There are innumerous ways of networking and no one way works for all. However, there are certain networking principles that one must know and various techniques that one can select. One of the most important points to consider before embarking on networking techniques is to take a look at the networking mistakes. There are few strict don’ts you must remember
Ignoring referrals: Following up with networking contacts plays a significant role and must be followed up as speedily as possible. Any delay conveys indecisiveness and disinterest.
Pushing products or services: It is very important to understand the difference between networking and direct selling; both are different from one another.
Respect the business relationship: Being upfront and honest in business relationships is the key to success. Abusing the relationship might sabotage the firm’s reputation.
Limiting networking to internet: Give a human touch to the online network with more traditional face-to-face meetings.
Letting introversion in the way of networking: Follow the saying “Practice makes a man perfect”, as continuous practice can help introverted individuals network confidently.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list; continuous interaction with business professionals helps develop individual social strategies that can work best as per the situation.
Nonetheless, in today’s digital era, the most preferred way of networking is through online platforms. One can find several ways to use online social networks to market business and network.
- The foremost thing to do when adopting the online mode of networking is to make optimum use of the World Wide Web. Before boarding the online networking bandwagon, it is important to first research about one’s own market. Marketers can use abundant resources the internet provides to listen to their community and learn what the target market wants and needs. After a profound phase of research, the marketing managers need to create competence. In order to initiate sound networking, it is important to express oneself properly and polish the brand, becoming an expert in the field with the help of social networks. Participating in various online conversations is another way of effective networking like speaking up in mailing lists, discussion forums or blog to reach out to hundreds and thousands of people. Researching and analyzing the knowledge gained on the web helps creates a perception. This should be utilized to say something useful, original and most importantly truthful which further gets networkers quoted and connected to more audiences.
- Building and reinforcing the brand plays a pivotal role in networking. Every signature in an e-mail or on the Web, and every profile online, is an opportunity to reinforce one’s brand. Apart from that, being open to the audiences holds the key. Networked markets demand openness from the companies who want to sell into those markets. Organizations should have more people participating virtually than just professional marketers.
- Another important feature of online networking is ‘Micro targeting’. If a marketer has identified a particular narrowly-defined group to target, the task becomes easier as they can identify a virtual community where they are already gathered. For example, if a marketer is selling consulting services to independent bookstores, it would be a good idea to create a virtual community for the target pool and watch it grow.
- Ignite word-of-mouth buzz. If a business has a new product or service, word-of-mouth-satisfied customers talking about the service or products is one of the most effective ways to establish the competence of one’s business. Word-of-mouth flows through social networks; Leaders of networks are excellent lighthouse customers.
Many of these tips are not organized networking activities and many of these networking situations are simply opportunities to meet people relevant to the business. However, it is important to remember that networking isn’t the goal; it is the means to the goal. The goal is always to grow one’s business or career.
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