Building Relationships with Networking Events
By Greg Nunan
Anyone starting up a small business will have repeatedly heard that networking is a key ingredient to the company’s success. Whether you’re the director of a new gas generator rental service for large corporations to hire, or the director of a new marketing agency that specializes in retail, all startups can build a reputation and relationships successfully through networking.
This article takes a look at different types of events and sees if/how the digital landscape changes traditional ways of networking.
Cultural events (such as theatrical or music performances and interactive displays) can powerfully effect the emotions in audience members. It also strengthens their relationships with each other when discussing the experience afterwards. You can bring this idea to business and hire companies to put on such events, inviting potential future clients, associates and employees to come along. It’s an excellent bit of PR, which can only help your marketing strategy and portray a strong image for your brand.
Use the internet to your advantage by monitoring feedback on your self-published channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, company blog). It’s also an ideal opportunity to reach out to people who have made comments and shown interest. Reach out to this community and you can get a sense of how commercially viable your idea/product/service is and can then continue developing the brand. You might even find parties who want to get involved with helping you to do this.
The weekly industry meetup is still one of the most effective ways of networking. Talking to people directly rather than online gives a much more personal experience and you can discuss things in much more depth. Someone from your company should attend a meetup every week to talk with potential clients, collaborators and sales.
You never know who you might meet at such an event, which is why going on a weekly basis is time well spent. In the long run you’ll continue to meet familiar people and build up strong long-term relationships within the community.
Although the digital age continues to help with promoting your brand and networking, it is clear that meeting face-to-face is still vital in growing your network. You might want to organize a cultural event to kickstart your company, continuously update and monitor your social media channels and attend weekly updates. Watch your network, and your business, flourish with a well thought out strategy.