This is the blog transcript of our video “Business Networking From Home”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
The past 10 months have been rough on all of us.
From shopping to dining, society has had to adapt to a new and painful reality thanks to circumstances completely out of our hands. We’ve seen businesses rise and fall, and almost no aspect of life has gone untouched. This includes how we run and operate our businesses.
By extension, this includes the tried-and-true process of business networking.
Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.
For the past ten years, I’ve helped clients use Mission Suite to leverage their contacts and grow their businesses, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have any contacts to leverage.
Luckily, I’ve also been active in the world of networking and even head up a couple local networking organizations here in Denver, Colorado.
In my time in business, I’ve been able to see just how everyone has adapted to these new and unprecedented times we’re living in. And, in fact, if networking is something that has always terrified you, I don’t think you could have picked a better time to start.
Where do you start?
So, you may be wondering where you’re even supposed to start with this whole online networking thing.
Currently, conditions aren’t ideal to start going to in-person events, but with the internet at your fingertips, that isn’t enough of an excuse not to network. There are plenty of networking groups out there and industries who are banding together to make sure people stay connected. All you have to do is find out where you fit in and where you will thrive.
Find Your Online Niche
With the advent of the internet, people with all sorts of interests have been able to find their niche online and become connected in ways that were never possible before. All they need to do is seek out these communities.
The same goes for you and your business. You need to take a hard look at your company and bring many different factors into consideration. Where is your business located? What needs do you fulfill? What other complementary industries are there? What other companies do you know that populate the industry?
From there, you can go off on a mad Google search of discovery. Just as you may seek out the fansite of a tv series you really love, you can seek out communities that your company is naturally a part of. Is your company based on Los Angeles? Start by looking online for networking groups based in and around Los Angeles. Do you work in the real estate industry? I’m sure there are plenty of online groups dedicated to those who strive for the same thing you do.
From there, it’s as simple as getting in touch with someone at these professional networking groups. It’s worth pointing out that these groups generally cost money to join.
You may have to make some difficult decisions about whether or not you think the investment is worth it. But, like it or not, the answer may be yes, and you may find yourself having to bite the bullet.
Attend Online Events
But before you throw down your hard-earned cash on these groups, it may be worth dabbling in some other online events. These types of events could be group meetings, industry webinars, or anything really. So long as you can see yourself either giving or getting value from them, it’s a good place to start.
As with all things, you’ll start off with a good ol’ fashioned shotgun approach. Say yes to everything under the sun if it fits your needs.
Think of this like dating. You won’t click with every single group, so you’ll want to play the field early on before eventually “going steady” with the groups that work for you.
We know this first stage of online networking can be difficult. But once you find your niche, it becomes just that much easier to narrow down your options.
What sort of niche is your company a part of?
Let us know down below! You may even find someone who works in a complementary industry to you!
And don’t forget to give this video a like while you’re down there if you’re getting something out of it.
Okay, back to it.
I know I mentioned attending online events as a big point — and I’d argue that it still is a big point. But believe it or not, there are a lot of online events that you may not be privy to if you’re not in the right online social circle. That is why you have to turn to social media in a big way.
Dig Deeper Than Social Media
In today’s age, social media is your friend. In order to find the best groups that cater to your specific industry, it usually involves looking into a more surface-level group and just…digging deeper.
For example, hop on Facebook, and you’ll find countless groups with modern professionals crowdsourcing solutions to their problems.
Not only are they great ways to keep morale up within an industry, but interact frequently enough, and I’m sure you’ll start to make human connections that can lead to more intimate relationships through apps like Slack.
You may know Slack as a communication tool between companies, but it’s also a way for like-minded entrepreneurs to help each other out without being drowned out by the noise of your average crowded Facebook group.
Interact there for a while, and you may find online events and networking opportunities that you never would have heard of otherwise. And it’s often by design. In these types of groups, it’s all about personal connections and exclusivity.
But that’s not the only way social media can be your friend. It can also be a crucial way for you to connect with industry leaders in your space. Check their Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages. If you utilize your social media account as a way to engage with your industry, share the latest news, and inspire conversation, you may find yourself in discussions with leaders you look up to.
On top of that, this is also another way for you to make yourself aware of online events and webinars within your industry. And if you can’t get in touch with the ones putting on the event, you may still find yourself befriending other attendees, who may be a better fit as a contact.
Tap Into Old Contacts
Though while social media is amazing for looking outward, it’s also perfect for looking inside your existing network. I’m talking about those LinkedIn contacts you’ve neglected for the past 15 years. Well, now would be the perfect time to dust them off and start laying the groundwork for future relationships. You may be surprised where some of your old friends ended up and how you may be able to help them.
As with more standard networking groups, all of this could lead to fruitful one-on-ones. Be it with webinar attendees, old friends, or industry leaders, any one-on-one Zoom call can be a joyous endeavor that could lead to long-time relationships.
Long story short, while times may be tougher than ever at a bottom line standpoint, there is no excuse to let networking fall to the wayside. Not only is the internet sufficiently mature to allow virtually every industry to thrive, but industries have had to adapt over the course of these past ten months, making these networking opportunities that much more accessible.
So, what’re you waiting for? Start your search now and find your perfect niche!
We wrote up a blog article and e-book that does an extensive deep dive into business networking that’s worth checking out whether you’re a newbie networker or a grizzled veteran.
You can check out the link to download the e-book in the description below.
Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!
We’ll see you next time around!