Business marketing plans utilize online networking as a tremendous facet to their menu of efforts. In fact, there are a multitude of companies that use online networking almost exclusively. While some positive results may be experienced, it may be a mistake to put all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. In other words, just because you are using online marketing, doesn’t mean that you should discount or abandon offline networking. Instead, the best way to realize the full impact is to combine the efforts and experiences of online and offline networking.
The Best of Online Networking
The wide range of benefits with regard to online networking is almost endless. The most obvious, though, is the utter convenience. Through online networking, you have the opportunity to interact with others without the constraint of your/their weekly schedule. To put it in other words, not only do you have the ability to conduct your work from the comfort of your home, but you also have the chance to do that work when you have the time to do it.
The second most apparent benefit: connecting outside of your norm. Distance, time, age, experience, and any other factor that causes separation in a typical networking scenario has no weight on your ability to connect. In addition, online social networking provides various outlets of communication that maximize your specific availability ( through a mobile device, computer, etc).
Last (but certainly not least), you have an amazing opportunity to expand your reach; an entire online world is at your fingertips and waiting to hear your valuable input. You can become or maintain your reputation with simple status updates and content sharing that provides value and meaning to an online relationship.
Indisputable Benefits of Offline Networking
Talking. Body language. Not talking. Eye rolls. Shoulder shrugs. Hand shakes. Offline networking has been done since the inception of the human race. In fact, it is what separates us from the other species in the world…the ability to communicate. Personal interaction cannot be substituted and is one of the premier benefits of offline networking. You have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills through personalized stories that elicit your individual and unique personality.
Second, as you tell these stories with your unique spin, you also have the amazing opportunity to add detail and emotion through body language/position. With online networking, you are limited to punctuation marks and bold type-faces, but in a face-to-face networking situation you have the unique advantage of adding unparalleled emotion to your statements/stories.
Body language is very important, especially in business. Online networking lacks body language. You may not realize it, but people use body language a lot. It can often say more than the actually words that are being spoken. Body language can reflect attitude, emotion and true feelings. Many aspects of communication come through body language and when you are only communicating online you lose that dimension of communication.
Both of those indisputable benefits allow offline networking to deepen and reinforce relationships while adding credibility to your reputation.
Experiencing Success with Combining Online and Offline Networking
The fact of the matter is that you have contacts and connections that are both online and offline as well as those just online or those that haven’t bought into the online networking scene. However, you cannot miss the chance to bridge the gap between the two. In other words, your online connections should be brought to an offline relationship and individuals you meet offline should be encouraged to also connect with you online.
Networking, in one way or another, will always be a staple in business development. Obtaining and maintaining valuable relationships with others is a dire need of any business, and the merging of online networking with offline networking is a mandatory step to success. Should you need help creating a campaign or business plan to develop a stronger online and offline networking experience, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
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