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Friendly Gesture: Creating Online Business Networks

It's easy for you to make friends online, however, to get the right connections you require patience, persistence, and the use of a care...

It's easy for you to make friends online, however, to get the right connections you require patience, persistence, and the use of a careful selection criterion that makes sure you get the best on your team.

The first step is to identify people whom you know before, including family, school friends, and workmates.

By @Comic24Derick

But if you seek to make your circle bigger, you need to search for people who share your interests. To know them better, you begin to talk to them online, share ideas and probably meet them in person.

“Make friends online,” insist Emily Kate Pope, writing for Fundera. “Find other small business owners to connect with online. They can be from your industry or within your community. Follow them on social media (from your company’s account) to show interest in their business.”

People who share the same interests are easy to find, only if you are willing. Out there, some available platforms will enable you to get in contact at a personal level. When you start to follow them, it shows that you want to learn something from them.

“Even better, mention their business or product in a tweet or Facebook post. This creates goodwill among other entrepreneurs, and they might return the gesture in your favor,” added Pope in her article titled: 7 useful ways to successfully network with other small businesses.

If you mention another business by name, you are not only validating them, but you are also promoting them to get noticed. In turn, they are likely to do the same for you.
Attending business conferences is a good thing, only if you know you will gain something from the relevant experts attending the gathering. (Image:
Further to establishing online friendships, an entrepreneur must map out a strategy. “Now that you know what kind of people you want to meet, figure out what organizations and events they are likely to attend. Are there key industry trade groups whose conferences you should be attending?” said Rieva Lesonsky.

Attending business conferences is a good thing, only if you know you will gain something from the relevant experts attending the gathering. 

Understand what you are going to gain before you attend, and to this, you need to plan first. Study the topics on offer, and how they are going to transform you and your business.

In the US Small Business Administration writeup, Lesonsky said. “Would you benefit from local groups such as your Chamber of Commerce? How about specialized groups such as networking organizations for women or minority entrepreneurs?”

“There are also groups organized around specific topics, such as sales lead generating groups or finding financing,” Lesonsky added.

To give wight to her article for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Amy Clarke Sievers revealed to her readers, the benefits of following up, using the words of Michael Spence, a brand consultant.

“When you follow up, one of the “do’s” is to remind them of what you were talking about when you first met, so you can return to the warm conversation that this all started with,” says Spence.

“The second tip would be to have a goal when you have that follow-up conversation, and then state that at the beginning.” Always have a plan to track the ongoing progress. Enjoy when you become a topic of discussion, only then can you develop.

“Don’t make them guess about why you’re talking or meeting. Just put that out there upfront. If they’re talking to you, they want to help you, so you should have a clear ask so they can help you and address it in the shortest amount of time.”

Pope further says you must cross-promote. Have you considered the benefits of promoting a fellow entrepreneur’s business? This can be done in various ways as suggested by Pope. Partnerships bring the best out of business owners. Event planning, the exhibition is excellent to showcase your products and services.

“A great way to network with another small business is to partner with it. Like guest blogging, cross-promoting gets your brand in front of a new audience,” said Pope. “Cross-promoting could be anything from pooling your resources to sponsoring an event to bundling your products together.”

Not every group is relevant for you, so know whom to associate with.

“Seek relevant groups and connections,” declares Business Balls. “Identify and target groups and connections which are relevant to your aims and capabilities. Relevance can be according to several different things, for example: Geography, Size, Sector.”

Carefully examine your associates. Classify them according to your needs, location, or interests for maximum benefits.

Direct your needs towards the right people and business, you will reap the accurate benefits. If you know whom to target, your meetings are productive and will add value.

Business Balls added: “Social grouping (e.g., ethnic, gender, age, seniority, etc.). The more relevant your targeting of groups and contacts, then more useful your meetings and referrals will be.”

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