Building Your Support Network: Finding Your Champions
Businesses are built from relationships and the support of their community. Your Unique Value Proposition should be the lens you use to approach anyone in your network, consider the benefits you can provide. Find ways to connect with people you know using social media and your online presence. There are two main groups of people in your support network that you want to tap into to strengthen your business.
The broad community that you have interacted with is the foundation of your business. The more you interact with them, the stronger your relationship will become. They have different interests, and levels of commitment to your brand, so it’s necessary to keep track of these contacts using a CRM system. Your community should continue to grow as time moves forward, but you still should dedicate time to interact with your community. You never know the opportunities that could lie within the relationships that you have already established.
There is another category that you want to pay attention to in your community, and those are your champions. These individuals are the ones that go above and beyond to support you. They will shoutout your business, offer their support, want to collaborate with your brand, and help you through referrals. These people are valuable and should be cultivated. Have a system to keep in touch with these people. What can you do to connect with them in a meaningful way?
Staying in Touch with your Network:
Use Social Media to build your connections. Make sure you connect with your network on your social platforms and be sure to consistently comment, like, and message your sphere of influence. Using social media to spark engagement and will help foster connections.
Don’t forget the power of in-person communication. Digital can only take you so far, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or visit some of your best referral partners. The more time you spend building these relationships, the stronger your brand will become.
Social capital takes time to develop and quickly can recede if you don’t invest in it. As a business professional, it’s your job to support your community, and in return, they will be incentivized to return the favor. To learn more, read our article, Make the Most of Your Connections: Utilizing your Database to Grow Your Audience.
Your network is a crucial aspect of your social strategy, so maintaining your relationships will sustain the future of your business. Social media is your referral tool that can be very effective if used with purpose.