In the past, networking was simply a collection of people you knew. They could be family, friends or casual acquaintances. In today's digital world, networking is a little more complicated and can take on various forms. You may not even know the people you are networking with, but you will have common interests.
Network the old fashioned way
You can build your business network the old fashioned way. One great way to network is to find a natural therapies conference or other event near you and go to it. You will meet many people who are interested in natural therapies and can give them your business card. Make sure your business card has your website address on it because that will be the first place they go to look for you. Remember not to neglect your business when you are networking this way. Hire someone to open your place of business and they can schedule appointments for you.
Business networking in the digital age
But in this day and age of modern technology, business networking has definitely evolved. Aside from having better opportunities because you can cast your net even further, the Internet definitely made it a lot more easier and faster to be able to connect to your peers.
There are a lot of options at your disposal as a business owner that will allow you to connect to possible customers. These include:
- Chat - Talking one-on-one is still the best way to establish good relationships with business partners, colleagues and customers. This time, you just take it online. There are several options for chat that will allow you to communicate with everyone that you need to be in touch with.
- Online business community - There are a lot of online business communities you can join, including those that are geared toward natural health business owners like you. You just have to know where and how to look for them.
- Social media - You can’t even go online today without getting yourself tangled in any form of social network, so might as well just take advantage of it and create a profile for you and your business. Everyone’s in there, so you might as well be.
- Blog & website - Create your own community by creating your own blog or website. Become an authority in your niche and just see people coming.
Benefits of business networking
Between having a doing online networking and meeting people in person, you might be surprised by how much your network grows. Having a blog can reach thousands of people and meeting people in person can also help make your business grow. They will be impressed by your knowledge of natural therapies and may come to you when they have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Networking doesn't have to be complicated and can be done with a blog or meeting people in person. When you use more complicated methods like those listed above, you may not find people who are interested in natural therapies. When you have a website and a blog, people who are interested in natural therapies will subscribe to your blog and when you meet people in person at a natural therapies event, you know they will be interested in natural therapies, too.
Networking is a form of marketing, but it doesn't have to be hard-sell marketing. You can take a softer approach and as a natural therapies practitioner, this may be the best way to market your business.