Networking is critical to getting your online business of the ground.
The age old saying “It is not about what you know; it’s about who you know.”
For your startup to be successful you need to understand the importance the above proverb holds in today’s age. It’s relevant and very crucial; as networking is one of the keys to spreading word, and attracting and learning via industry leaders. Some networking tips are as follows:
Take out time to attend industry specific events. It will not be possible to attend all of them but outline the most relevant and closer ones that you can attend.
Evaluate if you will meet top notch executives there or low level employees, this can help you in scheduling a prior meeting with people relevant to your interest.
Showing up and connecting face to face, will give you long term benefit and you never know you may find your next investor, employee or customer at one of these events. The events are also a great source of information. You may learn about any new regulations or changing industry trends.
Many businesses are shifting the gear towards social media. This is a great platform to launch your startup and make meaningful connections. It gives you a larger visibility than conventional channels with low cost.
Some Top Social Resources for Networking
Meetup.com: This site enables people with similar interests to group and arrange a local meeting point. It gives start up support, learning through others experiences, brainstorming and solutions to similar issues faced by others when people from similar background and objectives meet.
Ryze: This is a well-liked site. It enables people of the same industry to connect with each other and the clients. Those who use this site gain insight and knowledge by forming valuable connections.
LinkedIn: The world’s largest professional network. Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
One important thing as a startup owner to do is start blogging. This has many benefits:
- Connecting with fellow bloggers
- Following other writers who could write about you
- Gaining visibility and improving outreach
- Learning the pros and cons of effective writing
- Providing value to your customers via your content
Getting other writers to write about your product will provide credibility to your startup/product or service. It may be difficult to acquire a referral but not impossible.
Start with approaching young, emerging writers who write content closer to your product and follow them actively showing genuine interest. This will give you an edge when you approach them regarding your business.
If they remember you just a bit, they might open up your email and consider you in contrast to established writers who receive hundreds of write-up requests each day.
If you think as an owner of a startup you have enough already on your plate and networking will take the time away from building your business, this is not true. It will actually forge the connections for your startup which will go a long way into the future. It will help your startup grow.
Remember to follow-up on the connections you make and maintain a healthy network.