What you know is important, but so is who you know. Regardless of your particular industry, making connections helps to build a foundation for further success. Networking doesn’t just bring you immediate business, it builds the brand awareness you’ll need to progress in the long-term. For young companies, figuring out how to network effectively can be a big challenge, but a few tips can really help you master your networking abilities.
The 5 networking tips young companies of today need to know are:
1. Learn to network selectively – Not all networking is equal, and young companies want to make sure they’re not wasting their time or money. Some brands don’t network enough, while others do too much and end up wasting valuable resources. Learning how to choose the right events and strategies that are worth your while will take some trial and error. But soon enough you’ll be able to use your best judgment on when and how to network. A trade show where you share information with tons of individuals in your field is worth your while, so you know to invest more time into them in the future. A community event where your booth gets little attention might not be worth the effort next time around.
2. Personalize your messages – If you’re addressing a particular group of investors, if you’re targeting a specific customer group, or if you’re looking to reach out to an individual, a little personalization goes a long way. A short personalized video that addresses your audience by name can be filmed on a webcam or smartphone, it takes less than a minute, and it makes a big impact in delivering your elevator pitch via social media. For wider range networking, you can name-drop in much the same way using your marketing emails. When you address your audience personally and by name, you make stronger and more meaningful connections.
3. Design digital business cards – Particularly important for young companies in the tech industry, digital business cards are impressive in a few ways. While handing out physical business cards may have been an effective marketing strategy at trade shows and professional events a few years ago, it’s all about the digital today. Drafting up digital business cards that can be sent via text allows you to trade mobile numbers and ensures your card won’t get lost.
4. Use cross-promotion to your advantage – You’re not the only young company looking to network in the area, so why not join forces? Finding other companies with overlapping customers, but who aren’t in direct competition, allows you to join your talents and network together as one. For instance, if you own a San Diego coffee delivery service you can pair up with a well known local coffee shop that doesn’t offer delivery. Both companies can pass out coupons or discount codes if the customers use the other service. Or the delivery service can be promoted if people ask if the local shop delivers. This would help give each company a boost and will do wonders for your networking capabilities.
5. Get into a coworking community – What better way to network than to work side by side with other young professionals? Coworking communities have become a huge trend in today’s business world, attracting professionals from a vast array of different industries. If you’re looking for professional partnerships with other brands in San Diego, there is no better way than to get in with a coworking community in the area.