Which Platforms Are Best For Your Business?
Not every meeting or networking platform will be right for every business!
In Person meetings, events, and more: If your goal is more for social reasons there are many in person platforms in most areas of the country where you can meet people, become friends and socialize on a weekly basis. Most business people who do this type networking are in hopes of someone at the meeting buying their services or products, hoping for referrals or just creating new friendships. There is nothing wrong with this type networking if building your business by socializing is your goal. You can also accomplish these goals by going to bars, after hours events and other locations where people meet to build relationships. There also is a hidden cost to in person networking. A recent survey showed that most people who do in person networking spend over $720 per year on travel, food, beverage and entry fees not counting memberships at many of these type meetings or the time it takes to travel an attend these type meetings.
On-line Networking Platforms: Over the past 20 years many social and business networking platforms have been created. Most all of these started as social only and then people started using to promote their business. In most recent years Linkedin has become one of the most popular business websites that attracts a higher caliber of business. The good news about online networking platforms is that most allow you to participate free of charge with fees for upgrades, advertising, etc. The bad news is most people think joining websites for free will help them become successful. This can be true if you use the tools provided on the websites and participate with others on a daily or regular basis but even this will provide limited success. Example: I know people who have 1,000’s of “connections or friends” on different platforms but have never or rarely connect with the people they have added to their network. Friends and connections is much like money! If you don’t use your money it is just a pile of paper with pictures of dead presidents and does nothing for you.
Virtual Networking: Virtual networking and meetings have been around longer than on-line platforms but was very expensive until the past few years. Zoom is currently the biggest at the time of this blog post but there are literally hundreds of competitors being added. The silver lining to the Covid19 virus in 2020 is many people had to step out of their comfort zone and attend virtual meetings. Unfortunately many of these platforms are not designed to accomplish the goal of the attendees. This has created a new term called “Zoom fatigue” and many people have left these type virtual platforms. The good news about virtual platforms is they can save valuable time and money depending on the virtual platform you choose. There is no travel required because you can you can attend from the comfort of your home or office, there is no required food purchase required. There are also advantages geographically. A recent survey showed “most people would like to meet and network with more new people at their meetings”! Most people will not travel more than 5-15 miles to attend an in person meeting but if the meeting is virtual it can cover a local region or the entire country. Meetings that are virtual can attract more new people covering a larger geographic area. I believe that virtual meetings are here to stay and will become even more popular in the future.
The bottom line: You need to decide what your goal is networking and decide what platform will work best to accomplish those goals. You may even want to attend multiple platforms to discover which platforms work best for your wants and needs. If you have questions about what platform may work best for your business goals you can email me directly: info@SuccessBuilders-TampaBay.com