There are very few situations where a social media profile will not be of use to your professional or private life. These days more and more people are jumping on the social media networking bandwagon. In fact, many teenagers who have grown up in the advent of social media don’t know any other form of networking. If you own a small business that’s kicking off a social media marketing campaign you shouldn’t underestimate the importance incorporating some old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. There are dozens of ways to connect that are just as good as “Social Media” on the web.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make contact through professional societies and their meetings. Bring business cards to these events. Create business cards for yourself that aren’t related to your employer.
- Use current and former colleagues, friends and neighbors to network. The people that know you best can “sell” you best. Develop a referral guide that highlights who you are, what sets you apart, and your ideal clientele. Give these referral guides to your “sales people” so that they will be triggered to talk about you when the time is right.
- Join Clubs! Book clubs, sports fan groups, community organizations, and alumni associations are all great ways to meet people and network. You might also consider signing up with a volunteer organization.
- Take part in conferences and round-table discussions that deal with topics or issues related to your work. Make sure you have something (like business cards, or referral guides) to hand out at these events. Consider creating a presentation flyer or booklet.