As a business owner, bridging the gap between online and offline networking is just one of the many tools in your arsenal for success. However, doing this correctly is far more important than simply posting on social media and going to a few networking events. Here are several ways to master networking in both the offline and online worlds.
The Power of Social Media
It’s not simply about sharing, liking, or sending out a few tweets if you want to grow as a professional. Utilizing social media as a tool is only beneficial if done properly. Companies can introduce new products through social media outlets, create online courses or become affiliate sellers/partners to help increase their bottom line.
Athletes, for example, have a level of exposure and influence that can make for a very effective influencer marketing campaign. However, online bloggers can also leverage their social media presence to promote brands despite not having the same level of exposure. Professional keynote speakers like Chris Brogan or Joe Comm are powerful influencers who advise companies on how to monetize platforms.
Another example is businessman China expert and best-selling author Joshua Cooper Ramo, who has become a leader in executing networking campaigns through online and offline platforms. As someone highlighting the power of networks in the modern world, it’s no surprise that he uses LinkedIn to boost his speaking and publishing career.
Don’t Solely Rely on Social: Offline Networking Is Still Crucial to Success
Ever heard of Facebook or Slack? Online platforms understand the importance of offline networking and face-to-face communications. Facebook recently allowed users to browse local events based on their location and to attend events curated by “real” humans. The sheer list of offline seminars business professionals can attend is truly unbelievable. Businesses owned by women, collegiate/alumni networking events, forex seminars, blogger workshops, and so many others will help professionals expand their professional network.
Offline Tools and Networks for Networking
It can be challenging to find local events and offline networking opportunities, given the fact that so much is done online today. However, platforms like Meetup, Facebook Events, and Eventbrite are great tools for professionals to use. In addition to finding like-minded professionals, it’s a great way to connect with locals in your area who can help you expand your business.
Attending several events locally, meeting the same individuals at multiple events, and discussing possible opportunities to work as partners or help one another on a professional level, is just the beginning of getting your business off the ground. This is even more prominent in small local markets, niches, or industries where a handful of companies have a monopoly in the industry.
Do Professionals Still Have to Rely on Both?
The answer to the question is two-fold. Which method of networking is more critical can significantly change based on the type of business a company operates. If a company operates entirely online, online networking might be more influential. For companies trying to grow a local presence, offline networking might trump online networking. Regardless of which is more important, both are essential, and both take time to ensure businesses achieve the proper connections.
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