As a business owner, you’ll know how important networking is. For most of you, it’s probably a crucial part of your business, as it helps you stay in regular contact with other business owners and can help you find new potential customers and suppliers. During normal times, you’ll probably meet up with some of your network regularly at breakfast meetings and other events. You can’t do that right now of course, but it’s still really important to keep the focus on networking during these far from normal times.
Look at your online network
Most of the people in your network will already be online and you’ll probably be connected. However, now could be a good time to check how up-to-date your network is by going through your LinkedIn and Facebook connections. Are you connected to or friends with the right people? If not, find their profiles and see if you can get connected.
You can also take this opportunity to tidy up your own profile too. Uploading a more professional (or more recent) photo is a good place to start, as is refreshing your details. Make sure your work information is up-to-date too, so people understand exactly what you do and how you can help them.
Use social media smartly
Twitter and Facebook can be great networking tools if you know how to use them properly. Most influential people in your industry will more than likely use them, so follow them and see what they’re up to. These platforms are also a good way to talk to other people in your industry and build a professional support network. Engage with them too by retweeting, liking, and commentating on their posts, so they start to feel like they know you.
Facebook also has forums and groups you can join that could be useful. As well as helping to grow your network, you might see the occasional job or referral posted too. Just remember to keep things professional when online in a business capacity.
Attend virtual networking meetings
If you’re already a member of a professional networking group, it’s probably already holding virtual meetings using Zoom or similar software. This type of networking can be just as effective as face-to-face networking (you’ll just have to provide your own refreshments), so try and attend as many as you think you need to. You might also be able to find specialist meetings or seminars for your industry through professional bodies, which can help develop your network further and improve your knowledge.
Check in with people
Once you’ve sorted out your profile and are happy with your network, make an effort to say hello once in a while. People will appreciate you taking the time to check on their health and wellbeing, especially during a crisis, and will remember you doing this when things are back to normal.
If you’re interested in networking, please take a look at BaseConnect, where you can register for a series of online business events run by The Base, a Grade A office building in Warrington town centre and their expert partners.