Are You Ready To Make The Most Of Online Networking?
As businesses emerge from lockdown, there’s been a rush of realisation that customers need to know you’re back in business. Online networking offers an easy way to make contacts and spread the word about what your business can offer.
Pre-Covid-19, you booked a meeting in your area. Turned up with your business cards and told the attendees who you are and what you do. We loved face to face networking but Coronavirus restrictions put a stop to that. Groups meetings were out, many businesses went into furlough and the opportunities for networking diminished.
But, not at Pink Link!
Pink Link Networking Moves Online
36 hours after the Prime Minster announced lockdown Pink Link Lytham held its first monthly meeting online.
We’re not going to lie, it was a baptism of fire! One day to set everything up, learn how to do it, contact, members and turn it live had the adrenaline rushing. Businesses were in turmoil and for many, the thought of networking was at the back of their mind.
However, as the weeks turned into months, online networking has become the new norm and it’s great for business!
The Benefits Of Online Networking
We’re all get used to doing things differently. From shopping to eating out, exercise to relaxing, we’re spending more time online. More businesses are seeing the potential of online networking.
Some of the benefits include:
- No commute time means less time out of the business
- Network from home, your car, the café or the office
- Good for the environment – how much have you saved on fuel?
- Make new contacts quickly – even more important now to make connections
- Generate leads with easy access to contact details
- Establish a wider reach as more businesses from further afield connect with each other
- Life doesn’t always run smoothly – home-schooling, family responsibilities, poorly kids, cats that want to sit on the laptop, dogs barking… it’s fine, we’ve been there, don’t worry
Top Tips For Online Networking
We’re here to help you make the most of online networking. To help you to stand out and be remembered as the go-to person in your sector.
Here are our top 10 tips:
- Test how you look before you turn your video live – read our How To Use Zoom For Online Networking blog for tips on how to set up your camera, lighting etc.
- Your presence – are you focused on the meeting? Don’t forget everyone in the meeting can see and hear you.
- Keep your introduction short. Practice your 60 second elevator pitch and make it less about yourself and more about how can help or make life easier or better for the other person.
- If you have a product, bring it to the screen – show your products and let people see what you do.
- Have your contact details to hand so you can quickly post them in the Chat Box. Name, Business Name, Email, Phone Number, Website – you could add a sentence or two about what you do and add social media if you want. Write it on a Word document and simply copy and paste it when you’ve finished your introduction.
- Listen to the other attendees. Pink Link networking is about being involved. Be supportive, encouraging, and collaborative. Ideas and opportunities will emerge through these meetings.
- Don’t expect sales on your first meeting. Build relationships and get to know people. You will hear lots of referrals and reviews from experienced networkers and members who have built up strong relationships.
- Download the chat – at the end of the meeting you will be able to use the details to follow up potential leads.
- Follow up leads but don’t be pushy. Reach out to people by phone, email, on social media.
- As lockdown eases, there’s more opportunity to meet up face to face but remember that many people are still dealing with the fall out from lockdown. Getting business back on track, dealing with remote working or childcare, or even anxiety about social distancing are some of the obstacles that they may still be facing. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a little more time to follow a lead.
Networking Post Covid-19
One of the difficulties is knowing how long this particular a piece of string is. Possibilities of localised lockdowns mean that physical meetings could be cancelled and would cause more confusion and uncertainty.
That’s why we have decided to move our Pink Link networking meetings online. You can be guaranteed that the Pink Link meetings will take place without any cancellations.
Our business networking meetings have been full of opportunities, referrals, sales and collaborations. Being online hasn’t stopped female entrepreneurship from growing and we’re making big plans behind the scenes.
When restrictions are lifted, we will hold our Pink Link conferences which will bring larger groups of businesswomen together. In the meantime, we’re embracing online networking!