NETWORKING AND PR
PR is not just about being in the magazines.
Personal PR is just as important and this means being seen and heard in the right places by the right people.
Networking in any area or aspect of business is crucial. No one is going to know about your business unless you are working hard to tell everyone about it, through both offline and online activity. This activity takes numerous forms from regional networking groups to communicating to hundreds or thousands on any social media platform.
- Girl Tribe Gang - This is networking like no other that I’ve done before. Totally informal and not about the ‘selling’, there are Tribes all across the UK that meet & connect once a month. It is evening networking, so can be done tipple in hand to ease those nerves. Most sessions will include an expert speaker to impart their wisdom on any number of topics from all things business to style to wellbeing and self-care. This network is about supporting you in business or in your escape from the 9-5.
- DiscovHer - This network is Cotswolds based but with members across the UK. Providing a combination of online support and teaching with practical workshops and in person meet ups, you will find a great balance of activity and a strong offering of professional contacts.
- Mama Tribe - Mama Tribe is a great example of an online directory style network providing a space for digital networking and collaboration. Danni regularly arranges powwow meet ups for members of the network in different regions and there is always a smashing Christmas party!
- The Athena Network - If you fancy a lovely lunch with a group of fabulous business ladies in your region once a month then look into it. The aim of the network is to support women in business with insight, knowledge and comraderie and it is a great way of meeting like-minded business women that can become clients, collaborators and/or supporters of your brand.
- Female Entrepreneur Association - This is a fantastic virtual networking service that provides support, teaching and plenty of opportunity to meet and connect with business women across the world. A great resource, the FEA provides members with comprehensive teaching bundles for different aspects of business each month, access to a wonderful Facebook group and on going opportunities for networking and promotion.
- Check out any more direct networking groups in your area. Often they are great for providing access to potential suppliers, strategic partnerships, collaborators as well as pools of potential clients. Find a regional networking group that you feel your messages and brand will resonate with.
- Self Promotion - Reach out to industry events, trade shows and other public forums that may be looking for speakers with your expertise. Open a dialogue with those in charge and share what you are able to offer and what value you could bring to their event. Position yourself to make the most of any opportunity like this by sharing your news with your local newspapers and radio stations as well as any Business to Business press that may be covering the events you will be speaking at. Also, make sure to promote across your website, blog and social media. Perhaps you could give away tickets to your followers to come and see you speak or share a competition or discount code for anything you are promoting at the event?
Your ideal clients could be watching you share your expertise on a respected platfrom - this is invaluable promotion. Of course, in addition to any PR you are able to do before and following the event, there may also be press in attendance which is a wonderful added bonus.
- Social Media - Having a presence on social media is proving increasingly invaluable for many businesses, regardless of sector, these days and lest we ignore the huge advntage it offers to businesses in growing their support network. Tapping into the right audience on social media can be the making of a business, providing a group of supporters that are interested in your brand and receptive to your offering. While social media is, in a sense, all about self-promotion, it is important to limit the amount of promotion you overtly include in your feeds. By giving your followers unique insight, behind the scenes information, advice, inspiration and anecdotes, you will grow your audience and increase their loyalty to you by building a mutually beneficial raport with them.
- Business Awards - Not only is being nominated for a business award a great chance for regional press coverage, attending an award ceremony, nominated or not, is a great opportunity to network and promote your business. At an event such as this, where everyone else is there to to network an promote their business, it is very easy to find yourself in conversation and with the opportunity to connect to other business people. A business award ceremony could be specifically for regional businesses, or it may be a national business ceremony or an industry specific ceremony that brings brands from across the UK. There are hundreds of award ceremonies across the UK that can be entered by start ups and SMEs, so see if you can find a few to enter your brand into.
There are many ways to network - this list could be much longer - however, simply getting out and about any saying yes to oppportunties that present themselves is the first step. Join colleagues or friends at events they might be attending, be bold and approach the brand that you've wanted to guest blog for, build your confidence and tackle public speaking. In short, get yourself and your brand out there!