Community Business Networking

One of the best things you can do for your marketing is to gain the attention of local entities who have audiences. Whether it is a local news station, a popular club, or some other entity which has a well developed audience, if you can gain positive attention, you can extend your advertising into their networks. Here are a few tips for using your blog to share networks.

Finding Business Partners
Other companies sometimes lack clear focus on how to expand their brand. One of the best ways to do this is through partnerships with other companies who will be involved with your target demographic, but do not serve as direct competition. In this way, you can expose your customers to services they may find value, while simultaneously exposing your brand to customers of another company.
The key to this is in identifying companies which will both be interested in sharing clients, and who will have similar client pools to you. For example, I once worked with a lawyer who specialized in setting up estate plans and post mortem financial services for extremely wealthy clients. He often held events with a few financial planners who also served wealthy clients. While their services were completely different, and thus did not compete, they also served clients which fit similar profiles and who might be interested in both services. This partnership was able to create value for all parties involved: connecting individuals to services which they require, and generating new customers for both businessmen. It goes without saying that this also targeted individuals who were located in the area where both men conducted business.
You can use this principle to grow your own business through partnerships with companies who serve similar clients. Another classic example is the partnership of exercise and health based companies with activewear or nutrition focused companies. Their services often work well in conjunction with one another, and similar minded individuals will be likely to have interest in all of the products being presented.
Blogging for Visibility
But how does this connect to your business blog? First, having a business blog establishes you as a public and active participant in your local community. If you are frequently updating your blog with posts detailing your events, your products, and your advice for problems, it will be much easier for you to cultivate your own following of customers and interested parties. This gives you value as a business partner. If you can show that your posts have a following, and that your content will reach a diverse audience, other businesses will be able to see the value in working with you. Creating this situation where others desire to do business with you will allow you to be more selective in who you work with. You can do your own research on other local businesses, and select only those you believe will serve as effective and reliable partners. You do not want to associate yourself with a struggling or unpopular brand, and having leverage will help to ensure that you find good partners.
Additionally, a frequently updated blog is a sign of stability and drive. Not only can you show that you have a sizeable following, but you can show your own business acumen to potential partners. This again helps you to demonstrate your value as a partner, and can help you to avoid bad partnerships.
Secondly, your business blog can serve as one of the platforms by which you advertise and work with your partner. If they have social media and blogging themselves, they can highlight your content, and expose their audience to your brand. And you can create your own posts which highlight their services. This broadens the SEO net which your website casts, and can help you to successfully increase your search ranking. Additionally, the social media exposure can connect you to their networks.
The ultimate goal of this endeavor is to connect the business networks of two businesses which are likely to benefit from the exposure. This allows both companies to advertise twice as much, while spending no extra effort or money. And these methods can be incredibly successful. Hotels commonly work together with restaurants and taxis, gyms often collaborate with fitness and massage experts. Understanding that you can work in a mutually beneficial relationship with other professional entities can help your business turn the corner to success. And your business blog can be one of the tools in your arsenal to accomplish this.
Finally, I have to end with one caveat. Business relationships can be complicated, and sometimes you will need to be careful and protect your interests. Make sure that you always stay focused on your customers and providing value to them. Don’t let your working with others distract you from providing your excellent services, which will be your best tool in long term sustainability.