Cost-Effective Networking: Boost Exposure Without Expensive Events
Pre-pandemic, in-person business events were a well-defined part of the business landscape, and despite the popularity of LinkedIn and other digital forums, many business owners still gained the majority of their sales from networking events, conferences, trade shows, and face-to-face sales meetings.
If this style of networking works for you, then there is no reason to discontinue it. Face-to-face events have renewed since 2022 and are undergoing something of a renaissance. However, there’s no denying that in-person networking and trade events are expensive, and as a result, many businesses are leaning more heavily on LinkedIn to sustain a dynamic and well-connected professional network.
In this article, we’ll explore how to leverage social media – and specifically LinkedIn – to boost your exposure without the need for expensive event tickets, travel expenses, sponsorships, and trade booths.
LinkedIn: The Networking Event That Never Ends
LinkedIn is effectively an “always on” Chambers of Commerce event, conference, and tradeshow rolled into one, providing countless opportunities to engage with your peers, thought leaders, and industry experts without having to drive a mile to meet them. Here are some core strategies to start harnessing the potential of LinkedIn for your networking strategy.
Optimise Your Personal Profile
In the same way as in-person networking rested on your individual identity and credibility as a business owner, you need a fully optimised and up-to-date personal profile on LinkedIn (not just a good company page) to take full advantage of the network opportunities offered by the platform. This includes a recent and professional headshot to make a great digital first impression (in a suit, not on holiday – save that for Facebook), an impactful headline conveying what you do and who you are, and a well-crafted professional summary giving a snapshot of your business expertise, strengths, and what you seek to offer your customers.
Actively Engage In LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are like breakout spaces at networking events, giving you the opportunity to join discussions and conversations with like-minded individuals and decision-makers in your sector, sharing insights, asking questions, developing collaborative solutions, and offering support. Actively participating in these groups will not only boost your personal visibility in your market, but also demonstrate your expertise and credibility within your industry. By contributing value to these conversations, you’ll begin to establish personal credit and organically make new connections that could develop into sales.
Explore Advanced Search Features
LinkedIn’s advanced search feature lets you narrow down and target very specific groups of people based on various demographic criteria, such as industry, job title, geographical location, and so on. Use this tool to identify potential contacts and forge mutually beneficial relationships with others in your niche.
Share Valuable Content
Standing out from the crowd can be a challenge in a busy face-to-face event. Not so with LinkedIn. Users can quickly attract attention and gain credibility through the platform by sharing relevant, engaging, and informative content, which can be searched by other users. This content can include blog articles, thought leadership pieces, and shared content by other third parties. It’s just a matter of contributing to the common good of your sector without overtly pushing sales all the time, in exactly the same way as you would at a face-to-face event. The key is to make sure that your content adds genuine value and spark conversations, as this will increase your chances of connecting with relevant decision-makers and influencers in your industry.
Nurture Your Existing Connections
Digital networking isn’t solely about expanding your list of contacts, but is also about nurturing existing relationships – whether forged online or through face-to-face channels. Taking the time to engage with your current suppliers and customers on LinkedIn through liking, commenting, and sharing their content will help keep a direct dialogue going that makes business engagement easier and more likely, and it’s much cheaper to do it this way than meeting face-to-face. Make it a point to periodically reach out and genuinely interact with each of your LinkedIn connections, whether you have 25 or 500 contacts. You never know when an existing contact could introduce you to someone influential within your industry.
The Networking Potential Of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing offers a wide range of lucrative opportunities for business owners to develop connections and increase their personal authority in their sector. To find out more, please get in touch with one of our digital marketing specialists today by clicking the link here.
Image Source: Canva