HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR ONLINE MARKETING?
Effective Online Marketing
I was a very slow starter when it came to having a professional presence online through social media platforms, that changed at a networking event about 6 months ago.
A former business colleague suggested I attend an upcoming business networking event, as they knew a high-profile individual whose connection would be beneficial to me was going to be there. I eagerly accepted the invitation and was quietly excited to formally meet the person in question.
What I didn’t know was that my former colleague had reached out to this individual to confirm their attendance and set up the introduction with me. There’s tip number 1 – If you are going to connect people, it will make for a far warmer meeting if you have briefed both parties prior to the connection. For ease of explanation, let’s call the high-profile person I was meeting “Brian”.
Naturally I wanted to make the best first impression possible. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so I researched as much as I could about Brian prior to the networking event. I wanted to ensure we had plenty of common ground to talk about and keep momentum.
I went to the event completely pumped, I looked good, felt good and was confident I knew as much about Brian and his businesses as I possibly could. These feelings of confidence were about to be dented. The first words out of Brian’s mouth after I introduced myself and shook his hand were: “Ah, the international man of mystery”.
You see, whilst I was happy with my level of research into my new contact, I failed to consider that Brian would be doing his research on me. Only, he would have had much less luck than I did. My online presence was pretty much non-existent and, for potential business partners, investors or clients, that often raises alarm bells.
Take the next 2 minutes to do this simple test; Google your name and see what pops up on the front page of results. Then search your name in Google images and see what pops up there. If the only results are Facebook pictures of you on a girls’ trip to Thailand on your eleventh mojito, you can kiss that new business partnership or capital funding you were hoping to secure goodbye!
Your online presence is more often than not the first impression someone will have of you, so it needs to portray a message congruent to you and your businesses. It forms a massive part of your personal and business brand, so you need to grow and protect it. Think of your brand as what people say and think about you when you are not in the room.
In a recent Business Insider podcast that Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, appeared on he explained that a strong network is more important than even the most detailed or ambitious career plan. “And so, as opposed to saying, ‘I have a master plan,” Hoffman said, referring to either a great start-up idea or plan to climb a corporate ladder, “you’re better off focusing more energy on building as strong a network as possible, because that’s the thing that most catapults you, in terms of your capabilities, in terms of your abilities to do things.”
In the book “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi, he details how Hoffman explains to him that “LinkedIn is a closed network, and for a very simple reason: For the network to have value as an introduction tool, the connections need to have meaning. It’s up to you to vet each and every request so that if someone comes to you and says, ‘Would you introduce me?,’ you’re in a position to evaluate whether the connection would be of mutual benefit.”
Online networking does not mean another avenue to spam potential clients with your details and profiles in the hope of getting a sale. You should treat it as a wonderful platform where you can hone your networking skills on a truly global scale. Personally, I find nothing more annoying than accepting a connection request online via Facebook or LinkedIn only to be spammed by the person 1 minute later asking if I would like to buy their investment property or latest ICO. Do that, and you will quickly find yourself “unfriended” and deleted.
Treat the online connections the same as though you were meeting in person at a business networking event, be courteous and grateful for the connection and show a genuine interest in how you can help the other party. People do business with people not products, build a relationship based on integrity, honesty and a genuine desire to help the other party get what they need.
Do this and you will be able to grow your network globally!
Accredited Author - Jeremy K Streeter