The chances are that as an entrepreneur you are a self-starter, happy to swim against the tide, you see things differently from many around you and are probably a pretty good networker. With that in mind here are a few pointers for you.
Take a coordinated approach
I’ll call this the balanced portfolio approach. You can spend your life on Twitter and LinkedIn, or some would argue it’s best to get a life. Likewise, you can spend every day at networking events too, but we have day jobs. The key is balance.
Face to face networking
You can’t beat it but be you also need to be selective. There is also an art to it as well. You know when you are being sold to and when you are speaking to a timewaster. So you need to figure it out, not always easy but seeing the whites of people’s eyes builds trust which in turn leads to connections through which business can be done.
Measurement of activities
The survey highlighted that measurement of online social networking is not being done. The question is what constitutes success? Is it the number of followers, friends or likes? It all depends on what your objectives are. Is it brand awareness, leads or competitive intelligence?
Most of us don’t rock to a networking event with a specific set of targets in mind i.e. once I have five business cards I am out of here, having said that is there is one person you really want to meet that could well justify taking time out to ‘press the flesh’.
The link between offline and social media
I know some people who will barely say hi to you when you meet them but will be more than happy to display all online. It is almost as if the online and offline world are different places. Well, they are, and they are not, there is different etiquette required on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ compared to meeting people face to face.
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Use your network wisely
I am a big believer in what goes around comes around, but you also know some people who are able to ask but struggle in reciprocating when they are asked to help out. It’s down to you really, as you know business is about people, so to get the ‘return’ from your ‘social capital’ make sure you speak to the right people in the right way and give back as much as you receive.