Have your elevator pitch ready, dress for the connections you want, and practice your handshake. You’ve probably heard this advice when it comes to networking for your business. In fact, at times, we put so much emphasis on the above three that we forget the rules are different when we’re networking online for a SaaS (Software as a Service) or e-commerce business.
When you’re networking online, having an elevator pitch ready might mean ensuring your website is up-to-date; dressing for the connections you want may mean your social media profiles are consistent; and, practising your handshake could look a bit more like getting the right endorsements from the right sources.
Let’s take a closer look at how we can become better networkers as online business owners.
When we’re trying to make a connection with a business we admire, we might be tempted to go through social media and ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ every post we see. This can be seen as making the first move when it comes to networking, but in actuality, we want to be doing less ‘liking’ and more thoughtful, strategic engaging — that is, we want to start saying ‘hello’.
Reaching out to businesses and saying ‘hello’ first allows you, as an entrepreneur, to break the ice effectively. However, this isn’t the time to give your elevator pitch. Saying hi and initiating conversation simply opens up a dialogue between your business and theirs. Developing a genuine interest in the other business’ operations will allow a more natural connection in the long run.
Many relevant industry groups and organizations have an online counterpart. Even if you aren’t going to in-person meetups, it’s very important to join these groups online and make your presence known. This is a great place to practise your elevator pitch. Business owners in the same industry as you can be great supporters when you’re starting out in e-commerce. Genuinely reaching out and forming these connections in a professional setting will bolster your confidence and give you those first few connections.
This may be the most obvious way to network online, but keeping an up-to-date online profile, including your website and social media, is imperative to successful branding. In an ideal scenario, all your social media handles will be consistent with your website’s address, but if you’re in a position where your handles are all a little different, having the exact same copy and images on your profiles will tie your branding together for new connections and customers. Consistency is a passive way to network online, but it ends up being one of the most important factors in online recognition.
Networking online has its own challenges apart from in-person networking. You can’t always use face value to form a bond with another person, but by following a few simple practices, you can put your best foot forward when presenting yourself and your business to others.
Guest Blogger: Louisa Atto
Louisa is a freelance writer, digital marketing professional, and author. Check out her portfolio here.
For this Blogspiration, you would get a tour of where I work on KyeWik Services/ReneeBritt Media.
Through the video, you can tell I can pretty much work anywhere when it comes to my business. I can work at home, a coffee shop, studios and the outdoors. I wanted to get more studio shots but we are in the middle of exams so filming would be difficult. I get to work on my business from anywhere with my laptop. I can explore different places and let creativity flow.
Where do you like to get your work done? Let me know in the comments below!
Til’ Next Time,
Edited By: April Waddell
This post is for entrepreneurs that are REALLY just starting out. If you start making enough money to support having a business account at a physical bank then go for it because, in the long run, it helps a lot with your business. When starting out, I wanted a way that I could keep personal and business transactions separate. Tax people around me suggested it was a good thing to do. It’s easier to keep track of how much money I used and I could control the money coming in and going out. I felt the best option was using a prepaid credit card because you can keep track of how much you are spending and you can use it for purchases from online vendors.
I started off using my bank’s prepaid credit card because it came with monthly statements and it was somewhat easy to reconcile at the end of the month. What made it difficult was online vendors outside of Canada. The conversion rates differed from the price you see vs. the currency rate. Also, foreign transaction fees were torture.
I then moved on to Koho which I wasn’t purposely trying to use for business but some business purchases were made from it. This card also had some perks. This one is best for personal use because it has a cool feature where you can make a savings goal and it takes money out of your account based on how you set up your goal. If you wanted to keep finances separate while saving up money towards larger business expenses, this card can help with that. I also love how fast money transfers over. Depending on your bank and the time of day, e-transfer is amazing because it is super quick compared to bank transfer. It is also possible to attach this card to PayPal as a bank account which gives this card some bonus points. This card, however, is not great when it comes to foreign transaction fees either.
Currently, I use Mogo only because of the foreign transaction fee. At the moment, they do not charge a fee which is a plus when your vendors are outside of the country. This is a big factor in why I use it. Other than that it’s okay for personal use as it allows you to get your credit score for free, take out loans and mortgages and more recently, bitcoin investments. There is also a goal feature that helps promote spending less. This card doesn’t have e-transfer so you have to plan ahead and decide how much money you will put on it as bank transfers can take up to 5 days.
