By Nicole Lininger
A very important way to improve and promote your brand is through networking. Networking, by definition is the act of interacting with others in order to establish contacts and exchanging information to benefit your business. In order to network to your fullest potential, it is important to exhaust all resources, including face-to-face interactions, social media, and follow ups.
Develop Contacts That Will Further Your Business
Ultimately, the goal of networking with other professionals is to establish reputable contacts. A great way to meet such contacts is to attend events such as trade shows. Trade shows provide a forum to meet companies, investors and other businesses. Do not be afraid to use a trade show to build your business’s network.
It is important to present yourself to your new contacts as a reliable connection. One way to do so is through the design and content of your business card. Your business card should be attractive, easy to read and include up-to-date contact information. Once your business card is in the hands of your new connection, he or she will have the means to maintain a relationship with your brand. This will help establish contacts that can last longer than a few short months.
Utilize Social Media
When it comes to modern-day networking, it is crucial to use the power of social media. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn provide virtual forums to network with other professionals. Make sure your business or brand has an account with these social media platforms as a way to engage other professionals on a day-to-day basis.
Once you create your business’s social media account, you can use it to build your network. Captivating posts are key in building a network through social media. Publish posts that investors, clients and customers will want to share on their timeline for potential future contacts to see. The more comments or shares your post receives, the more likely an important contact will stumble upon your brand.
Follow Up with Contacts
Once you have established important connections, you must maintain those connections in order to truly benefit from your networking efforts. If you have developed a relationship with a contact, do not waste your time and your new contact’s time by letting that relationship fizzle. Be sure to follow up with your business connections from time to time in order to maintain your company’s brand visibility. An occasional email or phone call reminds your contact of your brand, as well as lets them know that their relationship as a contact is valued.
Networking is an important part to building a business or brand. By establishing contacts, using social media and following up with contacts, you can maximize your business opportunity through networking.