The Current Pivot to Online Networking

If networking was a part of the marketing strategy for your small business before 2020, you’ve seen big pivots and shifts this past year as connectors scramble to keep meetings happening and maintain their relevance during a pandemic. While it’s true that online networking looks quite a bit different than connecting in-person, months of testing, creative ideas, and innovation from caring and charismatic leaders have shown us that not only do online events work – but they have their own benefits and rewards. 

Finding the Right Networking Group

If you haven’t dipped a toe into networking yet, now is a great time to start. What better way to try out new groups than from the convenience of your computer or smartphone? We encourage networkers – old and new – to visit a variety of groups that are hosting online events to see what synergies may develop. 

Follow-Up Strategy

Just like with in-person networking, it’s more effective to have a follow-up strategy devised before you attend any new meetings to ensure that you are maximizing the connections you make online and nurturing those leads into actual relationships. Make it a point to set one-to-one appointments during these meetings with both potential collaborative partners AND any individuals that fit your ideal client avatar. A goal of even one meeting with someone new can lead to great things. Having a plan and being consistent are the keys to a successful follow-up strategy.

Make Connection Easy

Everyone is busy. Make connecting with new leads and partners easy by setting up a process for future connection. Create a Zoom account and offer to host a get to know each other meeting. Make it easy for them to schedule by setting up an online scheduling tool. 

Our advice is that you make the focus of that first one-to-one meeting relationship building, collaboration, asking deeper questions, and getting to know one another. Save the sales pitch to use after a relationship has been established and nurtured (unless they ask the right questions, of course!). The goal is to make new connections, establish yourself as an authority in your field, and explore opportunities that benefit everyone.

Looking for new groups? WEBO Network provides Professional Development Trainings, Masterminds and connection building opportunities on a regular basis, in a safe, virtual environment. I’m proud to lead the Southeast Denver chapter and would love the opportunity to introduce us to some fantastic women entrepreneurs and business owners!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Celebrate Your Client Retention Goals

Many small business owners set annual goals, but nowhere near as many make goals that relate to client retention. I think most people know by now that it costs more money to replace a client than to nurture and appreciate your current ones, but still businesses just don’t consider the importance of client retention efforts (often until it’s too late).

If you did set goals for client retention this year, take a moment to celebrate your thoughtfulness and follow through on those goals.

Then check out these ideas for client retention that you can implement this year:

Purposeful Partnerships

Have you been keeping your eyes open for possible collaboration opportunities with your clients? Teaming up and working on something together – whether it be a new launch or a community service endeavor – is a great way to celebrate your business relationship by creating something that makes the world better. Be certain to share your successes on your website and on social media.

Share Your Customer’s Success Stories

Hopefully, you have connected to your clients on social media already. If you are, then spend time each week reviewing their most recent posts, engaging with their content, and sharing their successes on your own social media feeds. It’s a fantastic way to show your clients that you appreciate them and what they do and shows your audience how dedicated you are to your clients at the same time.

Client Appreciation

The middle of the year is a great time to think about client appreciation, especially if you haven’t gotten around to showing your gratitude yet. This could look like many things:

  • Sharing how much you appreciate your client on social media.
  • Hosting an online or in-person appreciation event (promoting it through social media or creating an online group where everyone can connect and celebrate together).
  • Writing a handwritten note.
  • Sending a thoughtful gift.

It’s good to do something thoughtful, that puts your clients in the spotlight, at least once a year. If you haven’t had a chance yet, now is a great time to start planning how you will show your appreciation for their belief in you and your business.

Profits and your bottom line are important. Spreading awareness about your business is important. Finding new leads to keep your company growing is important. However, don’t take your attention away once a lead signs on the dotted line and becomes a customer. Client retention is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. Solid client relationships will pay dividends in the long run and are worth celebrating often.

