Net-working: 5 ways online connections bolster business
If you want your business to thrive in the digital domain, you need to nourish it with a wide online network.
By focusing your efforts in the right places, it’s never been easier to enhance your online presence– here are five of best ways to get started.
1. Start with your website
Launching an eye-catching website is probably your first smart move – it’s the engine of all your digital activities, where customers find out which of their pressing problems you can solve, where you build brand recognition and create an aura of credibility and authority. But if you don’t yet have the wherewithal for a well-designed website, all is not lost – creating a free Google My Business profile is child’s play and empowers you with an instant presence on the powerful Google search network. Your profile includes details such as address, opening times and contact details and it pops up when people search for your business or something similar – what’s not to love?
2. Business-minded social media
The internet removes geographical barriers, enabling you to connect with like-minded businesspeople on social media that you’d probably never encounter otherwise.
And when it comes to picking platforms, nothing beats LinkedIn for B2B business.
With two professionals joining every second, it boasts a better growth rate than Twitter and Facebook – and with companies and groups from every sector and individuals at every level of seniority it’s the perfect place to network, collaborate and inspire others, all of which will help you grow your business.
Each time you connect with someone new, you’re gaining access to their network whilst also improving the visibility of your business. And because it’s so simple to segment LinkedIn users according to useful criteria like industry, geographical location and rank in company hierarchy, creating targeted content that connects with them is easier than it might be on other platforms.
3. Connect and persuade with Content
From websites to blogs and social media, you’re spoilt for choice for spaces where you can disseminate high-quality content that drives sales and conversions.
Content such as high-quality, original and informative blogs, articles and videos are genuinely useful to your target audience, project your authority and expertise and convince customers that you’re the type of confident brand they want to do business with.
So use content to establish your brand as a front-runner in your industry and direct consumers to your website where you can then move them further along the buyer journey towards becoming long-standing customers.
4. Business support networks
The digital domain also provides ample opportunities to access useful business networks such as the British Chambers of Commerce.
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce offers key benefits including a direct route to the SME market, detailed insight into the UK business landscape, and local and national media engagement. For instance, by becoming ‘business of the week’ in a feature article on your local Chamber website or newsletter, you’re tapping into a lucrative email list of thousands of potential customers.
5. Digital learning and growth resources
There’s a huge pool of learning resources available online that will give your business a competitive edge.
For instance, if you’re comfortable with self-learning, enrolling with the programme gets you up to speed with local, national and international digital marketing tactics and strategies.
But if you prefer to learn about subjects like registering your business, making the appropriate tax arrangements and marketing it online in person, there are 38 LEP Growth Hubs across England where you can grab great free advice and meet fellow businesspeople in the same boat.
Whether you’re a new business on the block or an established enterprise that needs to fast-track digital transformation to stay relevant, making the correct online connections expands your entrepreneurial horizons in wonderful ways you might never have imagined.