We live in a world where technology is becoming more and more advanced and we are now so dependent upon it in the business arena.
But one thing remained unchanged – the value of face to face networking and establishing contacts. In my humble opinion, networking is the first and foremost ingredient in becoming a successful entrepreneur or when building a company.
Here are just three categories of contacts you want to nurture:
Your clients are gold! Emphasis should be placed on your new, existing and even future and past clients to grow a business. You can do this in a number of ways – Linkedin has some cool features to ensure you stay in touch with your connections. You can comment on posts in their news feed on here as well as on Facebook, send congratulatory messages when they celebrate a milestone or even a birthday. “Like” the Facebook pages of businesses where you want to establish connections and be active on their page to show your interest.
Journalists are great at maintaining their contacts and they can be useful to them for story ideas, research or for quick quotes on a topic when writing a story. It’s important for any business to have strong media contacts. Always return the calls of journalists – don’t leave them hanging as this could potentially destroy the good relationship you have built with them. You can also reach out and establish contact with journalists these days through Twitter. You can interact with them (don’t go overboard) and comment on their stories. Having worked as a journalist in the past myself you don’t often get feedback from people who take the time to drop you a line and provide positive feedback. If you like how well written or presented a story is in the newspaper, online, television or radio don’t hesitate to give credit where its due. For all you know in the future, you may be the first point of contact the media turn to when they need a local comment on a story they are working on.
3) People in your field
Every year I attend the Public Relations Institute of Australia national conference and it’s valuable to establish and maintain contacts I meet at these events each year. I learn so much from others in my industry including how much to charge clients, to what to deliver to ensure I stay at the cutting edge of media training consulting. Put your hand up to attend similar events in your industry, even offer to speak if you get the opportunity, you can also meet others in your field at networking events, through the Hunter Business Chamber or even on social media too. I have a network of PR professionals I can now on for advice and in turn they do the same. Seek out people in your industry so you can learn and grow your businesses together.