When done well, in-person interactions can grow your business exponentially, but all too often, people attend networking meetings and come back without an impact on their business. Try the following strategy to make the most out of your networking:
1. Make a list of any and all organizations you dedicate time to on a regular basis. Be sure to include formal and informal groups. Then divide the organizations into business and personal.
2. Evaluate each of the groups. It may be time to withdraw from groups that haven’t helped you increase your client base, learn something new, develop yourself, or highlight your business. If you aren’t sure whether an organization helps you achieve any of these results, go to the next three meetings with the goal of getting a referral or a one-on-one meeting. If you don’t, move on.
Having a digital presence is an increasingly important part of promoting your practice. There are three primary digital media platforms that can help you project your brand: your website, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
1. Your website is a formal presentation of you and your business. It’s necessary to include information about your firm, logos, bios, and contact details. Personalize this page as much as your compliance department allows.
2. Next is LinkedIn, the "business casual" social media platform. Customize your background photo, insert a current bio, and ensure all of the contact information, work experience, and education details are up to date. Make sure you’re connected with your current clients, colleagues, and members of organizations you’re part of. All of these connections are possible referral sources.
3. Facebook is your opportunity to show a little bit more of your personality and pull people into your office “virtually.” Post several times per week on topics ranging from your firm resources, to community service, to fun activities and hobbies so potential clients can see the human side of you.
Promotion is a necessary function of business. Taking the time to strategize your networking activities and your social media use can enhance your visibility, attract new clients, and increase your referrals.