Today’s Networking, During and After COVID

Now more than ever, networking for business success is vital! Not only does networking expose you and your business to opportunities you otherwise may have missed, but it can also give you a marketing boost without costing a lot of money. In this blog, I’ll give you some solid tips on how and where you and your small business can network for success.


What is networking, exactly?

Pre-COVID and for years, networking has been made up of different types of social interactions; from meet-and-greet gatherings, to making appointments and meeting with clients or potentials clients, to joining professional organizations or groups, to handing out a lot of business cards. As you know, COVID changed a lot of that type of networking, and individuals had to embrace online platforms more often than ever before. Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another.

For instance, have you heard all of the “buzz words” out there, like: “Follow us Facebook”, or “Find us on Twitter”; social media platforms can be endless? It is important for you to know which online connections you should make and what will work for your business.


Which Networking Platform is the best for Small Business?

I could list 10 networking platforms, but not all of them would be good for you and your specific business. To pick the best platforms to join, you need to take into consideration the type of customer you would like and how to best highlight your business in the social media world. In future blogs, we will talk about each of the following “Best Choices for Networking:”

For today’s blog, let’s concentrate on Business to Business (B2B) selling and why LinkedIn is the best network for businesses and business professionals.


Why should I use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website in the US and across the world. LinkedIn has over 500 million members in over 200 countries. When it comes to B2B selling, it ranks higher with professionals and wealthy business individuals than Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. LinkedIn has the following benefits, all in one website:

  • Offers a means to demonstrate your credibility, product and knowledge
  • Can be used as a research tool for your specific business
  • You can connect with similar companies easily
  • You can find qualified individuals to recruit and hire
  • Gives you the ability to build your own brand
  • Increases visibility


How do I join LinkedIn?

First – Set up a personal LinkedIn page (prior to setting up your business LinkedIn page.) You’ll need a personal profile in order to set up your business profile.  The good news is LinkedIn is user-friendly and can walk you through the steps.  Here are a few important suggestions when setting up both your personal and business LinkedIn profiles:

  • Make sure your profile picture is either a current photo of yourself, dressed to impress your desired audience, or your logo to gain brand awareness. Your picture should be about 60% of the area without a noisy background.  A logo can be placed as the cover image and is allowed to be larger than your profile picture.
  • Complete the Content Suggestions to help discover topics and articles your audience is engaging with. You can then share the content to gain added followers which could lead to additional engagements and to new clients.
  • Complete the page information and include a tagline.
    • Make sure you include your slogan or a tagline that brands your company. For instance, LinkedIn’s slogan is “Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”  You might have a Tagline that you use in your marketing materials or when out networking.  A tagline line fulfills an especially important purpose: they let you quickly and efficiently sum up what your company is all about.  A good tagline helps set you apart from other companies that supply similar services or products.   I bet you can guess the names of the companies by these slogans or taglines:
      • Just Do It (Nike)
      • Think Different (Apple)
      • Got Milk? (California milk processor board)
      • Designed for Driving Pleasure (BMW)
      • Eat More Chicken (Chick-fil-A)


  • Complete the overview section. Make sure you share a STRONG DESCRIPTION of your company. This section gives you 2000 words to describe your company.  I am not saying to use all 2K words (most people will not read that many words.)  Therefore, the words you use must be powerful.  Think outside of the box when you are adding specialties of your business and yourself.
  • Use bullet points to make it easier to skim and for readers to pick out the portions you want them to remember.
  • Hashtags help users find content on a specific topic. And if you add hashtags to your content, they will help you get discovered by users which could be potential clients!
  • Add feature groups including the College you attended. A buyer might choose you because of the affiliation.  Include associations, causes your company supports, and other key groups to your industry.


I’ve joined LinkedIn, now what?

What do you do now that you have your company’s LinkedIn page set up?


Here are a few tips for successful LinkedIn engagements:

  • Be concise in post by using links to stories, etc. People will not read long post.
  • Insert branding in your post.
  • Share your business personality within your post.
  • Share funny, proper videos.
  • Encourage your associates to have LinkedIn pages as they can included your company name in their experience to gain more exposure.
  • List your company’s website.
  • Do not sell goods and services on LinkedIn. (Use it to connect and to help people find you and your business)
  • Add a regular “appointment” in your calendar for engaging on LinkedIn
  • Add money in your budget for advertising


In future posts we will talk about how to use other networking platforms that will benefit your small business.  If you have questions on how to engage on social media, or on how to get you and your business on LinkedIn, we are here to help!  Collin SBDC offers training and specialized advise to make your small business succeed. Contact Collin SBCD today!



For additional resources on networking in the new year, LinkedIn or on other specialized networking platforms, that can help you grow your business in the post-pandemic-world, please contact us at the Small Business Development Center – SBDC – serving Collin and Rockwall Counties, Texas.   


Blog post by: Karen Raymond