Many people launch an online business so they can go “solopreneur” and finally work for themselves. However, even as a solopreneur, you will still need to interact and “network” with others if you want to succeed.
Today I’ll show you who you should be networking with and the best ways to do it.
Networking is a task that doesn’t have to take much time or effort, but it’s something that you’ll need to do online. Today you’ll discover how to appeal to prospective buyers, other business owners both new and old, as well as potential JV partners who can send you more subscribers and sales.
First, Make Yourself Available to People Who Need Help
When you’re new to online business, it is normal to feel intimidated by the thought of having to interact with your niche audience. But what you may not realize is that your followers will feel intimidated having to reach out to you as well. In fact, many people continue to stay confused or in the dark about a situation rather than have to contact someone with questions.
Part of the reason they feel uncomfortable is that they don’t want to bother anyone. They feel as if you are an expert and if they take up any of your time, you may think they are asking a stupid question.
But if you want to be known as a niche leader who is there for your target audience to help them when they need it, then interacting and networking with your target audience will generate good will! It will never be as much work as you may think. Plus, in the process of looking up solutions for them, you’ll be learning more yourself.
And of course, you can always recommend products and services if they are the right solution, and earn a commission in the process.
For example, if you’re in the Internet marketing niche and someone reaches out to you via email, your blog or on Facebook, help them out. If they have questions about building a subscriber list, tell them about the autoresponder service you use and what you like and don’t like about it.
I do this with Aweber as I’ve been a customer of theirs for many years. I like the service so I tell others about it via my affiliate link. And they’ve sent me monthly commissions for more than a decade.
These seemingly insignificant conversations that take mere seconds to carry out, help your audience get to know you – which means you’re helping build trust for future purchases of products and services.
You’ll want to make it a two-way street. Don’t always allow the conversation to simply come to you. Engage your audience, try to remember their names or little things about them that you can discuss now and then. Social media is great for that.
Next, Make Connections with People Who Can Help Grow Your Business
Staying engaged is not just for customers. In fact, you might form even closer friendships with other small business owners in your niche or similar niches. I like doing this with my Facebook friends.
Make sure it’s always a mix of business and personal life when you network. It never has to include private information you don’t want to disclose – it can even be about your favorite hobbies, about their pets, etc. Just don’t be all business where they never feel as if they got to know you or can trust you.
When you start working online in your own venture, you may feel at times like it’s you against the world. You have to make all of the decisions, learn things on your own, and motivate yourself to take action.
But there are others in the industry who can help you grow your business. Networking with them is a good way to give your efforts a boost whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Try to strike up conversations with people who can help and are people who you look up to. This would be other marketers (whether they’re in your niche or not) who have built and sustained an online business for a respectable amount of time.
It’s a good ideas to find and network with a group of people on different levels. Some may be below you in terms of success online, some may be on the same level, and others may be far ahead of you.
These people can often spot things you may be doing wrong and offer advice on corrective measures you can take to get yourself on the right track. For example, you might be pricing your products wrong or failing to launch with a funnel – and they can quickly offer their insight.
I recently had a website get hacked right in the middle of a launch. One of my Facebook friends and business colleagues reached out to me and let me know. He even offered solutions. I was able to get the site right back online with minimal downtime, all because of my networking actions of the past. You never know how a relationship can help you in business, and it can come in unexpected ways.
Finally, Recruit Others to Promote for You, But Do It Correctly
Another way that you want to network is with those who could promote your product for you, help you earn more money and grow your buyer’s list. That’s why you should make it a top priority to network with potential affiliates and JV partners.
JV partners can be a valuable resource, so you want to communicate with them carefully and build a genuine relationship with them.
First find out who promotes products in your niche. More than likely they will already have a list or following themselves, and may be interested in promoting related products. To find these people, you can look at upcoming and past launches on muncheye.com.
You can also find top affiliate marketers by looking on leaderboards of affiliates contests at JVzoo and WarriorPlus.
Once you have a list of potential JV partners and affiliates, you’ll want to spend time getting to know them. Start out by friending them on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
You definitely want to get on their list as a subscriber to see what their style is like. This will help you determine how to network with them on a social level – are they funny or serious, short and to the point or long-winded?
Once you are on their list, you’ll also be able to see what they promote from other people. This kind of data can tell you whether or not their list responds well to text based courses or video courses, as well as what topics they promote on a regular basis within the niche.
If they have a product of their own, purchase it so that you can see the type of quality they put out.
It’s a good idea to engage with potential affiliates for awhile before asking them to promote your product. You’ll want to take this step early on in the development of your online business so that when the time comes, you’ll be able to reach out without it feeling spammy.
When you do have a product launch in the works, make sure you contact potential affiliates at least a month ahead of time. It gives them the chance to put you on their schedule in case they have very limited availability in their emails. Give them the details about the product and launch in your first communication with them about this subject. And be sure to include a link to your JV (joint venture) page.
Also make sure you send them a complementary review copy of the product. Don’t make them ask for a review copy, and don’t ask them if they want one. Just send it. Make it as convenient as possible for them.
Another thing you may want to consider is whether to provide additional perks for them if they come onboard for your launch. This might be an increased percentage for their commission, a bonus that you have created for them to give their list, a banner ad spot on your download page, etc.
As you can see, networking is a critical element in any online business, even for solopreneurs. Make sure you put together a plan to network with your customers, your competition and your potential JV partners. It will pay off handsomely in the future!