If you’re working to build your business, you’re probably working on sales and marketing through networking. Networking can be done in person with events like Chamber of Commerce meetings, or online with social media tools such as Facebook or Linkedin.
When you’re out there networking, remember the relationship between building your brand and building your network. Working the two together can improve your results.
What are some of the similarities between the two activities?
- Make a good first impression. In person, it’s eye contact, professional attire, and a smiling face. With your brand, it’s your logo, your business card and the home page (or landing page) of your web site.
- Repeat, build, and reconnect. Both networking and brand building rely on repeated interaction with your customers. To begin with, people may need more than one interaction to remember you and your company. Secondly, it builds trust as they learn more about you. Consistency is important for both.
- Give at least as much as you take. You will likely find more success if you make an effort to give back to your contacts, rather than only wonder what is in it for yourself. The same is true with building your identity. If you are seen as helpful and knowledgeable, that is an important non-tangible part of your brand.
In addition to similarities, the two activities can build and supplement one another. A consistent presentation of yourself, both in person and through your brand identity, can help potential clients become aware of you, remember you and eventually seek you out when they are ready to buy.