When it comes to “business networking” you may think of it as something that is only for local businesses. Not true! You can connect with other business owners from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if they live across town or across the planet!
Social Media – The biggest advancement to networking is definitely social media! Thanks to sites like Twitter, you can “talk” to people – in real time – from all over the globe. Think of this as a “virtual water cooler.” This is where you can make small talk and get to know each other. But don’t let that stop you from talking about your business every now and then, too!
Publicity Swap – Ask some of your long-distance friends that you met through blogging or social media to join you in a Publicity Swap. Here are some ways where you can swap some publicity:
- You and a friend (or group of friends) each write a blog post about each other
- You write a “link round up” post with the links to some of your favorite posts or blogs, and include your friend in that list (and they do the same for you)
- Interview your friend on your blog, and they interview you on their blog
- Have a “cross blog conversation” where you each write part of a post. You include your part on your blog and link to your friend’s blog, where the other half of the blog is located (and vice versa)
- You and your friend each tweet out or pin / repin some of each other’s links
Swag Exchange – Another idea is to have a “swag exchange” with some business friends. You can send them some of your business cards, stickers, a small sample size of one of your products, or some other promotional item.
When they ship out an order, they’ll include one of your promotional items. The person receiving the order will appreciate the little freebie and they may end up becoming one of your customers. Of course, this is an exchange, so your business friend should send you some promotional items for their business that you can send out in your orders!
These are just a few examples to show you how to meet and work with business owners that may not be near you. You’re only limited by your imagination, so have fun with this and think up all the ways you can connect with other business owners. There are Twitter Parties, Pinning Parties and so many other things going on. Experiment with these things and find out what you like best!
Have you found an online creative community that has helped you network?
By Crissy Herron, www.IndieBizChicks.com