When it comes to developing partnerships and maximizing partner relations for business growth (and to strengthening the entrepreneurial landscape overall), there are a number of online strategies that can support that process. In fact, neglecting these strategies often results in missed opportunities.
Here are four strategies to help your organization build partnerships with potential clients, investors, advocates, employees and other businesses.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools today for building partnerships, so when you send an invitation to connect, write a short personal greeting. You’ll be remembered for this. Ask for an introduction when you need one. Join and participate in relevant groups. Don’t be shy. LinkedIn’s entire purpose is to help people connect. Use it.
Creating Twitter lists is a powerful way to stay connected with partners, stay on top of their activities, provide support and strengthen relationships. Lists cut through all the chatter and allow you to focus solely on the users whose activity you want to see.
From there you can share their content and engage proactively. Lists can be public, which is perfect when you want to make a display of your support. They can also be private when you want to keep a personal eye on things.
Once partnerships are established and if you want to let the world know, use your online platforms to make the partnerships as visible as possible. Put their logos on your website. Share their blog posts through your social channels. Feature them on your site in interviews or partner profiles. This isn’t fitting for every partnership, but when it works it can be a powerful promotional tool that benefits you both.
Use online tools to make sure your partners know that you’re thinking of them. If you come across an article you know your partner would like, email the link. Send happy birthday tweets or more personal notes when special occasions occur. Celebrate successes by congratulating partners on milestones you come across on LinkedIn or by retweeting their good news.
Above all, be authentic in your online development and support of partners.
Also, consider where we would be collectively if all entrepreneurs began to see everything other entrepreneur as a partner. Maybe it’s time to break down the online (and offline) barriers and discover the difference we could make if we all truly did support each other.
Adapted from an article originally published in Progress Magazine, Volume 21 No. 5
Also posted on Wired Flare