Digital marketing is useless without personal connections and word-of-mouth referrals. But is networking played out or ripe for you to take advantage of? It all depends on your approach.
How does networking help my marketing?
- Get to know people in a more casual setting.
- Face and name recognition can be as important as brand recognition.
- Build a relationship with people before you begin selling.
- You might also meet people who can help your business.
What kind of events can I network at?
- Panel discussions
- Volunteer opportunities
- Business happy hours
- Lunch & learns
What are some networking best practices?
- Attend events where you know who the audience will be.
- Focus on in-depth conversations with a few people.
- Are business cards still worth bringing? Yes, if you have them.
- Digital business cards are cool, but they break my process.
- I like receiving cards more than giving them.
- Follow up with people after you meet them—connect on LinkedIn.
Is it worth sponsoring networking events?
- Take a look at the cost and see if it fits into your budget.
- Determine the why behind your reason for being a sponsor.
- The reason might be exposure or trying to get more leads.
- It’s also good to get visibility in your local community.
What about speaking at events?
- Are you comfortable with public speaking?
- Do you feel like you have something of value to provide?
- What topic do people care about that you can help them with?
- Reach out to a few events that are actively looking for speakers.
Should I plan my own networking event?
- We do quarterly micro-networking events.
- This is with people we already know and want to introduce to each other.
- It’s fun for us and fun for them—that’s the point.
- This helps us to deeper our relationships and say thank you to our fans.