Ask any business owner and they'll tell you just how important networking is for business growth. Connecting with other businesses can create more marketing opportunities, help you build profitable collaborations, and also provide access to more potential clients, and as a personal stylist if networking is not already part of your business growth activities then it really needs to be. A few months ago, networking was easy to do! Find local groups and business events to attend, or visit businesses in your town and city to establish relationships. But now, in the age of Covid-19, these strategies are no longer options for many of us across the globe. But before you put networking on the back burner I have some good news! While we may not be able to network in-person there are several ways in which you can network virtually to not only grow your current online business but also establish some important connections for when we get back to providing in-person services.
Get on LinkedIn - LinkedIn is probably the most under-utilized online platform by personal stylists. Most Stylists focus their time on Instagram due to its popularity and visual nature, but by doing so they're missing out on the opportunities that LinkedIn offers. LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting and networking with other stylists, business owners, and even potential clients. It has grown significantly since its development and has become more of an interactive tool for its users. If you don't already have a profile set-up then do it now! You can then find networking groups based on location or industry, find resources for your business, share your expertize, and even find people that need your services.
Use Facebook groups - Facebook is not simply for posting updates and photos, so make sure you use it in the most beneficial way for your business. Join groups related to the styling industry, or find local business networking groups. You can also connect with individual businesses in your town/city and start developing a relationship. Look for businesses that have an affinity to your business, such as clothing boutiques, gyms, or spas and salons. By developing these relationships now, you'll be able to collaborate in the future when in-person services and activities resume.
Follow local networking groups - Most business networking groups are active on social media. You can find these groups by doing simple hashtag searches using your town or city, for example, #bostonbusinesswomen or #NYCbusinessnetworking. By following these accounts and engaging with them you'll start making a connection that will carry forward once in-person meetings start again. You'll also be able to connect with other members and find out about any virtual events that may be happening. The key is to engage and not just follow! Remember, networking, whether virtual or in-person, is all about connecting and developing relationships.
Attend online networking events - Most, if not all, organizations have switched their in-person events to online zoom meetings. You can find these events on social media or even by using google searches, or Eventbrite. Choose events that make sense for your business such as local business networking events and become a regular attendee.
Whatever you do, don't put your networking activities on hold! Just as we've had to pivot our services to adapt to social distancing requirements we also need to adapt our business growth strategies. So reach out (virtually) and start connecting!
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