Nothing bests face-to-face connections when it comes to networking, relationship building and connecting with prospective clients.
However, as a consultant or solopreneur, having a strong online and brand presence in the world of social networks is also very critical for engagement, trust building and market expansion.
Basically, I have accepted is that social networking is here to stay. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, you name it, it exists.
In addition, technology changes and advances at such a rapid pace that trying to keep up with everything can be overwhelming at times.
But more importantly, can you be productive while balancing several social networking sites?
Social networking is not a negative thing. As savvy business owners, we must find effective online (and offline) strategies for staying connected, but not at the expense of our daily productivity and efficiency.
If you’d like to use social networking as part of your marketing strategies but are concerned about the time factor, here are a few tips to keep you on track:
#1 – Establish a schedule.
Set aside a fixed amount of time each day like 20 or 30 minutes for social networking. Try to stick to the same schedule each day.
You may find that 30 minutes is too little or too much, so adjust it to your needs, but stay on schedule. This way you get your dose of social networking without it overtaking your business or life.
#2 – Have a networking goal.
Before you get started with a flurry of social networking activities ask yourself:
- What would I like to achieve from this?
- Do I want to gain more clients?
- Do I want to build trust and expertise status?
- Do I want to just connect with friends and business associates?
It’s important to know your social networking goals because this will help you put all your efforts and activities in perspective.
For example, if your goal is to get more clients, then your social networking time is an investment and you can track the direct outcome.
#3 – Don’t take on everything all at once.
Avoid doing every aspect of social networking all at once. Instead, research and find one or two methods you really enjoy that align well with your business goals. Stick to those strategies consistently until you’re confident you can handle more.
#4 – Prioritize your social networking tasks.
Unless you’ve proven that social networking is a big part of your overall business strategy and success, prioritize your fundamental (i.e. money-making) tasks first.
Once you’ve completed the daily activities that directly support your business success, then you can move on to your social networking time.
Use the tips listed here as a starting point and remember that ultimately you’re in control of your time and you don’t need to get carried away with social networking. What has been your experience with social networking?