Connect With Your Industry’s Leaders and Decision Makers
By Michasel Isaacson for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series
Keeping up with the trends and news within your industry helps you spot trends and opportunities to make better long-term decisions, aids in your being seen as an industry expert and helps you become a better leader.
There is a laundry list of resources to help you stay connected. Trade organizations offer newsletters and publications to help keep you informed, but they also offer provide excellent networking opportunities at meetings, workshops, tradeshows and conferences. While you tap into the knowledge of like-minded colleagues, you can potentially enhance your own reputation. Many professional organizations award credentials and certifications, which can help to build consumer confidence in your products or services.
Local business networking groups are also a great resource. A good example of this is the Paranet Group in Wisconsin. Through its member programs like professional coaching, and member events like plant tours, the Paranet Group helps manufacturers expand their capabilities, improve their current performance and optimize the use of their existing resources. Groups like this can help you solve career issues, develop your professional skills, and even find a mentor.
LinkedIn, Twitter, forums and blogs are great online resources for staying connected. LinkedIn has quickly become the best social network for business professionals, with a majority of users being 35 and older. A great resource for learning more about how you can leverage LinkedIn to better connect with your industry is Wayne Breitbarth’s Power Formula LinkedIn blog.
Twitter is also great for building connections and having real-time conversations with industry thought leaders. When it comes to forums and blogs, ask your colleagues or your LinkedIn/Twitter connections which ones they recommend. You can search online using industry key words. When you find one that suits you, sign up to receive their posts through an RSS feed subscription.
If you’re not a fan of surfing the web, check out Google Alerts. By e-mail or RSS feed, Google Alerts easily monitors the web for content related to your industry. The service sends you e-mails when it finds web pages, newspaper articles or blogs that match your search terms. You can also be alerted about news relating to your clients and their competitors. Be forewarned, you can get A LOT of information this way, so adjust your setting to receive alerts as they happen, once a day or once a week. You can customize your alerts by source, language, region and how many you’d like to receive.
Connecting with your industry’s leaders and decision makers is one of the best ways to enhance your professional decision making skills. Whether your route is personal or virtual, staying on top of news and trends in your industry sets you up for guaranteed success.