How to Build Business Networking Relationships

Building a business networking strategy to move your business forward can feel daunting. But did you know that the trajectory of your business has so much to do with the relationships you have built? This is why business networking is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner.

In fact, according to Porter Gale, “your network is your net worth.”

Today, we are going to be talking about building business relationships that propel your business forward.

I want you to know that developing and maintaining relationships takes time and work. But when you truly make an effort to create authentic and meaningful relationships, you and your business will benefit from them.

How to Develop a Business Networking Strategy

While networking, I like to use the  Dream 100 strategy. Your dream 100 is essentially a list of your top 100 dream partners or clients that you’d like to work with. If you don’t have 100 right now, that is okay, these tips will work for you regardless of your number.

Here are some easy steps to start building your business networking relationships and propel your business forward

  • 1. Create your networking list
    • Who would I like to partner with?
    • Who has a following I would like to serve?
    • Who is influential?
    • Who can add value to my community?
    • Tip: Try to diversify your network. Don’t just go after the same people you see in your industry. Who else could provide value and a different perspective?  You will never grow if you don’t put in the effort to do so.
  • 2. Connect
    • Tip: Don’t only look at it as “what can this relationship do for me?” You have to want to make a genuine connection or the relationship won’t last, and the other person will likely see through the facade.
    • Subscribe to their email list and blog
    • Follow them on social media
    • Go to an event or mastermind hosted by them
    • Buy and use their products
  • 3. Add value
    • Engage with them in a meaningful way over social media.
      • Do you have shared goals, values, experiences, etc? Talk about these things!
    • Share their content with others
    • Leave feedback and reviews on their products
    • By connecting and adding value, you are working on the know, like, and trust factor. People do business with those that they trust.
  • 4. Organize and engage
    • Make a spreadsheet to track your list of connections and when you have been communicating with them.
    • Set a schedule to check back in. 
    • If you are not regularly making touch points with your network, relationships will fade. You have to nurture them. 
    • Reevaluate who should stay on your list annually. Things change and some people who were on your list may not be right for where you and your business are headed.

Remember – when it comes to business networking, it’s not always the quantity on your list, it’s the quality. 

The best part is that these tips can apply to both online and brick and mortar businesses. Business networking is a necessary part of running your business regardless of what type of industry you are in. When you implement these steps, you will be able to streamline your process and actually track your network. 

While you are working on gaining valuable business relationships, you can also be working on bringing qualified and paying leads by taking part of our Drive More Traffic Bootcamp, where you will learn 10 free or low-cost ways to drive more traffic to your business.

What other ideas would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!