The digital advancement of business has opened up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs – whether it be reaching a wider audience to place your products in front of via websites and social media or allowing service providers to work with clients across the globe, a lot of has happened in the 21st century to allow entrepreneurs to grow and succeed like never before. One of the most valuable resources as an entrepreneur since the beginning has been their network, and as the digital age takes the world by storm, networking is still one of the most productive and beneficial activities an entrepreneur can do. Now that there are ways to connect with people worldwide and communicate at the tap of a finger, our networks can be vaster than ever before – but one thing a lot of new entrepreneurs seem to struggle with is finding the right people to network with. Where are your ideal network, and how do you connect with them?
As the founder of Solutions for Construction, I’ve been dedicated to making myself present on a number of high profile networking sites and social media platforms, successfully building rapport with a number of like-minded business people and creating a strong brand for both Solution for Construction and Myself as an individual. With great benefits to be learned from my experience so far, let’s look into why you should network, and where you can network.
So, why should I network as an entrepreneur?
When you think of business capital, you might think of funding and resources such as money, stock, skills. However, social capital (known as your network) is as equally important as the rest of these resources. Why? Your network has the potential to generate money, save you money and put you in touch with people who can be an asset to your business. It’s a bit like the old saying – who you know is just as important as what you know. Whether it be word of mouth referrals, important connections with service providers or complementary business owners or simply discounts for an old friend of a friend – a network is important in scaling your business and reputation.
Where do I network as an entrepreneur?
We’re all aware of LinkedIn, a very important tool used by professionals of all stages. Instagram and Facebook are also hidden gems for business networking! There are a few websites out there designed specifically for entrepreneurial networking, try these five below.
4. Meet Up
5. Slide Share
These websites range from B2B networking to finding traditional face-to-face business events in your area!
My Top Networking Tips
Before we leave you to jump into the deep end of networking, let’s see the top three tips for successful networking online as an entrepreneur.
Be honest about your strengths and weak points! Knowing exactly what you can and can’t do and playing on your major strengths is the best way to network as an entrepreneur, and people will be lining up out the door to hear what you’ve got to say about your area of expertise when they can see that you’re confident in it.
If you’re using a social media platform to network, make sure you show up every day. Whether it’s a comment on a post, a message to a new follower or simply an upload – consistently show up to remind everyone you’re there if they need to reach you.
You know the real life trick of relaying someone’s name at the end of a conversation? Online networking is much the same. If you can show you’ve paid attention to parts of a conversation that mattered most to the other person, they’ll automatically like you more. Remember, networking is as much about the other person as it is about you!
So, good luck fellow entrepreneurs. Why not connect with me on Facebook? See you around!