If someone asked you ‘What are the top marketing tools you use in your business?’, what would be on your list?
• Your website?
• Pay per click advertising?
• Social media campaigns?
Would networking make it onto your list? Do you think of networking as part of your marketing toolkit?
The networking experts at Fresh can tell you that networking is most definitely a form of marketing, and a fantastic one at that. What makes us so sure?
Let’s first look at a definition of marketing – there are many, but this one comes from Business.gov.au: “[Marketing] involves activities that help to build your brand and business.”
Building our brand and building our business is something we all want to do, so just how does networking help us towards those goals?
1. Building your brand
Networking gives you heaps of opportunity to build your brand face to face, in person, with warmth, personality and engagement. At Fresh meetings, we give one-minute pitches and longer presentations to explain our business and showcase our brand.
We catch up with each other one to one, to cement those first impressions. We visit other hubs in a rapidly growing network, and build awareness of our brand with more and more connections.
Our facilitation team enhance their personal brand through leading their meetings and groups.
2. Someone who knows someone
Networking can also be a great strategy to help increase your ‘stickiness’ with your existing clients. With a strong network, you become ‘someone who knows someone’. When your client asks if you happen to know a good bookkeeper/web designer/ videographer/mortgage broker, and you can make a great referral, you just upped the ante for your own brand too.
3. Building your business
At Fresh, we know that networking is about building relationships. Relationships lead to referrals, and referrals help to build your business. Warm referrals from people who know and trust you have a far higher conversion rate than cool leads from a marketing campaign (not to say that both aren’t valuable). The more networking connections you make, and the more those connections understand what you do, the more referrals you get to build your business.
4. Finding the right help
Building your business is often about finding the right people to help you grow – you might be looking for expert help with finance, marketing, technology or coaching. Using your network is a highly effective way to find the right match to help you develop your business.
Networking – boost your marketing activity
At Fresh, we really know networking, and see it as an incredible marketing tool. It is a great way to build your business and build your brand. Businesses understand the need for marketing, and put time and effort into getting it right. So we encourage you to think of your networking in the same way – set yourself goals, plan your activity, track your results.
And we promise you that you’ll soon realise why networking is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can employ.