Networking has a tremendous impact on the growth of your business. Especially in the beginning, when your business or start-up is in its infancy.
You might have heard that as long as your service or product is good – it doesn’t matter who you know.
That’s not wholly true.
You need to know your strengths, your unique selling points, and how you’re different from your competition. But once you have that down, you need to start developing connections in your field. If you have your elevator pitch down and approach the right people, new opportunities will start opening up to you and your business.
If networking is not a priority already, you need to consider how much that might be costing you.
What’s the point of networking?
Often it’s not about what you know – but who you know. Ask any founder, CEO, or salesperson, what they want. The answer is most likely “more clients/customers!”
When I was first starting out, I quickly learned that the best method for getting more people to buy your product or service is by generating traffic to your website. Your website is often your shop, your calling card, and your homebase, rolled into one.
That’s why you need networking. Simply knowing people and being known, can lead more traffic to your site – and generate sales. But it’s even better if you can actively wield your network into linking to your site via their blog, social media, or website. If you don’t know people with a proper web presence in your field, it’s time to get started.
There’s multiple ways to get high-authority links from trustworthy sites. Especially if you know your product or service well – and your competition. Take a look at your competitors’ sites:
- Do they do something – that you can do better?
- Are they well-connected? If so, follow those connections and learn who you need to contact for partnerships or co-projects
- Are they missing something, or someone, important? Learn to speak to the relevant groups, your competitors are ignoring
Another method for generating traffic or leads is via SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That requires a bit more know-how, but ultimately it’s about knowing your clients or customers and answering their questions on your site.
Social selling or social telling?
The easiest way to build trust and connections is by giving people something – even before they buy your product. This method helps you get in front of the cue by deploying your resources in the company tactically and building a credible and expertise-laden platform.
That can be done by creating solid content, such as articles, guides, videos, and so forth. Good content will not only do wonders for your SEO, but it’ll also generate its own Word of Mouth.
Once your site has been retooled and filled to the brim with useful content, it’s time to take a look at how you can direct potential clients and customers to the site. You could for example start looking for guest blogging opportunities from the network you’re building, which’ll raise your sites placements on the keywords and topics you’re an expert in.
More traffic will also help you gain even more visibility. More visibility will lead to more networking opportunities, which in turn will increase your visibility. If you’re diligent and always on the lookout for networking opportunities, your efforts can quickly start to reinforce themselves.
That means more sales, more clients, and ultimately an even larger network. That’s why my advice to you is fundamentally quite simple:
Always be networking.