers. Building your network on social media is easy to get started with. Some of our favorite platforms for networking are LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
The networking power of LinkedIn
The networking power of LinkedIn is hard to match by competing social media platforms. LinkedIn is a must-have platforms for professionals! LinkedIn is a professional networking space for all things work and community. You can easily connect with people in your target audience, people in your industry, and people looking for work through direct messaging. When trying to decide who to connect with, think about people who could fill the gaps in your network. Is there someone who could use your services? Without being pushy, kindly message them to keep you in mind if they are ever looking for services like yours. Take it a step further and offer a trial run or a discount. Does another company offer services that you don’t offer and vice versa? Could you collaborate with each other? If so, send a message to have a virtual meeting to evaluate if the partnership would be a good fit.
Remember, if you are recommending someone, make sure they run their business with integrity to prevent putting your reputation on the line.
Building connections on Instagram
Next on the list of powerful networking platforms is Instagram. Every person on Instagram is a real human being. Instagram has cracked down on regularly verifying identities, which makes them unique. If you are on instagram often enough, you may get asked to verify your email, phone number, and even to scan your face periodically. Yes, Instagram is now scanning faces to verify identities before you can login!
You can find an infinite number of podcasters and YouTubers eager to have you on their show. Try searching for podcasts related to your industry and see what comes up for top posts. Take your time in exploring, following, and engaging with the podcaster’s account. When you are ready, send them a message telling them how you appreciate their work, that you would love the opportunity to be on their show, and that you are hoping to connect via phone or zoom to see if you would be a good fit. Be sure to offer value by offering a free service or product. If being on their podcast works out, come prepared with a discount code for them and their followers. Don’t be shy with your messaging! You may be pleasantly surprised how responsive, eager, and kind people can be.
Engaging in groups on Facebook
Posts are not meant to be posted and then abandoned. Your posts will be lost in the mix if you are not working with them daily. For example, share your posts into local networking groups to build your organic post reach and engagement. Find Facebook groups that do daily activities to help support each other’s account in the way of likes, comments, follows, etc. The more people that engage with your post means that Facebook is going to show your post to more people. Every bit of engagement counts. Another pro tip is to find business networking groups that allow for “In Search of Ads” aka “ISO” ads. When somebody is posting an ISO ad you can share your links if relevant.
As a business owner, the success of your business is ultimately up to you, so take initiative with growing your network. Networking is all about being consistent with your outreach efforts- and it's likely that finding the right business partnership, being on the right podcast, and responding to the right ISO ad will take a lot of time. When you find the right network you can expect to embrace an abundance of business opportunities. Integrity, responsiveness, and honesty should be at the forefront of your mind when networking. You want to give as much value as you hope to receive from someone.
Building your network is time consuming and is something that should be done weekly if not daily. Our team here at Wild Optix Designs LOVES to help build networks and we have been helping people for years. Check out some of our social media packages to get started! We know what it takes to help your brand get the attention it deserves through daily engagement.