Building a professional network of clients and contacts for a business involves Many things .How you relate to people, building strong relationships, having an awareness of the people who interact with your business, and communicating effectively with people.
When it comes to networking, building relationships are my first priority. By developing relationships with people I am able to turn small talk into opportunities. Opportunities are all around, awareness takes opportunities and turns them into possibilities
The great part about blogging is my readers can give me direct feedback on what I publish. I can take advantage of this by leaving relevant, intelligent, insightful, and thought-provoking comments on their blog.
A step further than commenting is answering what they said on my own blog, with more detail, and using a trackback to notify them -Trackbacks are generated automatically through the publishing of a link in a post or Page that points to another post or Page on your site or another site with trackbacks enabled. Bloggers are generally big fans of positive conversations about them, and love being linked to.
There are many communication tools out there, such as , Skype that help assist in speedy conversations. It’s always good to explore, and take new things into account, but never forget the fundamentals!
Using social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube allows me to expand my community without having to leave the comfort of my home. There is nothing better than networking off-line that’s why to improve my success, I plan on attending live events.
There is always a variety of face to face networking events happening in and around Ottawa. MEET UPS tends to be less formal, and potentially less intimidating for people inexperienced in networking like myself. Two that have caught my interest are The Gay and Lesbian Business Professionals Network and the Women’s Network of Ottawa
LGBT Business professionals in Ottawa provide networking opportunities and allow attendees to make useful business contacts in and around Ottawa. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with other like minded Professionals to collaborate, share ideas and help each other grow our business and build referral networks. http://www.meetup.com/Gay-and-Lesbian-Business-Professionals-Network/
The Women’s Network of Ottawa (WNO) is an organization of approximately 400 business and professional women that meets at a variety of central locations and times as a networking opportunity and to educate and inform members through guest speakers. The Organization has provided an open forum for women to network since 1977 – over 30 years! They usually have between 25 to 50 women at each meeting ranging from early 20’s right on up. More than 80% of their members are in the private sector or are self-employed. http://www.meetup.com/Womens-Network-of-Ottawa/
Because networking does not finish after the first meeting I plan on sending a follow-up email, perhaps meet some connections that I made for a coffee, and definitely connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I hope by Integrating social media into my standard networking strategy it will take me to the next level of interaction with potential customers. By Combining a social media networking strategy with a face-to-face approach, I will have fun and potentially gain loyal long term customers.