Networking for Your Business Online
You attend a networking event and utilize all the tips previously discussed but how should you be networking for your business online?
What should you do next?
The day following an event, I take all the business cards I received and add them on LinkedIn. While doing this, I review the small notes I left on the cards as a reminder of who I met. This also allows me to follow-up where necessary. For example, someone may have asked for more information regarding a topic you discussed. It is extremely important to show people you are a person of your word. This is true in all aspects of life but especially when it comes to doing business. This is an industry that experiences a lot of false promises. Don’t be that person.
Why are connections important?
It is easy to think you are just hitting the connect button on LinkedIn and nothing more but this is the next step to having a relationship with a potential client. Plus, this will help you know more familiar faces during the next event you attend. Soon you will have a network once you walk into a room. From there, it is the dominion effect. Those people can introduce you to their acquaintances. Those people then become connections and your network grows.
Are you ready?
Sure, you feel better about attending an event with new tips and getting the experience under your belt. The question is are you ready to connect online? Is your profile ready for visitors? You meet someone at a business networking event and go to their LinkedIn profile to find a duck-lip selfie as their profile picture. Not a great follow up. Here are a few tips to have a professionally polished profile:
An updated professional headshot is best for a business profile. If you aren’t able to have a professional one, you should still be in business attire in front of a plain background. Your car is not a suitable background. I would like to emphasize the word updated. We all have a photo of ourselves from years ago that we thought we looked our best. However, your picture should be up to date to show a true representation of yourself. For more insight on professional headshots, check out this post.
Make sure your professional experience is updated. If you met someone and told them all about your current job but your profile doesn’t reflect that information, they may second guess your credibility. If you are going to have a profile, it should be current. This is the best representation of you online and the company you work for. You want potential clients or employers to find relative information about you.
Watch the content you post. Most people don’t seem to update their profile with their own posts. If you aren’t, you are missing out. This is a great platform for sharing business-related content including company news, professional awards, news in your industry, etc. When sharing content, keep your audience in mind. It’s like what I previously discussed, not all content should be on all platforms. Save your personal life updates, lunch selfies and controversial personal opinions for other platforms. Remember, this is a representation of you in a professional setting and a representation for the company you work for.
Overall, before you attend your next event, go back through your professional profiles and make sure the information is current. This will help you as you continue to grow the new connections you are making while networking in person. In person or online networking go hand-in-hand to assist in the growth of your business.