Guest blog by, Mikaela Barton, Digita Marketing Assistant
Gone are the days when a firm handshake was enough to seal the deal. Today’s clients are looking for the formation and nurturing of real relationships with people they can trust.
Effective networking skills are now a fundamental aspect of the success of an organization. As a director or partner of the practice not only will networking allow you to improve your profile to prospects and customers but also within the organization enabling you to partner more effectively with other parts of the business.
Traditionally accountants built their reputation by pushing out information to clients and prospects, however in today’s industry with the maturity of social media and advances in technology it’s not who you know, but who knows you; and it’s not what you know, but how quickly you share your knowledge. LinkedIn is a great professional social media platform to give you exposure and access to influential people, engage with clients and attract new prospects within the accountancy industry. Sharing relevant rich content can help to establish credibility, drive differentiation at a personal level, and invite prospects into relationships that can be transformed into new partnership.
Although social media is a great way to connect with likeminded professionals and build your reputation, nothing quite beats traditional networking. With a large range of diverse professional events, conferences and seminars throughout the year, there are ample opportunities to meet key influencers within the accounting industry and network your way to success.
Here are our top 5 tips on event networking
1.) Don’t just shake a hand and introduce yourself, have something engaging to say to spark up conversation.
2.) Do carry out a small amount of research on the people or the organization you would like to connect with.
3.) Don’t get too personal; steer away from personal questions or controversial debates.
4.) Don’t use events as an opportunity to sell.
5.) Do find a way to re-engage with contacts after the events.
Ok, so we have determined that personal branding is a fundamental aspect in building connections, however, believe it or not, it’s not ALL about you. Train your employees to make YOU look good. Encouraging employees to be active on social media, even during working hours could boost your brand image. Here at Thomson Reuters we encourage all employees to be active LinkedIn users, we post daily content ready for them to re-post and share with customers and prospects. Ultimately our employees have become an extension of our marketing team.
Although the top accountants in the industry are more than likely exceptional at what they do, I do suspect they have built up an expertise in building a large network of contracts and connections. Connections which would have been significant in helping them serve their clients, build their profiles and enhance their reputations, effectively networking their way to success.
Why not connect with us on our LinkedIn group to gain more knowledge into the world of Tax and Accounting!
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