By Thomas Griffin, Co-Founder and President OptinMonster. Entrepreneurs, investors and software experts. Helping you become a better leader in your organization.
So, you’ve just started your own business, and now you want to grow quickly by expanding your user base, boosting sales, and increasing your overall conversion rate. But you don’t know what to do.
There are several ways to do this. However, the most effective way is to build a strong business network. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, having a strong business network is essential to achieving the success you want. It can help you provide lifeline support, provide solutions to your problems, and even help you discover new opportunities from which you can benefit greatly.
Let’s discuss why networking is important to your business and how to build a strong network for your business.
Why is networking important to your business?
Many business owners don’t think networking is important when they first start their business. In doing so, they fail to realize that having a strong network is extremely important in laying the foundation for a successful business.
If you’re not sure how to do this, here are a few ways you can benefit from having a strong business network.
1. Generate leads.
Networking is nothing but building professional relationships and making relevant connections that can help you achieve your long-term goals. Generating leads and referrals for your business is a lot easier when you have a good network of people.
Your contacts keep you in touch with potential clients or customers, which ultimately helps you grow and increase conversions.
2. Establish linkages for partnerships and joint ventures.
Another benefit of having a strong business network is that it helps in introducing new contacts. These contacts may not be your direct leads, but they may be looking for new opportunities for joint ventures, partnerships or simply referrals.
3. Keep abreast of industry trends.
When you have a good network, you can keep abreast of industry trends and news. This can be beneficial to you as you learn about new opportunities or potential threats to your business. This can help you plan your strategy accordingly and stay ahead of your competitors.
4. Have a competitive advantage.
A strong network can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. When you have a good network, you have access to information and resources that your competitors may not have.
Plus, when your business is new, you’re constantly looking for ways to expand your reach and build brand awareness. Your professional network can help you achieve these goals easily by introducing you to their contacts.
Now let’s take a look at some great features that can help you network professionally.
How do you build a strong business network?
As mentioned earlier, networking is all about building relationships. But these relationships didn’t develop in a day. It takes consistent effort, time and good strategy. So, here are some great strategies that can help you build a strong business network.
1. Leverage social media.
Social media has made it easier for people to reach anyone they want to connect with. So why not use it for some networking purposes too?
You can start by finding some key professionals in your field that you admire and respect. Connect with them on social media and engage with them through online conversations and relevant comments.
This helps them know that you share the same interests and helps you connect with them. But that can’t happen in a day or two. You must be consistent with your efforts to achieve your goals.
2. Attend industry events and networking events.
Attending industry events and networking events is a great way to network with other professionals. This could be a trade show, conference, seminar, etc. Events like these can help you get known and let people know you work in the same industry.
But don’t just wait for someone to come up to you and start a conversation. Take the initiative to introduce yourself and let people know about your work. In doing so, don’t just focus on yourself and your business. Also try to understand others.
Another point to keep in mind here is to gather the contact details of the people you meet at these events. This can help you follow up with them after the event, keep in touch and strengthen your bond.
3. Get involved with relevant organizations.
A very effective way to build a strong professional network is to get involved with organizations related to your field. Once you do, become an active member by volunteering or serving on their committees.
You can also attend events they host and connect with other members of the organization through networking events and social media.
By doing all of this, you can use these organizations as resources for networking and professional development.
4. Offer your expertise.
Whether by writing articles, giving presentations or teaching courses, sharing your knowledge through your expertise can help you build a strong reputation and attract new contacts. This is one of the most effective ways to build credibility for yourself and your business, which in turn helps build trust.
By focusing on building a strong business network, you can easily create opportunities for collaboration, facilitate the exchange of ideas and information, and provide a forum that fosters trust and mutual respect.
Additionally, networking can help identify potential business partners and customers and create a sense of community and belonging. So, if you haven’t focused on creating a strong network, start now.