Sometimes you want to try something new when it comes to networking with other business owners. Here are some unconventional ways for you to grow your network and bring in new leads.
1. Collaborate with others in the industry
You know your niche, so you know the questions to ask others when it comes to your industry. Collaborate with people who fit your ideal market. For example, you could create a newsletter where you ask people in your niche market questions about the industry, or you could send out a survey to your market for the purposes of creating a report about the state of the industry. Ask the people you want to work with if they’d be a speaker at an event you host.
The more people you speak with, the more your name will be seen as a leader in the industry, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people to share their insights.
2. Try a new social media platform
You want to be where your customers are, but if you’re looking to network with new people, you may want to try a new social media platform. If you’ve always used Facebook, give LinkedIn a try. Learn about how to use the new platform–including any groups or communities you can be part of. Once you’re on the new platform, look for leaders you can connect with and start sharing your content to a new audience.
3. Make videos
Users are increasingly engaged by video content. It’s personal, it shows the human side of your business and it fosters relationship building. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money creating video content, either. Using the camera on your smartphone, you can film yourself talking about your services, your business or sharing insights about your industry. You can even record personal messages to go out to leads, so they can get to know you better.
4. Attend industry events
If you offer services to a particular niche, look into whether you’re able to attend conferences and trade shows for that niche. For example, if your business helps lawyers, find out if you can attend legal networking events. Go to the events with the goal of getting to know other people, rather than focusing on selling your services. Ask lots of questions so you can get to know others and gain insights into the industry.
5. Host an event
A virtual event with a guest speaker and information relevant to an industry is a great way to network. Make sure you or someone from your business can speak at the event, and market your event to potential clients in the industry. Ask what information is important to your audience right now and host an event that addresses those pain points.
6. Become a resource
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you start referring people to others, those on both sides of the introduction will remember you as someone helpful. Have a list of service providers you trust and whose names you’re willing to share with others. Introduce people to each other and tell them why you think they should get to know each other. You can also share valuable content, guide people to the resources they need, and answer questions in your niche.
Write a list of the types of service providers people in your niche typically need and have some names handy as referrals. These may include business lawyers, marketers, importers, and various vendors. They’ll all remember you for referring them.
When people see you as a trusted resource, they’ll see your value and come to you for your insights.