Is online networking worth building relationships?

Networking Online: Building Relationships with Other Local Businesses

Leigh here from Onside Online. Over the past decade, I've been right in the thick of the digital marketing scene, helping hardworking tradies and local businesses in Queensland grow. One key lesson that stands out is the essential role of networking. In our increasingly connected world, online networking isn't just a trend; it's a necessity. Let's explore why that is and how you can build thriving relationships with other local businesses online.

The Digital Networking Landscape

The digital space offers an extensive playground for business connections. Gone are the days of waiting for the annual trade show to network. Through various online platforms and strategies, local businesses can connect, collaborate, and grow together.

Let’s have a look at a few…

1. Leverage Social Media Platforms

The power of social media goes far beyond casual socialising. It’s an essential tool for building professional relationships.

  • LinkedIn: Tailor-made for business networking, LinkedIn offers opportunities to connect with local industry leaders. Participate in discussions, share your insights, and build your local business community.
  • Facebook & Instagram: These platforms allow you to engage with other businesses on a more personal level. Join local business groups, comment on posts, and share relevant content. Your next collaboration might start with a simple “like.”

 

2. Join Online Networking Groups

The internet is teeming with forums and groups specifically designed for different industries and locations. Joining these platforms provides access to local business owners facing similar challenges and opportunities.

  • Local Business Forums: Sites like Meetup or industry-specific forums can provide tailored networking opportunities.
  • Industry-specific Groups: Whether you’re in plumbing, construction, or retail, there are online groups geared toward your specific trade.


3. Collaborate on Content

Creating joint content with another local business can be a rewarding experience. It not only provides exposure but fosters a sense of community.

  • Guest Blogging: Write a guest post on a partner’s blog or invite them to contribute to yours.
  • Webinars & Workshops: Co-host an educational webinar with another local expert to provide value to both of your audiences.

4. Offer Value Before Asking for Anything

Relationships are built on trust and goodwill. Focus on what you can give, not just what you can get.

  • Share Expertise: Offer to help other businesses with your expertise, whether it’s SEO advice or design tips.
  • Promote Others: Share other local businesses’ content or services, highlighting what you appreciate about them.

5. Virtual Coffee or Lunch Meetings

Never underestimate the power of a casual chat over a virtual cuppa. It can lead to exciting collaborations and lasting friendships.

  • Use Video Platforms: Platforms like Zoom or Teams make virtual meetings a breeze.
  • Be Genuine: Keep it casual and authentic; you’re building a relationship, not making a sales pitch.

6. Utilise Local SEO Strategies

Your website should be a beacon for local collaboration. Through local SEO, you can attract businesses looking to partner or collaborate.

  • Create Local Content: Offer locally-focused content that resonates with your community.
  • Optimise Google My Business: Ensure your Google My Business listing is up to date and actively engage with reviews and queries.

In Summary

Online networking is about fostering community, collaboration, and growth. Here at Onside Online, our passion for helping businesses succeed extends beyond merely boosting sales. It’s about creating a web of connections that uplifts everyone involved.

Whether you’re just starting in the networking game or looking to refine your approach, the digital landscape offers immense opportunities. If this all seems a bit daunting, we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at Onside Online, and let’s grow together.

Here’s to building relationships and thriving local businesses. We’re all in this together, and at Onside Online, we’re always on your side.

Cheers,
Leigh

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Leigh Reading
Leigh Reading

Digital Marketing professional with 13+ years of helping businesses achieve their goals.

Share this article:

Ready to transform your business?

Contact Leigh and Mandy today for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Read the latest articles from our experts