Social networking is frequently touted as one of the greatest ways to drive new business. Just keep writing, blogging, podcasting, tweeting, or pinning and the sales will eventually follow. That may be true, for some. But for most of us, sales and marketing is still a 1:1 process. Meeting people in person makes the difference.
If you’ve wondered how to make online social networks turn into profitable business networking, then this review of Biznik is for you. Biznik is an online networking community for independent business people.
I have been using Biznik since 2008 and it has opened up a number of sales for my company. It is similar to other social networks in terms of creating a profile about yourself and your company, but at its core it has created a space for independent business owners to send to and receive referrals from one another as well as establish their expertise in the articles section.
Being a member of Biznik means that you take the business you own seriously, and want to network with other business owners who feel the same way. Last summer, I created a marketing event with Infusionsoft small business expert, Tyler Garns, and we successfully pulled in 55 attendees mostly via Biznik. It was a seriously engaged group – we had a ton of discussion and creative brainstorming among the group.
They offer free and premium memberships. I have toggled between pro levels and free level depending on business events I’m planning. Basic paid level membership starts at $79/year.
What I really like:
- Online to real world. There’s a strong sense of “let’s meet in person” at Biznik.
- A profile that is optimized for search. I have heard many members say their Biznik profile shows up on page one for a keyword that is relevant to their business.
- A real hands-on approach when you start: You get a personal message from the directory of community who offers to help you get going.
- Their old tagline: Business networking that doesn’t suck.
- Event management tool so that you can register and communicate with attendees. Biznik manages payment processing at no additional cost for ProVIP membership level.
What I’d like to see:
- There used to be a referral tool, and it was a great idea, but they disabled it. I’d like to see a way to track or manage or engage with the referral itself.
- A way to filter your network by category/location/relationship.
Overall, I love Biznik as a social network. It is a wonderful collection of committed business owners who understand that business happens when you truly connect, in person and online. It takes both.
If you’re looking for a more local and regional way to find other independent business professionals, who might be allies or potential customers, Biznik is worth a look.
Thank you TJ for this review of Biznik!
As the Director of Community, I have seen first hand the 1:1 relationships you describe in your article indeed turn into long lasting business relationships; it may be in to form of referral passing, co-authorship, or in establishing partnerships.
Yesterday I was on the phone with a member who has an acupuncture business. We were exploring the value/benefit of video blogging, authorship, creating referral programs and incentives for her business. When we got to the end of the discussion, it was strait up networking which seemed to be the best use of her time to drive new business her way.
I welcome anyone who is interested in learning more about Biznik to reach out @mj_lawrence or @biznik.
Hi Matt, thanks for the super fast comment. That shows how tied into social you must be!! I know that my event with Tyler was packed and successful because of the Biznik community. Many of those conversations became trust relationships and I’m in regular contact with those attendees. Keep up the good work and let us know if that referral tool comes back to life.
Your article’s spot on, TJ. Networking with peers is so important, and so easy to put off til tomorrow. Glad to hear you want a way to track or manage or engage with the referral itself because we’re building that tool! We’re calling in MyFive and have a landing page up at myfive.com. Stay tuned for more on that.
I’ve encountered Biznik before but never got the chance to check it out. Thanks for sharing this post! I’m curious about this real hands-on approach. Hope to hear/read more awesome stuff about that social network!
I find that social networking can be very time consuming and for me has been a bit hit an miss.
I really like the sound of BizLink and will be going over to take a look. I’m from the UK so it will be interesting to see how it works for me. Many small businesses over here have yet to wake up to th power of and importance of a good online presence.
I had never heard of Biznik before this article. Sound like something that can be beneficial for our business. Thanks for the info we will be checking it out.
Thanks for sharing information about Biznik TJ. I hadn’t heard of it and am going to check it out!
Hello I am dedicated to making handmade soap in Bogota Colombia, I wonder if affiliate of bizknik may be useful for my small business and how I can do
Awesome. So i can increase my traffic from biznik if i use it correctly eh?
Biznik is wonderful. Have used it and definitely must suggested to other users as well to increase traffic
It was unfortunate that biznik is no more but it was one of the best network community