Four Tips for Social Media Business Networking

Social Media for BusinessSocial Media networking is here to stay – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, blogging and a host of new social media networking sites are on the rise. People want to be connected and the speed we’re moving in to stay connected is frightful at times – how can you keep up? But more importantly, are you being less productive than you could be by spending a lot of time visiting social networking sites?

The first thing to note is that social media networking shouldn’t be looked at as a negative thing. It’s simply a necessary component of internet business marketing and as savvy online business owners, it’s up to us to stay connected to the latest trends and changes in this field.

However, it’s also important to note that too much of a good thing may also lead to a negative outcome, such as not making the best use of our time.

 

If you’d like to use social media networking in your marketing but are worried about the time issues associated with it, here are a few tips:

1. Set a Schedule

  • Set out a set time each day – say 20 or 30 minutes – that you dedicate to social networking. Try to stick to the same schedule each day. This way you get your dose of social networking without it overtaking your business or life. The schedule should be personal to you and you may find that 30 minutes is too little or too much, but whatever the schedule ensure you stick to it.

2. Know your Goal

  •  Before you get started ask yourself – what would I like to achieve from this? Do I want to gain more clients or customers? Do I want to just have a little fun and connect with friends and business acquaintances? It’s important to know your goals with social networking because this will help you put the whole thing into perspective. Develop excellent profiles and keep your social media activity up to date, planned, and targeted. You never know who you’ll meet online who can help you reach your business goals. Focus your posts and interactions with the intent of being a helpful resource to the people you meet.

3. Keep it Simple at First

  • Trying to be involved with all aspects of social networking may seem a little daunting (and time consuming). Instead, research and find one or two methods you really enjoy and that seem to work for your business needs. Monitor your results by tracking likes, followers or prospect leads per blog or post. What works best? Is it an informative post, an image or a blog? Then stick to those methods that are attracting results for a while until you’re confident you can handle more.

4.  Prioritize

  • Unless you’ve proven that social networking is a big part of your overall business strategy and success, it may make sense to prioritize your fundamental (i.e. money-making) tasks first. Once you’ve completed the activities for the day that you feel will help your business succeed, then you can move on to your social networking time.

 

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the social networking time trap. That’s why all of the steps above work hand in hand. If you don’t know your goals with social networking, it’s easy to waste time, and you also won’t know where your priorities should be. And if you do too much too soon it’s easy to not stick to your schedule and spend too much time on social networking sites.

Use the tips listed here merely as a starting point to where you as a business owner can choose to take advantage of this free social media opportunities.  Remember you’re in control and you don’t need to be an expert with social media networking – unless you’d like to, of course. There are plenty of free online webinars and guides to assist you along the way.  Perhaps you would prefer to outsource? If you would like to learn more about how a virtual assistant can help with social media management feel free to contact me.

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Eight Tips for Successful Networking

 

people-networking

As a home business entrepreneur you may not even realize that you still need to network to ensure that your business grows. You may also feel overwhelmed with the idea of face to face networking when you have a home business. But you need not worry – networking doesn’t have to be painful, and even an introvert can do it successfully. Just follow these tips.

1. Set a Goal for Networking

  • Without a goal, you’re simply dreaming and moving haphazardly toward a moving target. And, we know how that works. It doesn’t. You need goals for networking in general and specific goals for each type of networking you do, both online and offline. Set a criteria for how many people you wish to engage in conversation and connect with for each event.

2. Practice Your “Elevator Speech”

  •  When people ask you what do you do, what will you say? You don’t want it to sound unnatural and like a sales pitch, which is why the term elevator speech receives so many groans today. Instead, be authentic and talk about how you serve your audience. When you put the focus on the audience, you’ll find that it passes your lips with less resistance.

3. Use Social Media

  • Develop excellent profiles and keep your social media activity up to date, planned, and targeted. You never know who you’ll meet online who can help you reach your business goals. Focus your posts and interactions with the intent of being a helpful resource to the people you meet.

4. Meetups

  • There are many meetup services available where you can meet all kinds of people and plan all sorts of events. Make the most of your endeavors by creating an outstanding profile and setting a goal for your participation. Who knows? You may have fun in the process.

5. Who You Know

  • The best thing to do about networking is to start with people that you know. Ask them if they have colleagues and acquaintances that they can introduce you to. If you encourage people to recommend you to others, then you’ll meet more people who want what you’re offering.

6. Get Involved Online and Off

  •  Don’t just stick to one or the other; both online and offline networking will work to help you get to know people, build relationships, and make more sales. It doesn’t matter today if you have a home business; people are used to it now, so no need to recoil at the idea of telling people.

7. Your Local Chamber of Commerce

  • Your local chambers of commerce is an excellent place to start building your business relationships. If you get involved, you can create a niche for yourself by offering to lead training seminars for home-based business owners, sponsor events, and do other volunteering activities. While networking shouldn’t be your first thought when you volunteer, ensuring that you choose a group to volunteer for that consists of your target audience is fine. If you’re going to volunteer anyway, its a win win solution.

8. Attend Industry Events 

  • Whatever your niche, there is an event that corresponds to it. Find the events that consist of your audience and attend at least one big one per year. If you can get on the speakers’ list or buy a sponsorship, that’s even better.

Networking is an important part of building a business, whether you have a home business or a bricks-and-mortar business. Start with something small and then build as you go. You won’t regret it. You can be very successful with networking as a home business owner. Today, most people don’t have an issue working with someone who has a home office, so you can go into any situation with confidence. The important thing is that you can do what you say you can do and follow through.

Eight Common Networking Mistakes

people-networking

 

As a home business entrepreneur, you know that you need to network. You know networking will help you get to know people, build relationships, and even build your reputation as an expert if you know what you’re doing. To be successful with networking it is important to avoid these eight common mistakes.

 

1. Not Having a Goal
  • You should create a goal for general networking but also for each networking channel, be it online or offline. Before any event, write down the goal you want to achieve. For example, you want to connect with at least three new people, so that you know when you leave if you’ve been successful or not.
2. Not Being You
  •  Many people think that because they have a home based business, they need to exaggerate and make themselves look bigger and better than they are. But the truth is, you simply need to be your authentic self because it is you that makes your business and offerings special.
3. Not Listening More Than You Talk
  • Practice mindful listening. Repeat back to others what you heard, mirror their thoughts, and ask appropriate questions. They’ll actually remember you more when you show genuine interest.
4. Hanging Out with Competitors
  • While you do want to get to know your competitors, you will make more sales by networking with the people who need what you offer. Commiserating with colleagues is useful, but it won’t increase your client base.
5. Not Pushing Your Boundaries
  • Going to events can be intimidating, but it’s important to push your boundaries if you want to grow your business. You can start slow with online events, and then move gradually into offline events.
6. Acting like a Wallflower
  •  Don’t go to an event and stand in a corner all alone. Mingle and get to know people. A good method to help you accomplish this is to volunteer to be a greeter at the event. Handing out name tags, programs or helping out at registration requires you to speak to people directly.
7. Being the Last One Standing
  • At any in-person event, you want to make your exit before the last minute. Being the last one at an event can be a sign of desperation. Instead, leave people wanting more.
8. Having No Energy
  • When you speak to people, project your voice, smile and show some likable energy about you. You want people to feel good when you talk to them.

Common networking mistakes that home business owners make can be avoided with just a little bit of knowledge and planning. You can be very successful with networking as a home business owner. Today, most people don’t have an issue working with someone who has a home office, so you can go into any situation with confidence. The important thing is that you can do what you say you can do and follow through.