Creating a networking strategy is an important task for you as entrepreneur because with networking you will build a strong relationship with your current and potential customers.
Regardless if you practice networking online via social media, or offline via contacts in person you will need to be prepared if you want persons with whom you talk as a part of your networking efforts to notice your professionalism.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to start building the networking strategy for your small business.
Step #1: Who are your customers?
Before you start developing this project, you will need to check your knowledge about your customers. You probably already have defined your target customers, and you probably already have knowledge about them.
Think who they are. What are their wants or needs? What are their frustrations, fears, thoughts, feelings, aspirations, and actions? List everything that you discover in this step because you will need to be prepared before you start networking with your current and potential customers.
Step #2: Where are your target customers?
Next step in this weekend project is to brainstorm different places where your target customers are and where you can start implementing your networking strategy. Think about different social media as online networking possibilities and think about different networking events in different communities that can be perfect for you and your small business.
Step #4: Build your networking strategy.
Now, in the fourth step, you can start building your networking strategy because you already know many things about your current and potential customers.
In this step, you need to define networking events where you want to be present, your approaches on different networking events and the weapons that you will use to present yourself in the most professional way. Make a list with all the networking weapons you will use in the next period of time.
Additionally, when you work on preparing your strategy, you must cover the experiments for each weapon you will implement. Remember that your first version of the strategy will not be perfect. You will need to make many changes, but without experiments, you will not know what is OK, and what will need to be changed.
Step #5: Prepare your networking weapons.
In this step, you will need to prepare all the weapons that you will according to your networking strategy. It can be your photo and bio for social media or your professional business cards for the offline networking events.
Take your strategy, look at the defined weapons and experiments you have designed for each weapon and make a list with the priorities for different experiments.
Step #6: Start with the implementation of your strategy.
The best strategies are strategies that are implemented. If you don’t start with implementation, you will not succeed. Use your experiments and the results to make changes in your strategy.
Step #7: Improve your networking strategy.
This project is a never-ending process, and you will need to work on the continuous improvement of your networking strategy. The implementation of the strategy will tell you about different things where you can improve yourself and your overall strategy.
Question: How you are using networking for your small business? Can you share with us your experience?