Networking online is all about cultivating relationships. By connecting and collaborating with others, you have the opportunity to find people that you resonate with.
Over the past year, I’ve personally had the opportunity to network with individuals that I consider being ‘influencers’. These people encouraged and influenced me to keep pushing along and not give in. We’ve had virtual meetings where we have swapped ideas, shared family life stories or even burned the midnight oil hashing out last minute projects. Networking gives you the opportunity to expand your circle into people that ‘get’ you and what you do.
But do you know what else it brings...it brings leads to your business.
Finding Other Bosses
Facebook has many perks, but my personal favorite is all the variety of groups that you can become a member of. You can find a group for just about everything, especially business groups.
For business purposes, you can search for groups that are specific to your niche or maybe a group specific to mompreneurs. These groups will become networking GOLD for your business, but you must be dedicated to contributing to the success of the group.
What does ‘contribute to the success of the group’ even mean? I’m going to dig into that later.
Networking with other business owners gives you the opportunity for several things:
You provide a solution to their problem which in turn can turn them into a potential client with the proper follow-up.
Collaborating with business owners can expose your business to their audience. So many owners have already established email lists, podcast followers, social media followers, etc.
You can be ‘the person’ that gets tagged in certain topic group posts. This means people have established you as an expert and consider you the master of that particular topic.
People can also search the group for your content.
Value...It’s such a small word with a large purpose. Value for networking purposes is the quality of the content that you’re willing to give within networking groups.
Everyone is searching for valuable content...content that inspires them, gives them a solution, provides an excellent tip, etc. Value-based content will establish you as an expert in your industry. PLUS, individuals who are searching the group for information will come across your post, even if it’s been a while since you posted.
When you’re posting in these groups, make sure you follow each group’s rules. Each group has a set of rules for the purpose of eliminating spammy/salesly posts. Most groups encourage people to provide valuable content for their group followers. Make sure you read all the Pinned Posts or Group Description before posting anything; I don’t want you removed before you even start. Some of these groups have daily prompts that I encourage you to comment on, even if it’s a something not business related.
You’re building a relationship within the group with the followers of said group.
Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
When I’m networking in groups, I always love to click over to view someone’s social media profile and business page. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed people don’t have their personal social media profiles set up where we can find them.
If you’re networking on Facebook, you need to optimize your introduction. You should add your website and a small brief statement about who you are. Make sure you add your Facebook Business Page linked to your employment area. Then, in your About section, make sure you add links to your website and other social media platforms. In these sections, you also need to set these settings to public. I’m all about keeping certain things private, but these sections give people the opportunity to seek you out on your business profile.
Yes, you can say I’m snooping when I’m viewing someone’s profile, but I want to discover what this person does. There have been clients that I should have never worked with, but I didn’t do my homework before and search these individuals out first.
My networking tribe is simply the best group of fellow bosses! Each of us come from different backgrounds, provide different services, and network for each other.
We are a Networking Tribe!
What does this tribe do? We monitor groups and tag one of our networking partners. We are able to cover more ground by working together. If it’s not a taggable post, we either provide a link or screenshot.
By working with your tribe, you can become a strong group of bosses that has created a unique opportunity...the opportunity to offer a one-stop-shop for all your client’s needs. You’re essentially keeping it in-house and your group benefits from it.
Every single day, you need to schedule about one hour to network in your groups. Don’t overwhelm yourself and join hoards of groups, instead pick five to start out with. After getting in the habit, you will love what networking brings to your business.