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.
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!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.