Business networking during a pandemic can be difficult, especially now that large gatherings are limited and social distancing is widely (and wisely) practiced. Traditionally, numerous SMEs have strived to stand out in a competitive market by making personal connections in social events, be they conferences, seminars, etc. These were opportunities to start a conversation and build relationships through elevator pitches, handshakes, and the exchange of business cards.
Successful business networking builds genuine connections with others, both personally and professionally. However, the question remains: how can you continue building your business network in the age of social distancing? Read on for a few ideas.
Turn to social media to stay connected
Given the rise of eCommerce over the past decade, there’s no good reason why you can’t rely on technology and social media to stay connected. However, given these unusual times, it’s important to consider tailoring your content to change the online experience of your audience. Rather than focusing solely on what to post online, think about ways your business can be of service to others in the digital sphere.
A great way to form genuine connections is by supporting one another. Post a link that directs your audience to a local friend’s online business. Recommend relevant webinars. Support local businesses with online reviews. These can be effective methods to start building a community, expand your network, and make authentic online connections.
Reach out to existing clients
Networking isn’t just about making new connections online. It’s also about reaching out to your existing clients. Checking up on your existing client base is more important than ever. Take some time to ask them how they’ve been or what they’re up to. Skip the business talk and simply check up on them and their wellbeing.
With so many people struggling through isolation, it can be a nice gesture to make your customers feel seen. Instead of asking for business-related favours or resorting to sales pitches, simply ask how everything is on their end and how you or your business can help.
Join online conferences and e-networking events
With so many of us still working from home, you may well have more time to leverage your online resources. Join relevant online conferences and webinars to learn how your business can adapt to what may be permanent changes to our collective business environment. Invite your colleagues, clients, and peers so they too can share their ideas. Joining online conferences, workshops, and webinars can also help improve your products and promote your services, especially now that you’re doing so much more of your business online.
Make sure to join the right platforms
Apart from the burning desire to grow your network, you need to choose the platforms that will work best for your business. Expand your network by joining Facebook groups that match your interests. Engage in webinars that add value to your business. In the end, there’s always a platform where you can find a community that helps you succeed and fosters mutual growth.
Connect through Bartercard!
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Numerous businesses are having the same experience, adapting to today’s current situation. What’s important is to maximise what’s available and use it to your advantage, putting your business out there without the need for physical networking.
At Bartercard, you can introduce your business to a whole new audience. Bartercard is an immense online marketplace where you can attract new customers, grow your network, and support thousands of other businesses within the community. Barter trade with various businesses through our own mobile app; it allows you to trade anywhere, anytime! To learn more about our B2B networking solutions, contact us!