For those of you over the age of 50 who are starting a new business or career venture, you can proudly call yourself a seniorprenuer. At this point in your career, you’re aware of the importance of networking… but what exactly does networking mean as a Seniorprenuer?
Networking is when entrepreneurs and business owners meet to form a professional relationship built on reciprocity. Depending on your industry, networking can come in many different forms. Today, we’re going to discuss how using social media platforms as an avenue to reach out to other industry experts can quickly grow your business and help you reach your target audience.
The Importance of Networking as a Seniorprenuer
The internet has significantly changed over the years, and will continue to do so. Not only has it created an unlimited number of ways to connect with people all over the world, it has also provided many growth opportunities for any size business. The online world has created many new jobs that didn’t exist before, like social media managers & search engine marketers, which are currently in high demand. Whether you’re growing your personal brand or starting a new career during your 2nd half of life, do not underestimate the importance of networking as a seniorprenuer.
Social media has gone corporate, but many businesses of all shapes and sizes are finding themselves struggling to reach their target audience. How do you solve this common dilemma? By reaching out to other industry experts that have the same, or similar, target audience as you do. How do you find those other industry experts? By doing a little Googling!
How to Find your Target Audience
Think outside the box. For example, let’s say you’re an independent insurance agent that sells long term care insurance.
In this scenario, your target audiences would be seniors:
- Senior Living Communities
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Independent Living Facilities
Now Google it! Search for senior living communities, independent living facilities and assisted living facilities whose target audience is your audience. You can also look for caretaker platforms that help seniors connect with local caretakers. The better their online presence, the better outreach opportunity you’ll have.
Ways to Work with Other Industry Experts
Once you find a good outreach opportunity, check for specifics on the company website. See if they offer a newsletter subscription, or if they write a blog or have a sponsorship page. This will help you determine diverse ways you can work with them.
My favorite way to work with other industry experts is by finding guest blogging opportunities. By providing unique quality content, with user intent in mind, I can build my personal brand and digital footprint. If they have a sponsorship page, you could become one of their sponsors. If they offer a newsletter subscription, more than likely your guest blog post or sponsorship page will be included in their newsletter as another form of out outreach.
Who to Reach Out Too
Once you have a good understanding of the business model for the company you want to build a professional relationship with, find the appropriate contact person. Depending on the size of the company, this may be the CEO, content developer/author or marketing manager. The first place you might try to contact this person is through a contact form or email address you find on the website. Sometimes this method works, but a lot of times your form submission or email is left unopened.
This is where LinkedIn & Twitter come into play. Over the recent years, LinkedIn & Twitter have become the new industry standard for professional social media platforms. Before you begin the outreach process, make sure your own social profile is up to date and complete. If your profile does not tell your brand story, the chances of getting a response is slim to none.
How to Connect, Follow & Engage
At this point you’ve found other industry experts you want to work with and have your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles completed. Your final steps are to connect, follow & engage! Search by name or company on both platforms until you find the person you want to connect with. Once you’ve found the correct profile, connect & follow! Then Engage with them one on one by sending a private message, or PM.
Take the time to introduce yourself and discuss the different opportunities to work together. If you’re reaching out to write a guest blog post, have a few topics ready to pitch to them. Make sure the topics are relevant to their audience. Always create a task to follow up if you don’t hear back from them in a few days, your follow up communication shows your eager to build that ongoing professional relationship of reciprocity.
Remember, using social media platforms to leverage your outreach and engage with your target audience is crucial to the growth of your brand. Don’t underestimate the power of social media outreach, it may very well be what determines your success as a seniorprenuer.