Why Networking Is a Must for Building an Audience ?
Without the customer, the follower, and the community, your business cannot thrive, in the online jungle of success.
A Case Study
Consider the case of Jack Daniel. No, that’s not his real name… The point is that this guy was a YouTube ‘Let’s Player’ who had been posting videos for years. Very, very slowly, he grew an audience of around 2,000 meaning that after years of regularly posting content, he had about 100-300 views on each video. In Google Ad earnings that is around .05 cents per month.
But then something amazing happened – he got a shoutout from Pewdiepie who is the biggest YouTuber in history. Overnight, Jack became a sensation and was able to quit his job and go full time.
This plywood manufacturer - Sukesh (name changed) joined a business networking group. Became active, improved public speaking, English language, learnt to use technology and started using the networking opportunities online provided by his network group. Boom! He got sales orders from far and wide and his business expanded and became very profitable. Amazing, right?
Of course, the world of YouTube lets players is very different to the niche you’re in most likely. But the same exact principles hold true. If you can find a big audience on a related blog, website, or social media channel and they give a shoutout to you, this can literally transform your fortunes overnight.
Imagine if you got a link from someone like Tim Ferriss. The SEO benefits alone would be life-changing, let alone the incredible endorsement and all that direct traffic. So how do you get there?
Getting a Response
Getting the big players to answer is nigh impossible. The solution then is to start with a smaller player: ideally ones that are around the same size as your brand right now. With cross-promotional activities, you can then nearly double your followers and then you can approach someone a tier up.
Other tips: network in person. Go to networking events and make a bigger impression.
Don’t pester. If you don’t get a response right away, send one or two more after waiting a reasonable amount of time. Be polite!
Networking is something every entrepreneur should practice. It should come second nature to you daily and, in order to make a habit out of something, studies have shown you must do something for 60 days before it takes hold.
While most social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook only encourage you to network with people with whom you have already met, there are leaders who disagree with this. If you network with the same people over and over again, you can expect to get the same results in your business. All of the best networkers are social butterflies. People love them, not because of their expertise, but because of the way they make their approach. A soft approach is needed to connect to new people around you. One of the ways to create a gentle landing is to offer your services as a solution to a problem they might have. You can learn what their problems are by using social listening tools and tweaking it to your expertise.
People do business with people they know, like and trust. Your professional network may open new doors of opportunities for your business development. You can also benefit from people in your network who have experience and expertise. You may learn new things, get partnerships or joint ventures, even sales orders.
Share your expertise, ideas, and information. Be helpful to others members of your network. One day you will get reciprocation from them. Givers gain! By building a reputation as someone who is talented, helpful, and valuable, people will be more motivated to meet you and stay in touch with you.
Meet new people in conferences, events, meetup.com, Quora, asking people you know for introductions, reaching out to people directly, personal interest groups, intramural sports leagues, classes and workshops, parties, happy hours, alumni associations, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Be intentional and go and hang around where you know the people whom you want are present.
You never know until you ask, and more often than you think, you will get the answer you want. Ask for introductions. Ask people you want to meet with you. Ask for advice.
Social networking is all about interactions and open dialogue with users. Social media helps you humanize a brand and build genuine relationships with your community. It shortens the distance from your audience, especially when you address them from personal accounts.
Social networking is a tool. If you can leverage its possibilities your business will definitely gain from it. With a good strategy, some creativity, and additional tools you can achieve marketing goals with fewer resources.
Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.
As the African proverb goes:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
So, go ahead and start networking!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.