With the rise and changes to social media activities in recent years, the importance of connections to promote your business have become increasingly important.
Whilst online connections are key, the most powerful are those offline, face to face, as these are people that become your tribe and fans and follow what you do on a more regular basis.
Usually, a connection starts online, or briefly face-to-face, then connection is made online – both support one another. Then regular touch points with this connection, online and offline, develops it from an acquaintance to a long term valuable business relationship, and even into friendship.
For a few of these connections, the friendships develop closely, due to these having the same interests and life situations to you, and these are the people that will promote, advocate, support and guide you in life, and help your business grow and prosper.
Let’s look at a few examples of my connections:
I met Missy Dunning nearly 3 years ago at a Her Business Brew meeting – she was self-employed at Sweet Dreams Art. From a conversation at one of the meetings we ended up created a children’s book together, which sold nearly 500 copies. Missy also began working with me as a Virtual Assistant when I was hospitalised when pregnant and then went on to securing a full-time job at Inspired Youth, which was one of the clients she supported at the time. She is now one of my best friends and supports me with so many projects and in life, and our families and kids are close too.
- I met Kerri Page through social media as she was working as a self-employed nail technician and was promoting an offer on Facebook. Just over 2 years ago I went to have my nails done with her, we got talking and she wanted more admin work alongside the nail business, so she helped out on various projects and when I was hospitalised, and now she has developed into a full-time employee, my Operations Manager for Glow Virtual Assistants, and future CEO!
- I met Gay Webster a year back at an event, she is the Editor of Just Regional magazine, and did a story for me about An Hour or So. Since then, she is always promoting me, has connected me to various PR opportunities and is involved in various projects with me, most recently the HER True Colours Calendar 2018.
- Hollie Itkins, Natalie Davies, Natalie Chapman, Alex Atkinson, the list goes on!
But why connections are so powerful?
As already mentioned, connections support, empower and uplift you in your life. When connections develop into long-term valuable relationships, these people promote you and give you advise/education in your business.
These fans then connect you with other people who can help you on your journey and you can always call upon them to know someone who will be a valuable contact in any situation!
Most of all, once you begin connecting and become a leader in your field/industry, and are know for your expertise, you then become a valuable connector for people and become involved in projects and opportunities that you would never been aware of!
REMEMBER – everyone you meet is important, and never underestimate who they will know! Treat everyone you meet with respect and as a queen/king! Share stuff for free, and link others, as this is how you become valuable, along with knowing you are helping and support others to succeed in life and business!
And what about connecting through networking?
In the last few years networking seems to have been the most successful activity in growing my contact list and building my client base.
To make the most out of networking my approach has been to:
- Attend lots of different groups, of different sizes, locations, single/mixed gender, and corporate/self-employed.
- Once you have narrowed down what sort of networking groups and activities most suit you and your business then be sure to find as many of these types of group to explore.
- Once you have attended groups that suit, you will begin to know which of these groups/meetings are the most successful.
- Now you know what groups and events to attend, make sure you check out the delegate list of each meeting or event in advance and highlight those you would like to build a business relationship with.
- Try and chat to as many people as possible at each meeting/event.
- Always introduce yourself with a smile, handshake and a business card.
- Don’t introduce yourself with a robot-like sales pitch – try to mix it up a bit.
- In conversation, don’t just focus on the sale – it’s more important to focus on building meaningful business relationships, making useful contacts, and seeking new opportunities.
- Look for things in common during your conversation – business experiences and personal attributes.
- Always leave a meeting/event by saying goodbye to as many people as possible who you have spoken with.
But most importantly, don’t forget to be yourself!
About Glow Virtual Assistants
We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!
We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.
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