There’s no doubt that marketing is crucial to maintaining and fuelling a business’s continued success. One of the more overlooked yet most effective forms of marketing is simple, old-fashioned networking to learn more about someone’s businesses and tell them more about yours. For many business owners though, networking can seem like a daunting task that leads only to stress and frustration.
The good news is that even the shyest business owners have multiple strategies they can use to cultivate networking skills and make lasting impressions on potential clients and collaborators. These strategies can be easy to become accustomed to, provided that you evaluate your results and refine your networking strategy accordingly.
Let’s take a look at the top three best business networking tactics that even shy business owners can adopt to cultivate new business opportunities and strengthen their existing ones:
The benefits of leveraging digital networking tactics
The first and most important benefit to digital networking is how it removes the need for us to be in physical proximity during networking events.
While this doesn’t mean that physical networking events are no longer necessary (face-to-face communication, after all, is undoubtedly important) you can think of digital networking as an additional opportunity for building professional relationships.
You can also think of it as an opportunity that is not limited to rapport via in-person interaction. This means that people of a more shy or reserved nature, and specifically those who may feel they don’t have as good of social skills, can benefit highly from the opportunities that digital networking brings to the table.
As an added benefit, digital networking provides us with the opportunity to connect with people all around the world, and not just those we meet in-person at a physical event.
3 business networking tactics shy business owners can try today
Here are three effective — if often overlooked — networking tactics that more shy or reserved business owners can try out:
1. Collaborate using project management software
Business owners running organizations both big and small can use project management software to efficiently manage multiple client relationships while staying on-track and on-budget. Project management software helps businesses track their project assignments, log the hours their personnel have worked, and stay connected with clients and team members all on a completely remote basis.
Project management software can also take the form of messaging and collaboration software to help you stay in regular contact with your most important clients and prospects. For example, software that provides internal messaging that allows you to attach documents or collaboration features that let you create groups and display their relevant project deliverables makes it possible to have real-time discussions and revisions with your clients.
So what exactly are the features that business owners should keep an eye out for? Without a doubt, the best project management software solution for business owners is one that comes with essential features such as centralized web-based file storage, automatic storage of project updates on the cloud, and a bird’s eye project overview that displays the status of and collaborators and clients involved on a project.
Business owners can begin to network faster and more seamlessly with project management software that includes these features that enable easy access to important project deliverables as well as simple client collaboration.
In today’s largely remote working world, real-time conversations such as these are paramount to cultivating strong business relationships, especially for business owners with a touch of social anxiety.
2. Cultivate a stronger social media presence
Social media isn’t just an outlet for your business to increase its approaches to digital advertising: it’s also a powerful platform that you can use to optimize your personal connections with your clients.
There’s something undeniably thrilling about the impact you can make with a personalized social media presence on your client relationships. And the best part about it? Social media is directly accessible from your pocket at all times and is just waiting for you to optimize personal connections based on client demographics.
A personalized social media presence is important not only because it indicates to your clients that you’ve taken the time to understand more about them, but because it invites them to participate in instances of future communication, which may very well continue to take place on social media.
Consider how many Twitter relationships you’ve begun that were just waiting to blossom into face-to-face or over-the-phone conversations; communicating and publishing content your clients resonate with and want to learn more about is much easier when you establish a significant social media presence that turns networking into a process that’s organic and self-perpetuating.
3. Engage in SEO and web page optimization
If your business’s social media profile is like the welcoming landscaping of your home’s front lawn, then your website is the foyer that doubles down on your lawn’s most attractive features. So it is with web page optimization and SEO: engaging in both of these components of your business’s online presence increases your content’s visibility to the clients and prospective leads who are most interested in the type of web content that you publish.
After all, let’s face it: there’s little point in going through all the trouble to create a website just for nobody (especially potential clients) to see it in their internet browser’s search results. On top of getting your website Google-friendly, make sure that you learn how to reduce loading times on your website.
Slow-loading pages are the most effective way of driving away any potential visitors who are (un)fortunate enough to come across your less-than-responsive web pages. The speed of your website can have a large impact on traffic, conversions, revenue, and of course, the success of your networking. Continue to analyze the loading speeds of your web pages as a performance metric as part of your overall networking strategy.
In order to increase your content’s visibility through web page optimization and SEO, you need a reliable way to start appearing in the search results of potential clients. This process is one of the most important aspects of running a business, especially a modern one that’s complete with a social media presence, eCommerce store, and optimized website.
Increasing your website’s visibility begins with strengthening your website’s credibility, which proves to Google that what you have to say is more authoritative, helpful, and overall higher-quality than whatever your competitors are publishing.
Business networking can certainly be intimidating for shy business owners, but it certainly doesn’t have to be when there are so many viable options to strengthen networking tactics remotely and online.
As a business owner who’s interested in adopting effective and repeatable business networking tactics, make sure that you’re using focusing on building your social media presence and engaging in SEO and web page optimization to naturally attract business clients to your online presence.
Once you’re organically bringing in new visitors and potential leads to your website, remember to invest in and always use collaborative project management software that makes it simple to remotely communicate with clients as well as team members to keep projects on track and hit one-hundred-percent of your deliverables.