This article is about how networking can be used to compliment social media; it helps you keep in touch, build your reputation and also ensures people find you when they need you.
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Connections lead to connections
Three years ago I was approached by Dave, he runs a marketing organisation that helps local businesses. He wanted me to help him add value to his members by helping them with confidence and skills to network effectively.
I arranged to attend the marketing briefing Dave had organised, and then deliver a workshop to a small select group of his clients. It was during the workshop that I met Steve, who asked lots of questions and seemed very interested in our networking philosophy. He asked me to follow up with him and, when I did, we had an interesting conversation.
Networking to saturation
It transpired Steve was thinking about setting up his own networking organisation. I explained that there were myriad such organisations already about and I’ve heard that many new brands were being developed.
Steve decided to do further research before investing any of his hard earned cash into such a group and eventually decided that the competition was too fierce and the market saturated. There are many networking groups, yet how many of them actually make a profit? He was grateful for my advice. I had done my research and decided setting up another networking group was more of the same and we wanted to be unique in the service we offered through Beyond Networking.
What’s the ROI when networking?
Steve and I connected via social media and didn’t actually speak for three whole years, until I found a message from him in my LinkedIn inbox stating that he had a question for me. I picked up the phone and an interesting chat evolved. LinkedIn had notified me as and when Steve changed his role and he had also kept up-to-date with what we were going and understood that we were experts in the area that had been causing his current team issues. They were having problems reconciling the amount of time they were investing trying to generate a return on their networking investment.
Steve and his team had invested plenty of time meeting people and building contacts and didn’t want to waste those relationships, they just wanted to turn the time invested into money. Steve and I are now going to meet to talk about the situation in more detail. Luckily, I don’t have to go to Cambridge this time because Steve is spending a lot of time in London and a mutually convenient venue was not difficult to sniff out.
Wrap Up: If you want people to remember you, make it easy for them. Each person will tell you what method of communication they prefer if you ask and by searching for them on social media platforms, or even Google, you can find them easily. Make sure you can be found too.
Top Tip: Look at people’s business cards when you first meet them. If there are no social media icons ask them “how do you keep people up-to-date with your progress, via LinkedIn, Twitter or something else?”