When you'd like for your company to continuously grow and thrive with new opportunities, it's important to remember that you're only as good as your least employee.
You need to take your employees to "hunt" and be enterprising in how they go about their business so that they can continuously bring in new sales and foster relationships with other companies and professionals. With this in mind, one of the best things you can do is train and build your employees into networking machines that can take in new information and find people that will become lifelong working relationships.
If you want results, it's vital that you surround yourself with employees that are willing to keep growing in this regard. You can inspire and inform them of the best ways to market so that they can take their careers into their own hands, while also making your company better for the long haul.
With this in mind, keep reading so that you can teach your employees the ins and outs of sound marketing practices.
#1: Make Sure That Their Pages and Profiles Are up to Par
Today, it's vital that your employees put their best foot forward when it comes to having their profiles in order. People need to have a quality presentation on social media in order to attract new clients and professionals that can be worthwhile for the future.
Start by making sure that your employees all have LinkedIn pages that are thorough and updated. Hold a brown bag session about getting the most out of LinkedIn pages, and be sure that they keep these pages accurate and thorough. The more that your professionals look into managing their LinkedIn pages, the easier it will be for them to find relationships that count.
This will serve as their calling card, which allows them to find other like-minded people that can help propel them to new heights. You will be able to build your LinkedIn network in a way that counts so that your group of employees feel comfortable creating new relationships and taking them to the next level.
Aside from LinkedIn, make sure that your employee's social media platforms are up to par. You would be surprised to know just how many solid relationships can be built by establishing a rapport on outlets like Twitter. Rather than just having them contact people blindly and ask for favors, make it about providing value with high-quality comments and joining in conversations.
Run through some Twitter searches so that your employees can get on board with conversations that are relevant in the field. By having your employees become familiar with every social media platform, they'll be able to network on a regular basis without even having to leave the comfort of the office.
#2: Build a Networking Spreadsheet or Database
The problem that people have with networking is that they don't follow up. When your employees gain traction with someone that they are networking with, the next natural step should be to continue the conversation.
You can help with this by creating templates for networking. Set up the spreadsheets in a way that allow people to network and follow up via e-mail or phone with the person after a certain amount of time has passed. By putting some strategy behind it, rather than simply sending out e-mails, people will find that they get better results.
The last thing your employees would want is to have a hot contact that they completely forget to follow up with, to the point that the connection becomes cold. Every business is a relationships business, so you need to train your employees to be used to staying on top of relationships once they are cultivated.
A cold call can turn into a follow-up conversation, which can turn into a meeting for coffee or lunch, which can evolve into a career-long relationship. By staying on top of these matters in a way that is organic, your employees won't have to worry about letting valuable connections slip away.
#3: Send Them out on Frequent Networking Events
While social media and e-mail are great, you need to definitely be sure that your employees are getting face time with people.
Sending them out to networking events can be a great idea in this regard. Going out to professional conferences and networking events is valuable because it allows your employees to get used to pitching, showing some personality in meetings and professional circles, and learning the ins and outs of new tricks of the trade that are relevant.
By taking the time to send your employees out to these sorts of events, they will also take pride in themselves as professionals, which will give them the opportunity to strive for something new and different in their careers. Keep them furnished with business cards and other marketing tools that will help them get the most out of these events in order to masterfully walk in these circles and get something out of it each and every time.
#4: Teach Your Employees to Provide Value First
By making your employees accountable for building their own brand through creating value, they will always have a place in their industry. This can be as simple as providing value in the form of a blog or a YouTube channel. Make sure that they create these pages in a way that is all about giving to the consumer, rather than simply asking for sales or trying to create leads.
Since they will have access to more people in this Web 2.0 world, it also helps your employees recognize the public relations tenets that count. By always looking to add value to the consumer first, your employee is ready for anything that comes their way.
By tackling these tips you shouldn't have any problem helping your employees get the absolute most out of their networking capability. No matter what sort of business you work in, networking is of the utmost importance. The easier it is for your professionals to network, the easier it'll be for them to take their professional relationships and profile to new heights.
You can create some opportunities for them by utilizing the strategies above. Begin with these tips and don't hesitate to explore new and different ways to keep networking at the forefront.
I'm a standup comedian and freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA.