We often discuss how important it is to use our social media to benefit our business. When discussing social media we are usually referring to how important it is to gain and retain clients.
I want to talk about another kind of social networking today. It is just as important if not more so to network with other’s in your industry. Through this type of networking you are ensuring more stability for your business.
Networking with other’s in your industry helps you to stay on top of current trends. It helps you to stay informed of anything that is necessary for you to know about your business.
If a question arises that you need an immediate answer to you will have a community that you can turn to for the answers. Being a fairly new business owner I have found this to be a valuable tool for my business. I have turned to other well-seasoned VA’s / virtual assistant’s and have found them to be a very reliable resource to turn to when I have a pressing question.
Although you should do your own due diligence and research things on your own, there are times when you just need the answer right now and research may take more time than you have and that is when it is a great idea to reach out to those in your industry.
This is also a terrific way to make new connections that can lead to potential client connections and that can lead to lasting client relationships. Although this should not be your goal of this type of networking it can be a definite benefit.
Some of you may be fearful of competition and worry that networking within your industry could be harmful, but I’m telling you that should not be your chief concern. While there are always some people out there that are not trustworthy or that could be a danger to your business I have found that social networking within your industry to be very valuable and the threat to losing a client or trade secrets is very minimal. As long as you work hard for your clients, are honest, and above reproach, you will retain most of them as long as they have a need for your services. So it is your responsibility to see to it that they always see the need.
I was watching Everybody Hates Chris with my daughter and Chris said ‘When you succeed against all odds its luck.’ Then he went on to explain that he did not believe in luck. Well I don’t believe in luck either I believe when you succeed it’s because you put your own blood, sweat, and tears into your own business.
There is also the old cliché ‘work smarter, not harder,’ and that is what social media is for. It helps you to ‘work smarter, not harder.’ If your social media is consuming too much of your time than you are not working smarter so be careful not to allow social media to consume your time.
Set aside a certain amount of time each day, say 30 minutes in the morning before you get your day started and send out your posts, work on your blog, take a few minutes to connect with your clients and others in your industry. I would not spend a lot more time on this as there are other things you should be doing to work your business.
It gets really annoying when someone sends out posts one right after the other. It becomes too difficult to follow them. Instead they should save those posts and let them trickle out over the course of time. That way we can all follow them without feeling like we cannot keep up. It really wouldn’t be very smart to send out all those posts if most of us have trouble keeping up now would it? So ‘work smarter and not harder.’ If the urge hits you and all of sudden you have an overflow of ideas to blog about or tweet about then go with the flow, but save them in a file to trickle out and don’t put them all out there at once. Save them for a rainy day when the juices are not flowing so freely.
If you reach out to those in your industry you will connect with some that you will find to a be a great asset to your business. You will make connections that will turn into long lasting relationships and possibly some great friendships as well. You will find a great mentor, and all this will only enrich and enhance your business and your life.
Do you have a story to tell about how networking within your industry that helped you to grow your business? Do you have any other tips or suggestions? As always I would love to hear from you. I absolutely love to hear your stories so please share with us.