It may come as a surprise that blogging can actually help you find success with business networking and getting professional referrals. It's a great way to engage with your existing contacts and expand your reach to a wider audience. Here are four ways blogging can help grow your business referral network.
One of the strongest ways to get referrals is to be a referral yourself. In business, sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. And a good way to show your value as a business referral is to provide valuable content through a regular blog. Creating content that's of interest to the people you want to network with is a great way to be helpful. The more content you create, the more value you bring as a potential business referral.
Professional relationships and business referrals usually come to people who are respected and carry a reputation as an expert. People just naturally gravitate toward other people who could be valuable to their career or business. Blogging is a great way to show off your expertise and experience. You can write about your recent accomplishments, incites into the industry you're in, or even advice for other people in your field. This all builds your reputation and showcases your expertise.
If you're a business owner, you need a website. If you're a career professional, a website is still recommended. Either way, having one is extremely valuable for business networking and building professional relationships. But a website is only useful if people see it. With search algorithms prioritizing fresh content more and more, generating content is the best way to get your business or professional website seen. Regular blogging is a great way for search engines to notice you. Every time you post a blog article, it's one more page search engines can index on your website, which means one more opportunity for you to show up on the search engine results page when people search for information relevant to your business.
We've discussed how blogging shows your professional value, builds your reputation, and drives people to your business or professional website. The end result of these is that you're more widely known and more respected in your field. This naturally attracts other business professionals to you when you meet them at an in-person networking group. For those people who've read your blog, half the work of making a business connection is already done before you meet them in person. And for those people who have met you, your blog is a place they can research your experience and achievements after the meeting ends.
Once you’ve created a blog and are posting regularly, be sure to mention your most recent articles on your social media channels. This is a great way to leverage social media to grow your referral network. And when it’s appropriate to the conversation, be sure to mention your blog at a business referral group near you.