05 Apr 2016

How To Use Online Networking For Business Development And Growth

Let me tell you a story of a hardworking entrepreneur named Paul, who was dedicated to grow a successful business. Day after day, Paul worked so hard giving the maximum, but getting no results,  and he became angry and frustrated. But Paul wasn’t a quitter, and decided that he had to work harder. A long time ago he was told that a hard working person always reaps the reward. One day, Paul, feeling devastated and like a failure and not made to be an entrepreneur, decided to go for a walk to blow off some steam. That walk in the park changed everything, because he ran into his college friend Amy. She was the missing link, who connected him to other valuable links.

YOU HAVE TO WORK LIKE AN ANT, AND NETWORK LIKE A GRASSHOPPER

The story of the ants and the grasshopper shows two extrems – ants work hard they don’t have time for rest and leasure, grasshopper is having fun all the time, but in the winter he ends up hungry. The moral of the story for many is – be like an ant and not like a grasshopper; but because most of the time we too, have a tendency to go to extremes, we received that lesson only half way, forgetting that we are not forced to take it to the latter but rather learn and apply what works best for each and every one of us in a specific context.

Networking was always an intricate part of a business success, because business is all about people – and that includes new connections. What gets in a way of networking is that once we focus on our end goal, we forget everything else. The more we work the more we become detached from a social aspect of our business. 

Nowadays we have social networks, which represent huge opportunities to meet new people. With a good strategy and targeted approach we can save time while maximizing our efforts and success rate. Usually, networking means «business communications», but these days networking doesn’t have to be tied directly to a business to get results. 

Social media networking is not free – you pay for it upfront with your energy and your time. Energy can be restored, however time invested in networking must have some kind of ROI, something tangible that can help you move forward, grow, increase sales, generate more income or gaining any of the following examples: 

– New point of view 
– Different experience 
– Learning new skill 
– Increased awareness of your personal brand 
– Increased awareness for your startup 
– New important contacts 
– New friendships 
– Invitation to participate in a tweetchat, private linkedin group, blab, community, writing a blog post… 
– Start an online brand community 

What’s important is to think of your time as if it were a budget, and allocate certain amounts to communicate, connect, exchange opinions, LEARN from others, teach… 

If we behave only as ants, we might end up in solitude, and no (wo)man is an island. To go further, grow and innovate, we have to collaborate. 

STRATEGIC NETWORKING MUST INCLUDE RESPECTING OTHERS 

Choosing our tactics, like whom we contact with and how, seems very calculated and unemotional – but that’s only half of the story. Once you’re done researching and shaping your networking strategy it’s time to focus on the people.People are not assets, numbers, stepping stones… people are made of emotions – dreams, passions, needs, wants. 

In other words, your networking strategy might look like it’s focused solely on you and yourbusiness, but it also needs to be focused on the people you’re going to reach. And if you’re not a «people person» your first step, before jumping in business networking, is to learn some people skills, so you can become more effective at it and also have more fun. 

– Don’t fake it till you make it – people like genuineness, they have a way to instinctively sense fake. 
– If you take, you must give back – show support and respect, be a connector. 
– Be prepared to give more than you receive – some people might need more to open and collaborate. 
– Invest your time and energy in quality not quantity – don’t be a victim of vanity, and pick those social networks which will best serve your goals. 
– Test and try – not every plan and approach will work, prepare to adjust. 
– Be curious not a stalker – the more you get to know a person the better relationship 

The beauty of online networking is that you can find out peoples’ interests in advance, so you can connect with those who share your interests, and discuss related topics. Who knows, you might even move beyond mutually supporting one another and establish a business collaboration. It happens all the time. 

Remember: Networking IS a part of Business success – a part you must not skip and leave for a more convenient time. Business success IS about people – and how they respond to your service, your product, most importantly to YOU!

Disclaimer: The post has been written by Iva Ignjatovic, @IvaIgnjatovic who was a guest on #SocialPowWow Twitter chat to speak on this topic. The article first appeared on ancitasatija.blogspot.com

TESTIMONIALS

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Ancita always came across as an eager learner and willing to go the extra mile. She's got good language and social media skills and uses these to her advantage. She was also dependable and I believe she would be a good asset in any organization. I wish her well for the future.

Rony Thomas, Head of Communications, Amazon

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Ankita supported us in connecting with the CMO community on social media in India - she is knowledgeable, articulate, prompt and superbly organized. She is fast to learn and agile to create business impact, which distinguishes her in the projects she works on.

Rajesh Kumar Jindal, Vice President, Head of Marketing, SAP

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Although Ancita was part of the PR team, she gradually started taking interest in digital communication which I believe is an apt field for her. She effectively used her communication skills learnt in PR to deliver results in digital media which is a much needed talent in the industry. We worked together on google maps and on a project called PMOAppContest chat where Ancita ably demonstrated her creative and storytelling skills. She defined the flow of the chat and was a key campaign owner. The initiative was a huge success in India. Ancita is committed, disciplined and a diligent person and I am sure she is a great asset to her team and her organization.

Abhilasha Padhy, Communications Manager, Google

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Ancita is a Star performer at Six Degrees. She takes initiative and has a ‘To Do’ attitude. This has reflected in her taking up the onus of focusing her skills on Digital within the firm during the last one year and even on her own through an initiative like the SocialPowWow. She has a strong understanding of developing engaging content for audiences to increase relevance for brands. We believe that she has great potential to develop as an integrated communications professional.

Rishi Seth, Group CEO, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

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PR professional, blogger, digital enthusiast. Driven, hardworking and result oriented, Ankita is always game to take up new challenges. Energetic and efficient, trust her to get things done. With keen interest in digital marketing she has been involved in various integrated comms campaigns and delivered successfully.

Cijo Mathew, General Manager, 20:20 MSL

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Ancita is one of the most dependable people I have ever come across. She is diligent, attentive and sharp which makes her a great asset for the team as well as clients. Within few years in PR, Ancita managed to build great media relations and helped her team crack some of the best stories. She is a great team player

Priyank Dubey, Communications Lead, ESPN

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Ancita and I have been working closely for 4 years now & it has been an inspiring journey thus far. It has been amazing to see her transformation from an curious social media learner to a professional digital media expert. Her knack for the understanding the digital landscape is special. While she certainly is an expert in various aspects of digital marketing but her initiative "SocialPowWow" has been really impressive. Today it's one of the most popular Twitter chats in India. She is great human being, hard worker & thinker. Her infectious smile can be an asset in any work environment. Wishing her all the success in any endeavours she chooses for herself.

Nitin Bhatia, Managing Director, Meltwater

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A dedicated, smart and media savvy publicist. Her sound understanding about the real estate business and clarity of thought makes her a go-to person for all communication queries. Strong command over english language and a collaborative team player makes her a best fit for a challenging role. I highly recommend her for a profile that requires a go-getter, passionate, dedicated, knowledgeable and intelligent person.

Nikhil Savio Gutal, Deputy Manager, Marketing & Communication, Cushman & Wakefield

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Ankita was one of the most diligent and hardworking students in our batch. There's a lot to learn from her, esp. her sense of punctuality, sincerity and work efficiency. It really was a lot of fun being together in the same class during our post graduation programme. I wish her good luck for all her future endeavours.

Sayani Bagchi, Area Sales Manager, Britannia Industries Limited

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Ancita is an extremely dedicated resource and a great value add for an organization. Her attention to detail, intelligence and proactive approach has always delighted the people she works with and the clients she services. Ancita is absolutely great with digital media and gives creative, yet practical ideas. I wish her all the best for future!

Shreya Sabharwal, Vice President, Ernst & Young

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Ancita has been a valued colleague at Six Degrees. She's focused and dedicated at work and brings in fresh thinking and approaches to mandates that she's entrusted with. Equally importantly she's a stickler for details and micro-manages things till the work gets done!

Rahul Mishra, General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India

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Ancita is a thorough professional who is particular about deadlines and quality of work. You can always bank upon Ancita on any work that is on her task list. A proactive individual who not only pushes herself but her team too.

Siddharth Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Cohn & Wolfe India

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Ancita is a thorough professional and absolutely meticulous with her work. She took a lead in Digital when it was the upcoming hottest trend and that is commendable. Always ready to pitch in with ideas on a campaign,love her energy. She is and will be an asset to any organization that she chooses to be associated with. It has been a pleasure working with her here.

Pooja Poddar Jain, Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

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Ancita is very good in her craft of digital PR and comes with sound knowledge on digital. She is a great team player and has shown great capabilities to lead any team project. She is a great colleague, it has always been a pleasure to work with her and is very easy to work with.

Shalini Gunashekar, Associate Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees

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SocialPowWow chat is one of the most innovative conversations involving small businesses and thought leaders. Ancita deserves a lot of credit for being the go-getter in bringing everyone together.

Cheval John, Founder & CEO, VallanoMedia, LLC, Houston

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I'm impressed and inspired by Ancita Satija for creating an initiative as cool as SocialPowWow and making it a movement. How many young professionals go above and beyond to make a mark and leave a legacy? Ancita has set an example for others to follow. I am sure this weekly tweet chat will grow to become much more than just a chat.

Amith Prabhu, Founding Dean @SCoReInd, CoFounder @PRAXISInd & @PRomiseFdn

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SocialPowWow is one of those must attend twitter chats like #TwitterSmarter #Hootchat #MediaChat with vibrant, engaged communities discussing relevant & trending topics on social media and with a smart and friendly host like Ancita!

Zen Yinger, CEO, ZenSocial, North Carolina

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Congratulations #SocialPowWow for completing two years. You have always been amazing in getting interesting people to exchange views on interesting and relevant topics. You are the platform that brings out-of-the-box minds together across the globe in the world of clatter. Stay there with us -- as a friend, as a trend spotter, and stay relevant. Wishes for many more.

Sounak Mitra, Associate Editor @moneycontrolcom

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I had the pleasure of working with Ancita, during my time at Burson Cohn and Wolfe. Ancita is affable and very easy to work with - great qualities to have in a team mate! She's a dedicated employee whose positive spirit helps guide the team that she’s in. Her experience and knowledge in digital, from copywriting to social media strategies makes her an asset to any organisation.

Thimah Hameed, Vice President - Regional Digital Strategy Marketing Lead, DBS Bank