Everyone knows that networking is an important way for people to move up in the corporate ladder, but just how important is it for those of us that work from home? Very! These experts have some great suggestions that will help you build your home business through strategic networking!
Kaysie Garza, Self-employed freelance writer has these great tips!
Plug into as many communities as possible. In an office, it’s much easier to meet people and attend events than it is when you operate from your home. To keep your network alive, connect online with other freelancers in your industry, start or attend a Meetup.com group, or take on local clients so you still get some face time. These things up your chances of getting a referral or repeat client, which is often preferable to scouting for new ones.
Brand your business as a contender. If you’re doing a superb job, it doesn’t matter where you work from. So “work-from-home website developer” or a similar preface won’t do you any favors. Drop the location and stick with your real title. You need to communicate to potential customers or partners that you’re a serious entity, not a one-woman show trying to make it big (even if that’s true).
Michelle Garrett, from Garrett Public Relations, has these suggestions for you!
1) Be sure to capitalize on social media as a way to promote your business. I focus on Twitter and LinkedIn primarily, but there are many options to fit any business. Use a tool like Buffer to schedule your posts, if needed. Set aside an hour maybe twice a week to find good content to curate. And if you blog, be sure to use those posts on social media, as well.
2) Use a tool like MyBusinessGenie.com, to help you organize your businesses–and close deals/sales more quickly. It’s optimized for those on the go with a mobile app.
3) Don’t forget PR. Answer HARO queries to position yourself as an expert. Contribute guest blogs to online sites that accept them. Pitch reporters both locally and in your industry to try to get more visibility for your business.
Debra Cohen, from Home Remedies of NY, Inc., has a few ideas as well!
- As a home business owner, the best way to expand your client base is by networking with industry related professionals who are in a position to refer you to multiple clients. In some cases it’s easier to start locally. For example, I built my contractor referral business by networking with real estate agents, insurance agents, home builders and inspectors.
- When appropriate, if a colleague refers to a new client, you can offer an affiliate commission for the referral.
- Once you’ve completed work for a new client, ask if they’d be willing to serve as a reference or post a testimonial on your website to help build credibility.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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