Lead generation can be challenging in any industry, especially if you have a B2B service offering. That’s why at Ajax Union, we’re firm believers that networking is a great tool to find leads!
There are many ways to generate leads online, but having a multi-factor approach to B2B lead generation will ultimately produce the best results. It can be intimidating for some business owners, but it is an excellent way to build your pipeline.
At its core, networking is all about forming good relationships and building trust with people that could potentially become advocates or clients of your business. Keep reading to learn a few ways you can use networking to generate more leads.
What Is Networking and Where Can You Do It?
According to The Oxford English Dictionary, networking is “the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.” That means when networking, the goal should be to exchange information and value.
Networking can be done online or in-person, at the local level, or even nationally with other individuals in your industry. Successful networking can help you find more leads and referrals and support your business’s growth. If not, it at least presents an opportunity for you to meet other key decision-makers that have valuable insights into your business. Additionally, those decision-makers can conduct relationships with other helpful people.
Here are a couple of ways you can begin networking to generate leads:
1.Go to local meet-ups
One of the best and easiest ways to use networking to find new leads in your area is by attending local networking events. There are ample opportunities for this, especially if you live near a city. You can use LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Google to find local meet-ups that pertain to your industry or even the old-fashioned route! Call or message your current contacts and ask them if they can point you in the direction of any events where you can meet industry peers.
2. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a VERY powerful tool for lead generation. There’s a reason we have a whole course on how to go from a lurker to an influencer! If used correctly, LinkedIn can be an extremely effective tool for growing your business. There are many ways you can leverage LinkedIn for lead generation, like connecting with key decision-makers, leveraging current connections for referrals or introductions, posting and building trust with your local network, sharing your services, joining industry-specific groups, and more! The possibilities are endless when it comes to LinkedIn, and it’s worth exploring if you’re serious about lead generation.
3. Get your sharable assets ready
Okay, so you’re ready to network in-person or online; do you have assets you can share with your new contacts? It’s EXTREMELY important to be prepared when networking with important people. Our marketing experts at Ajax Union recommend having the following assets:
- A business card: It represents you and your business! It should include the most basic information about your business on it and a way for someone to contact you.
- A networking one-sheet: A page that highlights your work history, achievements, and overall impact. It is designed specifically for executive networking. This branded document can be used when initially contacting recruiters, during networking events, or anytime you need to provide a quick overview of your value.
4. Network with your current and past clients
There is no one better to vouch for your services than the people who currently utilize them or have used them in the past! Be sure to network and keep in touch with the clients you’ve worked with for a couple of reasons. You can check in on old contacts and potentially re-engage them, OR they can refer you to people in their network that are in need of their services. There are no downsides to networking in this way, and remember to pay it forward!
5. Ask your current network for referrals
Don’t be shy! Transparency is crucial when it comes to networking. So if you are on the hunt for new leads or referrals, be sure to ask the people around you in both personal and professional spaces. Most people want to help!
6. Nurture your current relationships
Ultimately, if you want to generate leads by networking, you’ll have to walk the talk. Networking is not just about the one-time interaction you have with an important person. It is about the sustained and supported connection you build with many people in your network, not just any one person. Stay top of mind with your current and new contacts on LinkedIn, engage with them and their posts, and offer value where you can, even if it has nothing to do with you! Networking is all about building business relationships that can mutually benefit everyone.
7. Partner with an agency that can support your networking efforts
One of the best ways to get speaking engagements is through networking. Alternatively, you can hire a marketing agency to book more engagements also.
B2B marketing agencies like ours can support you through your organic lead generation tactics and help you network more effectively as well as help you book more speaking engagements. That’s why we offer LinkedIn outreach services as well as a comprehensive speaking engagement offering.
With our speaking engagement offering, we do a workshop with your business to learn more about your services and networking goals, then create assets for the members of your organization that will be networking, then help you execute and support your networking efforts!
Here’s some of the collateral we build for our speaking engagement clients:
- Networking one-sheets
- Social media post templates
- Landing pages
- Press releases
- And more!
In summary, networking is a time-tested method for building your pipeline and enabling business growth. If done consistently, it’s an excellent and effective way to connect with key decision-makers that can help you find new leads and win more business. Networking can also be a great way to gain speaking engagements. Ajax Union also helps our clients get speaking engagements through our Speak Engagement Offering.
Want to learn more about our Speaking Engagement Offering? Download our one-sheet HERE.
You can also schedule a FREE strategy session with us and we’ll give you personalized insights on your business and be sure to ask you the right questions!
For more helpful information on B2B Marketing check out our resource library.