Industry educator and business consultant Nina Tulio discusses the importance of networking to build your business.
Networking is one of the most powerful tools you can use to build your business. After all, this business is built on relationships, trust and clear communication. What better way to actually meet like-minded people as well as your ideal target client than networking? In 2020, there was a huge shift in our industry where in-person networking was put on hold. For almost a year and a half or so, we were all cooped up in our homes, craving in-person, human-to-human interaction. Now, in-person networking is back in high demand. You have an incredible opportunity to go out and meet other people who are also looking to build their business and help other entrepreneurs and solopreneurs build their business, too. Here are a few types of networking options to help boost your bottom line.
1. Social Media Networking
Using platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok remains a central way to connect with people you may never have the opportunity to meet in person. Although these platforms are broad in reach, you can narrow down your search to connect with local businesses and your perfect target client. How? Engage with them. Search local hashtags that fit your brand and target client. Follow their page. Show up in the comments. Start connecting with them. Instead of scrolling aimlessly, dedicate 15 minutes each day to engaging with your local audience — this will help bring in new clients.
2. In-Person Local Event Networking
Get out there! Join some local networking groups that are aligned with your brand, and start making connections. Meet-up groups and business mix-and-mingles can be a total game changer. I suggest attending an event at least once per month. As a former salon owner, I built the majority of my business by volunteering for my local chamber of commerce and attending its monthly mixer. Meeting one or two of the right people can make an impact in your salon’s growth. Plus, you are making friends along the way.
3. Business-to-Business Networking
Think about all the locally owned businesses in your area. They are looking to build a successful business just like you. Why not partner up with other businesses and work together to support each other? You can co-host an event and give back to your community or create a marketing strategy that will reach both of your target client bases. Making real connections with other businesses is a great way for you to send referrals their way and, of course, they can send referrals your way. The key to making this work is to align yourself with other business owners who share your target client. Maybe you have a yoga studio in your area that shares your target client: Link up with their staff and see how you can support each other and help each other grow.