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6 online networking ideas for small businesses

With wearing a mask and social distancing becoming more and more of the norm, small businesses have had to move online to meet their potential clients. But where and how can you network effectively online? Here are six ideas on networking online.

Attend an online networking event

Many business forums offer online networking events where you can connect with fellow business owners to learn more about business and grow your network. Here are three suggestions:

  • NSBC’s Breakfast Connect: This is a monthly event where entrepreneurs are encouraged to meet online and network with other small businesses. On occasion, they have a presentation during this event to help you with some business challenges.
  • Creative mornings: This platform is for creatives. You can attend Field Trips which are online events with people from all over the globe. If you prefer to connect with more locals you can attend events by the Johannesburg or Cape Town chapter.
  • Lionesses of Africa: This a platform for female-owned businesses and they offer live webinar events here.

Send a personalised video message

Everyone has the capacity to record a quick video to send to their clients and business network. These videos can be personalised to the specific recipient or be for general groups in your network. By sending personalised messages you can build rapport with your network.

Collaborate with your network

Are there businesses in your network with whom you can collaborate to create a phenomenal online networking experience? You could send out a collaborative newsletter to each of your networks.

Have an online coffee date

Why not arrange an online coffee date with your business network. If the platform allows you can create breakout rooms where people can be grouped with other people who have similar interests and be given an icebreaker to chat about. This will give everyone a chance to add their ideas and learn from others in the group.

Create a speed networking event

Similar to speed dating, the idea is to share what your business does in a set amount of time and when the time is over you have to move on to the next business person. This will help you to meet a lot of new business people and hopefully a few with whom you could collaborate. At the end of the event, the attendees could ask those people who piqued their interest for their contact information.

Join a business group on social media

Look for a business group online that meets your requirements for networking. Make sure to add valuable information to the group. This will ensure that when people need assistance in your area of expertise, they will remember you because of the useful and relevant information you shared in the group.

These are a few ideas to help you network online. Remember that whatever idea you wish to pursue you should always add value to those you interact with.

Article provided by the NSBC

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