Do you sometimes wonder why some people start one venture after the other and all seem to instantly turn into a success? The simple answer may be that these people have a network they can rely on.
And while some people already have those valuable contacts that make starting, running and marketing a new business so much easier, you can easily build your own network in various ways. And I am not just talking about people you have met in person and befriended. Even lose contact that you “met” via social media can be a valuable part of building your blog or business.
How you can do that will be the topic for another article. Today’s post is all about the benefits that a functioning network of valuable people can give you.
Here are 8 important reasons why you should include networking in your marketing strategy.
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1. Talk to like-minded people who share your worries, challenges, and problems
Being an entrepreneur or blogger can be quite lonesome – especially when you are running solo. Even when you are working in a team you might lack an opponent you can talk to about highly specialized tasks.
Have you ever tried to explain the profession of a blogger to your parents? I did. And I failed. Even some of my friends don’t understand that blogging thing. Usually, it is much easier to tell people that you are a consultant or coach – but that does not really cover it.
A coffee with another blogger, a discussion with like-minded people in a Facebook group, even an email exchange with fellow bloggers – it is all part of “networking” and it will help you build a network of people who know what you do and who will share in your fears and challenges. And even help you solve some of your problems.
2. Get valuable tips
The blogging community is a helpful one. If you need advice there are many places you can find it.
But! Keep in mind that there needs to be an equilibrium of giving and taking. Be part of the community and willingly give tips where you can – don’t just suck up what you can get without paying back in kind.
Even if you do not need anything right now: If you pay forward with your own knowledge and help others with their questions the community will recognize this and be more than willing to help you out whenever you need them.
Plus, answering questions and helping others with help you to brand yourself AND your business in a very positive way.
3. Get guest blogging opportunities
It is getting harder to get your content out on high-value outlets. More and more blogs do not publish any content from people they do not know.
Networking in your niche will help you to get published on other people’s blogs.
While we are still open to guest post submissions from anyone, we do get so many bad requests – even stolen content – that having had contact to us in the past will certainly help you to open the conversation.
And guest blogging is more than a way to build links for SEO. If you are still small and do not have much traffic to your blog, guest blogging will help you tremendously to grow your audience, followers and traffic.
4. Colaborate on content production
Have you ever thought about using one of the more fancy types of content that will help you to grow your audience, traffic and even work for link-building? Do you know what I am thinking about?
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I am talking about interviews and expert roundups. These types of content have tremendous marketing power.
Who do you think is going to respond to your request for participation in any such content project?
The famous influencers and bloggers that never have heard from you?
Or the people you met last week for a coffee? The Twitter influencer that you chatted with on Twitter just yesterday? Or the owner of the Facebook group that you are an active part of?
Everything gets so much easier if people even have heard your name before you ask them to do something for you!
5. Get help with distribution
Do you plan a launch? Or a new feature release? Or anything else that can do very well with an extra boost in traffic?
You will probably send this information to your email list.
But what if you could send it to another email list, and another. What if you could instantly activate an army of tweeters to help you spread the word? What if your Facebook friends would just have to take ONE LOOK at your newest update and instantly share it just because they understand how important this is to you?
You do not think it works like that? It does. It is a fact. We have sent information about a launch or new product by a business friend to our email list. Why not if it could be of interest to our subscribers? (No, do not send us your newest product feature. It is not THAT easy. If we do not know you, your chances are going towards zero that we will take action. That is what this article is all about!)
But this kind of marketing magic is not going to happen if you do not know anyone!
So go out there and network!
6. Get introductions
You do not know the right person for a business question? Why not ask your network for introductions? If you are a well-reputed person in your niche they will be more than willing to help you out.
Because an introduction does not cost them a dime but at the same time it has the power to make two people from their network very happy. That is a win-win situation. Giving was never cheaper.
7. Find Business Partners – and investors
We haven’t always been bloggers. We started out as entrepreneurs and founders o a startup. We had investors.
And there is one thing about investors and potential business partners that you always have to keep in mind: They do not like to buy what they do not know. They are taking a risk with their money. And knowing the person they put their money on reduces their risk.
I have talked to investors in Berlin and they clearly stated: Go out there and meet us at networking events before you pitch your ideas. We are approachable. And if you fail at networking you are likely to fail at business too.
A cold pitch via email may look easier – but it is much harder to succeed with it than with networking!
8. New Customers
This is what many people think that networking is all about. Founders of startups run around networking events trying to sell other founders their products.
But let us face the truth: Most of the time there are much more efficient methods to find new customers than networking events where often the participants are not even from the target group.
But there are some groups of people who will do most of their customer acquisition at networking events. Examples are consultants, coaches, and freelancers.
Never underestimate the power of an active, trusting and growing network. And do not start your networking with the thought “What can that person do for my business” up front on your mind. That is not how networking works.
Networking is about getting to know people. These people may or may not help you or your business. But they will introduce you to new people. And more new people. Be patient. Make friends.
For some of these people, YOU can do something.
Let people know that you exist, who you are and what you can do for them. Then, if you need them, they will be willing to help you out, too!
Extra Tip: Don’t go to networking events that you do not like, just because someone said you should. A network where you feel comfortable and you will come up with much more and much better contacts.
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