Networking Ideas to Try in 2018

Even in the age where it seems like you don’t have to leave your house at all and can still be a successful business person, networking is as important, if not more so, then it was 10 or 20 years ago. With an oversaturation of information, and the ease of research for consumers, the networks have gotten bigger, albeit shallower, meaning that companies have to work overtime to connect with their target market.

If growing your business was one of your 2018 goals, you might want to give some of these ideas a try, getting yourself out there and more available to connect with.

Get Online

You might have gotten away with it this far, but the greatest thing you can do for yourself this year is to get yourself and your company online. From setting up social media accounts for your business, creating a LinkedIn profile for yourself and your company, and redesigning your website, there are plenty of strategists who can guide you and set out a direction. The fun doesn’t stop there. It’s not enough to simply “have” this digital real estate; you have to do something with it! Schedule times throughout your day during which you can post, interact with other accounts, respond to messages, etc.  Networking online with your target market and other potential partners and collaborators is extremely effective.

Join an Industry Group

No man is an island, and no business is an island either. Join an industry group or your local chamber of commerce to meet like-minded people, share your experiences, learn from others’ mistakes, and forge some new relationships. Though some might see this as “fraternizing with the enemy”, having good relationships with your competitors can push you all forward as an industry, allowing the possibility of referring work to each other as needed, and creating a powerful group for lobbying if it’s never needed.

Plan a Trade Show or Convention

This is your year to do something big! Plan a tradeshow or convention that would attract members of your target audience. Gather your network in one of the Montreal reception halls, charge a price for exhibitors and for attendees, and not only will you expand and strengthen your network, you will assert yourself as a subject matter expert in your field, making yourself a valuable connection for others to have.

Start Writing

If you consider yourself a bit of an introvert and you find direct networking difficult, consider giving a shot at writing. Start by publishing your own blog on your website, with helpful articles related to your industry. After a while, you can approach other blogs and ask if you might write a guest post for them. This can be the start of some good online networking and making your name better known in the industry.

Get Coaching

Sometimes what you need is just some good, old coaching. Hire a business coach to teach you the secrets of effective networking, starting with how to properly introduce yourself and your business, down to which topics to stay away from. BONUS: they might also have other clients that would be a good fit with your business that they could connect. Remember to always thank the “connector” for their help in expanding your network. Not only is it the nice thing to do, it will make them more willing to do it again in the future.

Make some inroads with your business goals this year by investing some time and resources into networking. You’ll be surprised by the incredible results that an honest effort can make.

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