Every single company needs to build relationships to be able to grow, to gain a good profile and to cement a strong reputation in the industry.
Small businesses should certainly not underestimate the power of the network to boost their project. Indeed, networking is the key. Good partnerships will bring so much to your business. Visibility, reputation, value, good advice, support and much more. You have everything to gain by networking.
Networking could give you the opportunity, for instance, to build partnership with other businesses. Don't hesitate to read our blog explaining why building partnerships in business is important. We give there good tips to approach potential futur partners.
Yet despite this, many startups and small businesses put it on the back burner. Where should I start? How do I draw attention to my project? It’s not always easy to make a first contact.
To help you we wanted to share some tips we use at JournoLink to grow our list of contacts, along with some of our successful stories.
Business events or conferences present a great opportunity to exchange business cards.
1- What am I supposed to say to make conversation?
Our founder Peter, who has a wealth of networking experience, always approaches people in a very casual way.
“Show an interest in their business. Ask them their challenges. But also find out if they have kids and swap stories. Find out where they live or come from.“
Good relationships, of any kind, are always based on shared life experiences. There’s no need to keep the conversation 100% professional.
2- Another important thing to remember is to learn how to make the best of every situation.
Take your chance wherever you are. Camilla, our Media Relations Executive, even networks in the ladies bathroom.
“At a business show I got three business cards from talking to ladies when washing hands and checking make up“.
You also never know how valuable a contact may be, so remember to always swap details with whoever you talk to. Even if they aren't useful to you at the moment they may be in 6 months, a year or even 10 years. And you might be useful to them too.
Emily, who became our Head of Partnerships, remembers: “I first met Peter (my now boss) when I went to an event with my previous company, but I didn't email him till I was looking for a job and remembered his company.“
3- From the beginning of the conversation, try to build trust with the person you are talking to.
Be yourself and stay relaxed. People can often tell when you’re playing a role.
Adam who was the mastermind behind the JournoLink platform recommends “using their name often because it builds a bond and helps you remember them later. But not too often or you may look mad.“
Expanding your network takes time. You need to reach the right people to gain interest, and also look after your relationships and remember to maintain them. If it looks like a lot of work, don't write that person off straight away because they may surprise you.
We hope those tips will help you and give you some inspiration.
Please feel free to share them on social media and to share your own ones too.
At JournoLink we help small businesses interact with journalists in their sector faster through our tailored platform.
For more of our tips for Britain's small businesses talk to the JournoLink team at mailto:email@example.com