By celebrating your clients on social media, you are showcasing to your potential customers what they can expect when doing business with you. Did you know that every social media platform is searchable? Each channel is its own search engine and also appears in the results of popular web browsers (like Google). Every word matters. Have you completely filled out your social media profiles? Is your messaging current? Have you optimized your opportunities to be found in search using your social media accounts? If not, now is the time to get your channels revamped! You’ll be amazed at the results. Book a discovery session here and ask us about Robust Profile Optimizations.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

Celebrate Your Networking Goals

Did you set goals for your networking efforts this year? If you want to get the most out of the time you spend networking for your business, it’s essential that you set goals for your efforts. In fact, we wrote all about setting networking goals here.

When you celebrate your wins on a regular basis it helps with confidence, positive thinking, forward momentum, and motivation. Knowing you on the right track with your efforts and that, even when things are tough you are achieving your goals, is a small business success technique.

Identify Your Personal Wins

Midyear is the perfect time to evaluate the various networking groups you participate in. Have you met any of this year’s networking goals? If yes, then celebrate your progress! It takes time and effort to participate at a level where you start seeing true results so, if you are, congratulations! Taking time to honor these small successes gives you the opportunity to evaluate what is and isn’t working, as well pausing to recognize the benefits of all your hard work.

Group Accomplishments

If you are struggling to identify any individual goals you’ve met with your networking groups so far, perhaps there are group accomplishments you could celebrate instead. Has the group grown this year? Did it pivot in an impactful way? Has attending the meetings helped you build an audience or a tribe? Most businesses join networking groups to find clients and make money but there can be other results from attending these events that may benefit your business.

Invite Others

Once you know that you have found a beneficial networking group that is helping you achieve your business goals, one way to celebrate is to share the group with others! Your audience will be motivated by your success and bolstering the group could bring additional benefits your way.

If you did select goals for business networking this year, now is a great time to pull out those goals and do a self-evaluation of your progress. Can you celebrate any networking wins right now?

Sharing your successes on social media allows others to connect with you, build rapport with you, and become motivated by your progress. Did you know that every social media platform is searchable? Each channel is its own search engine and also appears in the results of popular web browsers (like Google). Every word matters. Have you completely filled out your social media profiles? Is your messaging current? Have you optimized your opportunities to be found in search using your social media accounts? If not, now is the time to get your channels revamped! You’ll be amazed at the results. Book a discovery session here and ask us about Robust Profile Optimizations.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

How You Build Social Proof as an Influencer in Your Industry Through Social Media

What is social proof and why is it relevant to your small business?

Social proof is the moment when a lead, observer, or potential client comes across your social media marketing efforts and decides that you are a relevant, legitimate, trusthworthy source of information for your industry. We don’t get social proof just by deciding to become a business owner. It’s not automatic or guaranteed. There are things we must do to convince people that we know what we are talking about and are worth following.

Here are our best tips for building social proof so that you can become an influencer through social media:

Be Consistent

Many social media experts will tell you that it’s better to have zero presence on social media than it is to have an outdated or inconsistent presence. Why is that?

Because inconsistency sends a message to your audience that you aren’t available, you aren’t present, and you aren’t concerned about your followers.

It also makes you less relevant. Why follow your brand on social media when there are so many others maintaining an active presence?

Plus, inconsistency sends a message to the algorithms. The quickest way to lose traction with the social media platforms is to train them that you aren’t around. This means that your content isn’t as valuable and your posts will be shared less frequently.

Show Up (Both Offline and Online) 

If you are attending trade shows, workshops, conferences, or networking events – you should be posting pictures of yourself at the event, yourself with other brands or influencers, and keeping your audience updated on what you are doing to stay relevant, educated, and a mover or shaker in your industry. These sorts of posts create instead credibility and authority as your followers live vicariously through your business adventures!

Actually Influence Your Audience

Your audience is following you because they value your expertise and opinions. This means you should show up frequently, video is most effective, with recommendations for products and/or services, advice, industry news, and opinions related to your area of experience.

Whether you are teaming up with a power partner, becoming an affiliate for a product or service, collaborating with online or offline events, or simply being generous with your knowledge – influencing people means you have to stand for something.

 

Building social proof is as simple as making it a priority to consistently show up and build your authority in your industry. This automatically makes you more legitimate on social media while improving your ability to influence others. Being present, with a heart towards generous service and helping your audience as much as you can, gives people a reason to follow you, engage with your posts, and share your information with others.

 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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