You never know what the bar will be like or who you are going to meet. There are millions of places to network and market your business online, just like there are millions of bars. The key is finding the right combination of location, people and atmosphere.
Here are some tips.
1. Start with the reputable bars.
Would you just go to ANY bar in the city, or would you start with the ones that are well known? If you were looking for a date, you would probably have more success with the bar that is packed and everyone goes to, rather than the place down the street that may have 10 people on a Friday night. Start going to a site that is well known or ask a friend where they go. Then as you meet people you will find new places to go.
2. Check out the atmosphere.
It doesn’t matter how busy the bar is, but if it is not your style, you are not going to have fun. There could be 1000 people there, but if you don’t like the crowd, the music or the décor, you are wasting your time. You probably won’t meet anyone like you or that has similar tastes. The same goes for online. If you don’t like the layout of the site, the topics being discussed or the people you meet, then you should find another place.
Get involved. If you stand in the corner of the bar with your drink in hand, what do you think the chances are that anyone will talk to you? Pretty slim. But if you get out on the dance floor, start talking to others and introducing yourself, you are more likely to make some new friends or get a date. Online, you should introduce yourself and start engaging in conversations. Answer questions that others have had and make sure to welcome others as they arrive.
3. Conversation Etiquette.
You wouldn’t walk into a bar and say, “Hi my name is Louann and I’m looking for a date.” No one would pay attention to you. The same holds true to online networking. While you want to promote your business, you also want to promote yourself. Take part in the conversations, give advice, share your stories, become their friend. Once you do that, you’ll have their trust and these new friends will be more likely to become your customers, become business partners and refer their friends to you.
4. Go Back
While you might meet the man of your dreams on the first trip to the bar, more than likely it will take several trips. As you go each week and participate, you will become recognized, trusted and others will think…I want to get to know her. Online networking is the same way. If others see you and your ads over and over, you will be trusted and recognized, which is vital to any business.
5. Stay away from Gossip
Even at our favorite places sometimes we meet someone we don’t like. It is tempting to gossip about them! But all to often this backfires. I’m sure this has happened to you at least once in your life! If someone is getting out of hand at the bar, you’d get the manager or bartender to step in and help.
When communication online, stick to the topics at hand. Refrain from talking about others. And if things do get out of hand, ask a moderator for help. Moderators are people who can delete posts, ban members and keep things running smoothly.
6. Look at the costs
If your favorite bar has a expensive drinks and a high cover charge, does that mean you shouldn’t go? Of course not. You probably recognize you are getting more for your money. Better entertainment, better quality of food and nicer people who attend. When looking for advertising online, the same thing applies. Just because is it expensive doesn’t mean it is not good. Ask questions. Why is the price higher? Is there a bigger audience? Does the website get lots of hits? Are there great articles and advice on the site? If you look at it and enjoy it, then others will to making the money paid worth while.
Keep these tips in mind when marketing and posting online and you will be successful at online marketing too.
Dream Big, Dream Often and then surround yourself by those who believe in you!