One of my favorite relationship marketing strategies is networking.
While you may do the bulk of networking offline, there are many opportunities online for networking to build relationships. And by networking online, I mean actually positioning yourself in face to face situations. This is as if you were offline, except that you may be hundreds and even thousands of miles apart.
Social Media for Networking to Build Relationships
Social Media allows you to meet people who share your interests. It provides opportunities for you to reach out to influencers and others who you may not have been able to connect with in offline settings.
Facebook and LinkedIn Groups allow you to connect with others easily as you can introduce yourself and participate in discussions. Be careful that when you’re doing your introductions, you’re not attempting to sell what you do as this will be a huger turnoff for those who are just meeting you.
What if while social media is great to make connections, you prefer face to face connections rather than just speaking with people through writing.
There are many opportunities to do this. For example, Facebook Messenger allows you to make phone calls to just about anywhere in the world.
One of my email subscribers lives in Ghana, West Africa, and he asked me a question through email. We both got on Messenger and I was able to speak with him directly and answer his questions satisfactorily. It did not cost me a dime.
Who could you reach out to this week through Facebook Messenger, Skype, What’s App, or any of the other various methods?
What if you were to decide that each week you’d reach out to five people and schedule a phone call with at least two of them? That would be a great way you could be networking to build relationships, wouldn’t it? Of course, you’d need to make sure of your goals and factor in the amount of time you devote to this aspect of marketing.
Online Networking Groups
In addition, there are specific Networking Groups online that meet on services like Zoom.us. This service allows you to see each other, speak as a group, and speak directly to each other. As a result of participating in these online networking groups, I’ve been interviewed multiple times, done presentations that have led to other opportunities, and been featured. Could you find some of these groups to join and expand your network?
Importance of Follow-Up
Just as follow-up is key to networking offline, it’s important to networking online. As you discover commonalities, or you discover that someone is having a challenge, take the time to send them a follow-up note, or make a phone call to demonstrate that you’re interested in connecting further. You can simply let them know you care and that you’re available for them if they want to talk.
By taking advantage of networking to build relationships, you provide the space to develop the know, like and trust factor. This is important to creating strong relationships with your network, offline and online.