Did you know less than half of all Australian businesses (both small and large companies) had an online presence? Considering that globally 61% of Internet users research products online are you losing out on not being visible to existing and potential customers?
If your main goal is to network with potential employers or clients online, the best way to do this is to create and maintain an online profile on a social media network(s) of your choice. Creating online professional profiles are generally free and give you a chance to engage with your customers and get valuable insights into the type of problems they are looking to solve. Here, we consider a few options.
Creating online professional profiles are generally free and give you a chance to engage with your customers and get valuable insights into the type of problems they are looking to solve
#1 Manage social media profiles
Whether you or your business operate from a central website or not, your social media presence is going to be one of the most important tools in your marketing tool bag. Social media accounts are generally free to set up (some charge a fee for premium features) and easy to update. The key is to have an active and interesting Facebook page or LinkedIn profile – nothing turns off customers more than a dusty and forgotten Facebook page or a LinkedIn profile that hasn’t been updated for some time. What does this say to your customer about your business?
If you’re hesitant about getting involved then the statistics should tip you over. LinkedIn, the network for professionals, has passed 4 million members in Australia. That’s approximately four out of five business professionals who use LinkedIn across the country!
Also consider which social network is right for you before starting a page or profile. There’s no point in having a Pinterest account if you sell a cleaning service for example. The key is to make the social network work for you.
#2 Look the part
A picture is worth a thousand words. The way in which we choose to present ourselves is the way in which we will be judged most of the time. The fate of a business meeting can be determined or altered by the smallest of details. It might be the use of American Express Credit Cards or the print design of your business card which has the deciding effect on a client. Paying attention to the details doesn’t need to be expensive, but it can certainly be effective.
#3 Utilise word of mouth
One of the most effective forms of marketing which costs the least is word of mouth. A recommendation of your services from a trustworthy source can hold a lot of weight for your target market. For example, LinkedIn offers a recommendations page for its users, why not contact all your previous customers or colleagues and ask them to post referrals to your page? A positive testimonial or recommendation can add value to your business proposal.
Referral schemes which offer discounts to new and existing clients are great for generating repeat business. Individuals can also make use of good old fashioned networking to increase the chances of their name being dropped into the ears of prospective clients. Use networking events to build relationships and not just a means of collecting business cards. Have a strategy in mind before attending such events for example; I will talk to three people from Company X. Do your research beforehand to find out who may be attending and whether they could be a source of business.