Boost Profits With Social Networking

Networking is essential to growing your business and your profit margin. You can network by participating in trade organizations and various associations such as the Chamber of Commerce and you can develop and maintain an online presence in the form of a blog or podcast, etc.

When you are networking online you want people to be interested in visiting your site.  Provide concise information and promote feedback from visitors.  This is only going to work to your benefit if you are providing an excellent service and a quality product.  Post both the good and hopefully not very much negative feedback.  Do not censor the comments.  Make any changes to your product or service that is needed.  You want visitors to your site to feel that you are the best and that you provide a quality service or product.

Often it is not who you know, but rather who they know.  You may be trying to contact a potential customer without success only to learn that someone you know is close to the person.  This may give you an opportunity to meet the potential customer. Perhaps the person you already know can make an introduction for you.

Some trade organizations have networking forums.  These may be group meetings or they may be online newsgroups or perhaps they are professional events featuring a speaker.  It can help your business if you participate in some of these events.

People who attend these events will have common issues, problems and concerns.  Members can benefit from the experience of others when they share problems and resolutions.   You may be able to learn from others how to avoid some pitfalls to your own business.  When you interact with other small business owners it is often mutually beneficial.  Take advantage of the opportunity and do not underestimate it.

When you are talking with others or presenting your service or product be honest.  Do not pretend to be something you are not and do not pretend that you can deliver something that is outside your capabilities.  When you are not honest it can harm your reputation, and foster an environment of distrust.  With networking, everyone is talking with everyone else and when promises are not kept the word will spread.  You and your company want to be known for being reputable, reliable and honest.

When you are in a business environment you want to keep the conversation on a non-emotional basis.  Keep the conversation strictly business.  Be friendly, but be professional.  This applies to both in person networking and networking online.  In the global market place you need to be aware of and respect cultural differences.

When you are networking it is not the time to hide in a corner.  It is important to participate in the event.  By participating you will become known in your industry.

Be willing to offer genuine assistance to others whether or not they can reciprocate.  When you help others, you will establish yourself as a useful member of the business community.  If someone needs help and you are not able to provide it yourself, try to refer them to someone who will be able to provide the assistance needed.

Be a positive person.  If you are constantly negative and keep pointing out flaws, people will view you in a negative light.  To enhance your image, present a positive business outlook.

You can build topics of conversation by knowing what interests and goals are important to others with whom you are networking.  Do a little research on the people and companies before you come in contact with them.  This way you will have some idea of what type services or products these people may need that you can provide.

Networking is essential for promoting your business.  You want to build professional relationships with mutual interaction benefiting both parties.  You need to be proactive and to follow up on any leads.  You want to assist others when necessary if it is possible.