Do you need to network, if you have an online business?

02 Mar 2018
Bydebbiediggle

If you have an online business, you may not use offline networking as part of your marketing strategy. In fact, you may believe that social media platforms have killed offline networking. Except they haven’t! There are a lot of businesses who rely solely on social media for their business and networking needs and, if it works for them – then fair play. However, social media is like any other marketing tool, it’s best used in conjunction with other marketing tools.

For those people who have online-based businesses, it can initially seem like a good idea to do everything online. Social media enables us to connect with anyone from anywhere in the world, but we’re naturally inclined to congregate, talk and interact. We thrive on human company and offline networking events feed that need, in a way that an online environment can’t.

Whilst there are home-based businesses, they’ll always be offline networking.

With an increase in home-based businesses, it’s easy to see how so many people are using social media as their main point of contact. However, working from home can be lonely. You spend so much time on your own or, in the case of stay at home mums, with toddlers – and you end up craving adult conversation and company.
That’s where offline networking comes in. Whether you opt for a formal networking event or an informal one, it gives you an opportunity to interact with other adults, adults who have similar interests and goals as you.

Face-to-face is the quickest way to build genuine rapport with others

An online environment can be an incredibly difficult one to read. Not only can text be misinterpreted, people can be fake too. It’s been said that we make a snap-judgement about someone we meet within the first 60 seconds. Meeting someone in person enables you to get a better read on them and helps us build a genuine rapport, as we’re using our instincts and their body language, to make an initial connection.

Offline networking isn’t going anywhere

Put people with similar interests in a room and you can’t help but feel the energy. Not only does it create an energising atmosphere, it’s also an inspiring one too – and this is why offline networking isn’t going anywhere.
We love to meet up and interact with people who are like us, people who inspire us and motivate us to be our best selves. You can get ideas, help and advice from online contacts, but it’s missing the atmosphere and energy you get from an offline networking event.

Networking can complement an online business

The beauty of having an online business is you CAN be both offline and online. Just because you work online, doesn’t mean you’re limited to staying online. By using offline networking in conjunction with your online business, you can beautifully integrate the two. Using online means to connect with new contacts? You can use offline networking as a way to take those relationships to the next level and, if you’re using offline networking to connect – online is a great way to stay in touch.

If you have an online business, you can easily use offline networking to help you grow your business to the next level. They both have benefits and, as with any other marketing tool, they beautifully complement each other – so why not see how you can utilise them better in your business!

Image Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo