As a business owner, the onus is on you to leverage every situation you find yourself in to market your brand. I’m talking about going out, meeting people, and being your own business ambassador.
Why should I do that? Someone might quip. Isn't that what marketing strategies like paid traffic, social media marketing, SEO are for?
Yes, it is true you can buy traffic or invest in SEO to expose your business to the whole world from the comfort of your home. But is there really any harm in bringing in prospects to your business via other means? I doubt there is.
While touring the world, you could draw new eyes onto your business using these practices below.
How to network with people on your travel
1. Use your social media handles to get the word out
It may not have occurred to you before, but the truth is your social media profiles are actually littered with folks from all over the world.
By simply stating your next destination and the kinds of people you'd like to meet, you could get someone in your DM who would like to meet with you and discuss business.
2. Leverage your local and social communities
Everybody belongs to one group or another in real life and on social media, too. These could be Facebook groups, LinkedIn communities, or online forums.
Posting on these groups, informing members of your next plans and the kinds of networks you'd like to build can help you strike new connections.
Send a message to the group, asking to meet people in a certain business or sphere of life. Even if no one in the group is interested in introductions, they could know someone else who is. You never know.
3. Talk to friends who have visited the same place in the past
It’s always a good idea to shoot your friends with a direct message, asking them if they know anyone they can link you up with.
If they’ve been to the area before, you can bet they will know someone to connect you with. And even if they don’t, the chances are that they will know someone who does.
4. Contact and visit local business centers
Regardless of where you’re headed, I can bet you’ll find business hubs, co-working spaces, and other business-related spots.
Sending a message to these hubs before arrival, asking to meet with some of their members, could make for a wonderful networking experience.
In case you didn’t know, many of the folks working in these places are also interested in meeting new people because they understand the power of networking.
So, when you reach out to express your interest in meeting with them, you can bet they will be more than happy to grant you an audience.
5. Attend local networking events
If you do your research well, you might be lucky to find a local networking event happening in or around the area you’re visiting.
These kinds of events are a great place to meet and build an extensive network of partners. People come to these events with the sole aim of meeting people, so you shouldn’t have a problem fitting in.
Peradventure you don’t find any networking event happening around the time you’re visiting, you may try to postpone your traveling plans to fit with any date you find. If you can, of course.
6. Pay close attention to the little details around you
As you glide through various cities and spots, you’re likely to come across people of similar interests and inclinations as you. How do you spot them? By paying attention to their dressing, the crest on their chest, the logo on their cap, the way they speak, the way they carry themselves, the magazine in their hands, amongst other things.
In other words, pay attention to everything happening around you, right from the airport down to your destination.
Tips for networking on your travel
Now that you know where and how to find new networks on your travel, the next thing is how to organize your schedule. So, follow these simple tips.
1. Dress in a way that reflects your business purpose
The saying, "The way you're dressed is how you're addressed," is an absolute fact that holds true every time. So, do well to look professional.
2. Be polite
Remember, everybody you meet is out for a different purpose. So, when they give you their attention, do well to speak politely to them. For starters, humor works every time.
3. Tell your story, but listen to theirs
Don't assume you're simply going to find someone interested in getting to know you. You need to show an interest in them first. So, when you meet people, start the conversation with questions or stuff that have to do with them. Something that gives them the impression, "this guy is interested in me."
From building personal connections, business and professional connections will quickly follow.
4. Go along with your professional cards
I know the world has gone fully digital, but folks in the professional world still fancy those short, rectangular cards.
As you go out to meet people, handing out your business cards can go a long way in keeping your name in your mind. Even if you guys exchange telephone or social media contacts, it’s still best to have their cards and give them yours.
5. Don’t mix things up
It doesn't take too long for someone to get caught up in a conversation. Therefore, you need to be on your toes at all times so that you don't become distracted and forget what you really want to accomplish.
You don't want to flirt with them. You don't want to come off like you're an undercover detective fishing for personal info. Stay on casual topics, and let that flow into business talks.