Being in business has always been about having the best connections. It’s possible to spend decades building up the right relationships, and cultivating and nurturing them can take a lot of work. No matter your industry or sector, having the right connections can make it much easier to run your business. From professional advice to more streamlined distribution centers, building up that contact list can be a game-changer for any company. That’s why networking is so important. However, how you network is as important as committing to it in the first place, so if you’re looking for smarter ways to build your business network, then here are the three keys areas that you should look at.
There’s no understating how important social media is when it comes to networking, and if you are looking for ways to connect with others in your field, then you should certainly start with Twitter. Use the search function to find relevant accounts and follow industry-relevant hashtags. Then take time to interact with those accounts and contribute to discussions that involve your areas of expertise. Not only does this allow you to link up with relevant people, but it also provides you with a starting point for real-world conversations should you meet at the next industry event. Never underestimate the potential of social media when it comes to forging new business relationships.
How to network at trade events
Trade shows and fairs are a fantastic opportunity for networking, but it’s very easy to do in the wrong way. Consider how many people are at your event and how many of them are doing the same as you. If you’re doing nothing more than handing out plain business cards in the hope of getting an email sometime in the future, then you’ve wasted your time. Instead, you need to a) make sure you are remembered, and b) follow through with your connection. When it comes to making an impression, a good way to do this is by having a more unique business card. Handing over something that not only has all of your contact details clearly visible but is also unique will go a long way to encouraging further communication. Using cards like those available from Metal Kards will not only help you stand out but also make it far more likely that your potential contact will contact you after the event is over. Make an impact. You do want to be remembered after the event. Your business card is a lasting reminder of you, but when you realize just how many get passed around at network events, it can be difficult to remember which card belongs to which person. Use unique business cards, and you’re far more likely to be remembered after the fact.
If you’ve handed out all of your business cards and then carried on with your day, then you’ve missed out on the reason for your networking in the first place. Following up with the contacts that you’ve made is the only way to start really building a relationship with them. When your networking event is over, gather all of the contact details that you have collected and make it a task to contact those that are relevant to you, or could prove useful in the future. Failing to do so means that you have wasted your time and your money.
Ideally, you want to create a pool of contacts that can help you, whether that help is in the form of developing new ideas, new sources of feedback, or even further introductions to new customers or suppliers. Remember that business relationships are often a case of give and take, but with the right networking strategies, your business could soon have access to a much wider range of resources