Social networking is a part of my life as an entrepreneur. It is a necessary part of growing my business that I honestly enjoy doing although I consider myself mostly introverted.
Communicating virtually with someone can take place in a variety of ways. It can take place on any social media network, email, direct or private messaging, live streaming, texting, and by phone. Taking time to determine how you and your business chooses to connect and engage with others is crucial for developing a relationship.
What type of business relationships is best for your business?
Relationships come in many forms when you’re an entrepreneur. You may be looking for joint venture partnership, a business or a professional mentor, or a friend in the industry.
Whatever connection you desire, there are frequent mistakes that business owners are making that can kill a relationship before it even has a chance to take off.
I want to share my top social networking mistakes, I’ve come across that you should avoid doing while networking.
1. Being “Needy” with nothing to offer
The best types of relationship mutually give and take. Small business owners should enter into the situation with the intentions of providing value. Don’t approach a potential connection with a needy mindset. This type of approach will likely doom the venture from the start. What do you bring to the table? Make sure you have something to offer that the other person needs or wants. How do you find out what they want? Just ask!
2. Expecting to be promoted online
It’s not the job of anyone to promote you or your business.
That’s your job.
Connecting with someone because you want to increase your brand visibility is fine, but you can’t expect the business partner to do all the work. Have you taken time to grow your own following and community?
Expecting someone you don’t know to promote you, is not only rude but it puts that person in an awkward position, one that they will most likely not continue.
Relationships are built on:
- Mutual respect
- Respect for each other’s communities
- Mutual understandings
The success of the joint ventures is based on each one’s abilities combine resources to make thing happen cohesively. Which leads to the next mistake I commonly come across.
3. Having an inconsistent online brand
What is the first thing you do when someone asks to connect with you, whether on Linkedin or Facebook?
You check to see who they are and what they do. At least I know that’s what I do when I am unfamiliar with someone requesting to be part of my inner circle.
Having a consistent brand across social networks is the first foundational step to building trust with someone new. Online trust is established based on what people discover about you online. Some people will Google you, what will they find out about you by doing that?
This step is significant if you’re looking for partnerships, sponsorships, or new employment. Your profiles don’t have to be identical but having profiles with entirely different identities is a sure way to have people put up a defense barrier and run the other way from you.
4. Lack of Engagement
There are countless blog posts, articles, and books on how to increase engagement online. But who wants to be connected to someone who is not engaging themselves.
There are so many ways to interact online, pick your top three ways you communicate the best and reach out. If you’re looking for ideas outside of Twitter and Facebook, how about good old fashion email or text. You can even use snail mail. I love getting cards in the mail that doesn’t sell me anything.
If you’re wondering what you should say, don’t think too hard about this. It can be about anything that you’re community will find interesting and conversational. Try doing polls and asking your community or find similar communities and use their topics as discussion points for your community.
5. Being a Hit and Run Entrepreneur
Nothing screams mistrust and spammer than being sent a sales link by a complete stranger. Link dropping is a big No-No and a huge turn off for many people especially if you only show up when you have something to share and then you’re gone again. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind sharing and helping out when I can, but I will start to avoid you if I notice you only come around when you need something.
Don’t be that person! You will find that people will begin to avoid you like the plague.
We all make mistakes in our business; it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business. Some errors can be avoided just by not being the entrepreneur you dislike yourself.