“It’s not what you know; it’s whom you know.” This maxim has always rung true in the uniform industry, but it’s particularly important in the digital age. Potential clients are constantly being bombarded with marketing content for uniforms, gear, and a host of related items, and have little way of telling which offer truly suits their needs. In this environment, they’re most likely to choose a brand that they recognize and trust. Digital networking allows you to build this relationship of trust even with clients you have never met in person. By adopting the following digital networking tips, you can cut through the confusion and establish a loyal base of clients:
1. Join Online Groups & Organizations
Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online fora have groups and pages for companies in similar industries or with similar interests. Joining them is the first step to building a large and loyal online network. You should thus seek out groups that are relevant to the uniforms you sell and the clients you sell them to.
The groups you join don’t have to be strictly uniform-related. You can also look for pages that relate to things your gear does. For example, if your uniforms make workers safer, you can join groups related to workplace safety. Likewise, if all your gear is made from sustainable materials, you should sign up for groups of eco-conscious businesses. In this way, you can build as broad a network as possible while still keeping it relevant to your brand.
2. Take Part in Discussions
Once you’ve joined groups that are relevant to your gear, you’ll likely see other members discussing related topics. In a respectful but confident way, start commenting on those discussions and expressing your opinion. Make sure to link your comments back to your products, preferably in a way that is not overtly promotional.
Taking part in discussions helps you network in multiple ways. Not only does it put you on potential clients’ radar, but it leads them to see you as a reliable source of information. They’re thus likely to look for your comments in the future, or even to contact you with questions. You can thus gradually build a connection with them, raising the likelihood that they’ll become your clients.
3. Participate in Community Events
Online fora often organize events for their members. These can be in-person events hosted in a physical location that many members find convenient, or web conferences and other activities that you can participate in digitally. Once you’ve become an active member of a Facebook or LinkedIn community, find out what events there are and make an effort to participate in as many as possible. The more often you show up, the greater the likelihood that other members will remember your face, your voice, and the unique features of your brand.
Here at UniformMarket powered by Sellers Commerce, we provide you with tools such as B2B Program Manager and Retailer Pro, which can connect you with the products and data you need for your employees or business. Whether you are a uniform retailer or an energy company needing to fit your employees with new uniforms and gear, we have the tools and services for you. Contact us for a demo today!