Monday, 23 July 2012

How Networking Can Improve Your Business

While increasing your public image through online marketing is vital in making your online store a booming success, you must make sure that you don't overlook the substantial benefits to offline face-to-face social networking.

Social networking events allows you to meet new clients, engage in person with your current customers and meet other business owners in the local area. 

Not only does it allow you to interact with people, it also allows you to give your business a face. Creating a public personal identity will greatly increase your business's reputation. This will increase the levels of trust in your current customers and new people you will network with, making it much more likely that they will visit your online business in the future.

What should you do?

When attending one of these events, there are a number of things you should look to do:

Meet as many people as you can - The more people you introduce yourself and your business to the better. You are there to not only promote yourself, but also your business. The more people you meet, the better it will be for your business.

Get involved - If you are attending an event which has a business presentation or a public speaker, look to get involved. Simply asking a few questions at Q & A session at the end is a great way to get some attention from everyone in the room. If you do ask a question, be sure to first introduce yourself and the name of your business.

Exchange contact details - While meeting people is a great way to get your name out there, to create substantial links you need to exchange contact details. These details should include your name, your business and how people can contact you or access your site. The easiest way to exchange this information is to have some business cards created before you attend the event.

Make use of these contacts - Gathering numerous business cards off people and then leaving them under a stack of papers somewhere in your office is not going to help your business progress at all. You need to follow up on this initial contact to ensure some sort of professional relationship is created. This could simply involve following them on Twitter or Facebook. Doing this simple task not only develops the professional relationship, but it also opens up your information all the people who also follow this individual.

However, while local networking events are important in helping a small business survive and grow, never forget about the importance of online networking through social media sites and other online platforms such as forums. Only when you are able to use both online and offline effectively will your business start to gain a substantial reputation.

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