Business networking online has exploded over the course of the last few years with Social Media sites like Facebook, Linked In, forums, blogs etc and has allowed many business owners to extend their far beyond their normal horizons. However, I think many businesses can miss an opportunity to build those relationships even further by taking their online relationships and build, extend and deepen them through offline and face to face networking, where possible.
Let me give you an example. Over the course of the last few months I have met and collaborated with a quite a few new people that I have ‘met’ through this blog and that is great. However, last Friday Christine Livingstone of A Different Kind of Work organised an event in London that was to trial a new workshop that she is developing. There were a number of great people there that I had met, collaborated and networked with online including Ben from 6Aliens.com and Eleanor from Giveabrick.com. The workshop was great (Thank you, Christine) but what I found really helpful was that it allowed me to deepen the relationships I had with those people such that new projects and support came out of the face to face discussions on the day.
Similarly, I have had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with Stefan Topfer from Winweb and SME-blog.com online. A couple of weeks ago we arranged to meet up for coffee and are now discussing a really exciting, new project. More on that later as I can’t tell you about it now. However, all I can say is that great things can come out of extending your online relationships into the face to face (real 😉 ) world.
In a previous post, 8 Strategies That Successful Entrepreneurs Use to Solve Problems I talked about the things that entrepreneurs do on a consistent basis that helps them overcome challenges and succeed. One of the them and, probably, one of the most important ones is:
Having a robust network…
Successful entrepreneurs have strong and extensive networks that they can turn to them in times of need.
…..and, I believe, that has to include building relationships both online and offline. The key here is to recognise that we are human and that face to face contact is an important part of our social needs. It was John Donne that said it beautifully when he said that:
No man is an island….
So, my question to you today is: Who do you know that you are connected to online that you could easily hook up with face to face to give yourself a chance to develop and deepen your relationship?
Thanks to murielle for the image.