We understand that many of you may not understand there’s a distinct difference between Business Networking and Business Advertising. We found some articles that we hope can help you differentiate between the two so you have a better understanding of why we don’t allow advertising in our networking group. Here is an article regarding networking:
Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers. The primary purpose of business networking is to tell others about your business and hopefully turn them into customers.
The Benefits of Business Networking
New contacts and referrals – The most obvious benefit of networking is to meet potential clients and/or generate referrals which you can then follow up on to hopefully add to your client base. Networking can also help you identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures, or new areas of expansion for your business.
Visibility – You need to meet and communicate with potential clients and business partners on a regular basis to maintain your business relationships. Attending business luncheons and other networking events raises your personal profile and can help keep you front and center in the minds of the right people.
Staying current – In an ever-changing business climate, it is important to keep up with the target market conditions as well as overall trends in your industry. Knowing the market is the key to developing a successful marketing plan. Attending seminars and networking with your peers and business associates on a regular basis will help you stay current.
Problem-solving – In addition to the potential of increasing your business you can often find solutions to your own business problems or needs by networking. For example, if your business needs the services of a bookkeeper, accountant, or lawyer you may find the ideal candidate via networking, or if your business needs equity financing for a startup you may be able to find an angel investor or venture capitalist through networking channels.
Sharing knowledge and experience – Networking is ideal for expanding your knowledge by taking advantage of the viewpoints and prior experience of others. If for example, you are thinking of getting into the import or export business you may be able to get some valuable advice from someone else who has done similar business internationally. Taking advantage of the experiences of others before you invest time and money in a particular venture can be invaluable.
Confidence and morale – Most business people are optimistic and positive. Regularly associating with such people can be a great morale boost, particularly in the difficult early phases of a new business. If you are not naturally outgoing, regularly meeting new people can also boost your confidence and on a personal basis, you may form new friendships with like-minded people.
The purpose of business networking is to increase business revenue – one way or another. The thickening of the bottom line can be immediately apparent, as in developing a relationship with a new client, or develop over time, as in learning a new business skill.
HERE IS AN ARTICLE REGARDING ADVERTISING: Advertising is the attempt to influence the buying behavior of customers or clients with a persuasive selling message about products and/or services. In business, the goal of advertising is to attract new customers by defining the target market and reaching out to them with an effective ad campaign.
Establishing the target market is the critical first step in any advertising campaign – you need to know who your intended audience is before you can reach them. If your target audience is senior citizens, for example, an advertising medium such as Facebook is a poor choice. Similarly, Millennial are much less likely to read newspapers or use the Yellow Pages. Defining the target market involves building a demographic profile of the prospective customer by taking into account criteria such as age, gender, marital status, lifestyle, shopping habits, etc. It is also important to check out the level of competition for your product or service with your target audience as you may need to compete on price and/or service.
We hope that you have found these two articles helpful. Keep in mind that our Small Business Networking is strictly a NETWORKING group and advertising is NOT allowed. Please be sure to join our community group, “Small Business Networking – For Advertising” where you can advertise freely.