In today’s digital era, social media networking and digital marketing seem to dominate business outreach. However, whilst digital communications is important for a small business, there’s a difference between digital marketing and business networking.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing includes key activities that are performed online and through key parameters for the benefit of the promotion of a brand or lead generation. Digital marketing includes, though is not limited to Search engine optimization, Content development, Social media management, Pay per click advertising, Email marketing, Website optimization and management, and Mobile marketing.

Whilst having an online presence can be beneficial for many types of business modern businesses, often a networking approach allows you to build a rapport and customize your message.

What is Business Networking?

Network marketing is the approach to lead generation and sales through increasing the network of your contacts. Business Networking is known by a variety of names such as multi-level marketing, referral marketing, and affiliate marketing.

Network marketing is pursued by encouraging other parties to directly sell and create a further network for sales. In network marketing, sales teams receive a commission based on revenue generated from the income of selling a product.

Whilst network marketing may not be a traditional approach to a digital business climate, business networking helps businesses stay ahead of the curve by exposing thought leadership, best practices, upcoming trends, and collaborative approaches. Network marketing is occasionally used by specific industries, for example, financial products, and services, or fast-moving consumer goods services.

Here are three networking strategies that will get your small business out of its digital bubble and into the forefront of people’s minds.

1. Attend a Chamber of Commerce Event

With local roots and global reach, a Chamber of Commerce enables the local business community to take advantage of networking opportunities to build connections and strengthen your business profile.
The Chamber of Commerce also enables businesses to become more personable in their relationship building and therefore tailor your message to what other members needs and also offers the opportunity to answer any questions immediately.

2. Host a networking event

As a small business, it is important to get as much exposure as possible. Networking events are powerful ways to connect business owners.
To host a business networking event, have a focus or a narrow niche that ensures your guests have common ground and that each individual can gain the best benefit from the event.

3. Join a Networking Community

Joining a networking community is an evolving way of helping you to meet other small business owners, set goals, create accountability, and build a referral network.

Not only can a networking community lead to new clients, but it can also act as a sounding board for different ideas you have. More and more business networking communities are becoming available online, though no two groups are the same.

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