I also suggest setting a business PayPal account. I find with personal accounts they may not be as secure and/or if there is too much money coming in you can get blocked or suspended. I planned to use this as a temporary ‘bank account’ until flow comes in steadily just to have to avoid paying the monthly charges. I like this way because you can easily transfer the money to your account if needed otherwise I believe you can have the funds stay there for other purchases for your business without touching your own funds.
I have tried looking to see if there were other cards like Koho or Moho but haven’t come across any. How do you keep track of your business transactions? Do you keep them separate? What are your experiences with business finances? Let me know.
Til’ Next Time
Hey! So this post will simply be a resource post of links to sites that I have used to learn and get information on how, in general, to start and run my business. I believe this could be helpful no matter what industry you are considering getting into. These will most likely be Canadian based but it could provide you with ideas of what to look for if you are not in Canada or even Ontario. I did that with SkillCrush. While they were based on the current US standards, it gave me an idea of what to look for as a Canadian equivalent.
This link, I feel is like the Almighty guide because it gives you steps on how to register; social media tips; marketing & PR, Finance and Finances etc. – http://www.canadaone.com/tools/startingabusiness.html
This link provides checklists based on the industry that you are going into so you can make sure you are getting everything done. – https://canadabusiness.ca/starting/checklists-and-guides-for-starting-a-business/
This link can help you build your business plan as an interactive guide. Desjardin also has an interactive business plan creator as well. – https://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/resources/start-up-business-planning/tips-tools/business-plan-writer/
This is the link to register your business in Ontario. This link should also be provided in the CanadaOne link as well. – https://www.ibsa.serviceontario.ca/ibsa/servlet/com.visionmax.servlet.CommandServlet?command=screenflownoscript&screenid=26&_ga=1.118637641.192799098.1450713978
This link is mostly for Ontario but I am sure that there are other provinces as well. This has information about the tax-related tasks that you may need answered. – http://www.canadaone.com/tools/ontario_links.html
The last piece of advice is to look at the people around you. You never know what other people know when you tell them what you are trying to accomplish. So ask around! Start a conversation. See what they are doing. You just may be able to help that person with their goals as well! It’s great to have a group of like-minded people that you can share info with.
Let me know below what resources you use. What aspects of business are you curious about?
Til Next Time!
Edited: April Waddell
I am approaching the end of second semester of school and I have not been paying attention to days at all! March 8th was International Women’s Day and March was also International Ideas Month.
For this Blogspiration, I couldn’t really narrow it down to one woman or even a few in my industry or even the ones that give me the inspiration to work on my business. I can basically binge watch YouTube videos in one day or scroll through my Instagram and come across women that lifted my mood and inspire me to do better in my business. Below are a couple of women that inspired my business directly.
I tried to look back and see what video it was that got me inspired and which one got me to subscribe to her. The first one was her Tech Talk on how to record videos for YouTube because at the time (and still to this day ), I was interested in doing YouTube videos but wondered how to do it without spending money on equipment. Her Tech Talk videos helped with that tremendously. There are some other videos she has of her talking about her experiences and sometimes it makes you feel like, ‘Hey, I am not alone’.
How to Find Your Passion and Not Get Stuck
Skill Crush is an online tech education company and was founded by Adda Birnir. I initially signed up for the bootcamp to refresh my memory in coding. It also had some good online seminars on tips and ways to be a freelancer. It kind of gave me the motivation to think that I can make freelancing into some sort of job.
For my idea portion of this Blogspiration, I didn’t really have much of an idea of what to provide that is new but rather a rebranding. While being in Media Communications, I’ve learned more about how I want to form and present my brand. It has made me want to try out new things and revamp things after learning how to do certain tasks better. So in the next few months, you will see this brand transition from KyeWik Services to ReneeBritt Media. In the end, I decided to somewhat use my name and focus on presenting me, Renee. This way I feel like I can be more of myself and not hold back. More about my rebranding will be coming in the next month.
Let me know in the comments who has inspired you and what new ideas you have for your goals!
’Til Next Time
Edited By: April Waddell
To start off my resource posts, I decided to start off with Motivation. Why? Because we kind of need to see things through and keep on track. I can’t imagine how many times I felt unmotivated and depressed because of certain situations and complete disregard my own needs and my goals. When you are feeling burnt out or at your limit, it’s okay if you have a day or two that are unproductive. I find people that somehow push through without showing the hard times are robots and I just feel that not everybody is the same.
So as a beginner to another beginner, here are things that can help boost motivation.
This is my list that has gotten me through so far! What are some of your ways or that you stay motivated. I actually want to know because I wanted to know what I can incorporate into my daily life. Maybe there will be a part two to this!