Recommended by Locals
As Rainbow WP grows, I’ve been looking for more ways to network with other business owners. I’ve added profiles on social media and networking sites I hadn’t touched before. I’ve joined forums and shared information and blog posts. In fact, it was on one of these forums that I came across another web designer’s profile, which included a link to their website (as well it should). And on their website, they had a little badge saying “Recommended by Locals.”
Of course, I immediately needed to know how and where they obtained that badge so I could get one too. How could I show my visitors that I’ve been recommended as well? And how could I get more of these recommendations? So, obviously I clicked on the badge … and was whisked away to the magical world of Alignable.
What is Alignable?
Simply put, Alignable is a network for small businesses. Just as it says in its tagline. And, even though it launched in 2014, I had somehow never heard of it.
Upon first glance, it looked to be a pretty small operation. But with further inspection, I realized I was dealing with a treasure trove of networking gold! Alignable instantly showed me the local businesses I’d be interested in, as well as let me see profiles and content from all over. The profile page is chock full of ways to work in SEO rich details about your business. There are also many, easy ways to ineract and connect with the other business owners.
The Best Features:
User Friendly Networking
Alignable is So. Easy. To. Use. During account creation, it walks you through setting up your profile with a progress bar. It automatically connects to facebook and pulls in any information it finds about your business. It lets you log into your email and shares your contacts to find connections for you. You can even upload a file of your LinkedIn connections (they provide instructions) for even more opportunities.
Everything about this network is easy to find, easy to read, and easy to figure out. Now, I may be a tech savvy person. After all, I do get paid to build websites. But I don’t have time to spend hours blindly feeling my way around a new system, even if it is good for networking. Within a few short minutes, I had my profile set up, my business contacts invited, my first question posted to the forum, and my first recommendation.
One of the best things about Alignable is that there’s a space in your profile for you to add your preferred customer. That way your new connections know who to recommend you to. Say goodbye to well-meant but ill-fitting client leads!
It’s Not Over Crowded
On the Home page, you get a feed curated to your needs and preferences. The selections are set automatically based on your business type and location, but you can easily adjust them. Your feed will not be clogged with posts and articles you don’t care about. Instead, you will only see what matters to you.
Not only is it not over crowded with information that doesn’t interest you, it’s also not over crowded with people. You won’t have to wade through profiles and comments and suggestions everywhere you turn. The suggested connections are very intuitive and spot on. And did I mention you can get referrals?
Come for the Referrals, Stay for the Personality
Alignable has its own personality in the ways it invites you to interact with other businesses. For example, if someone leaves you a recommendation and you accept, it will offer you the option to send a Thank You message. Once you’re connected to someone, you get a little nudge to grab a coffee with them, meet them in person, or stop by their shop. There’s no pushy vibe with this network, just gentle suggestions. It doesn’t preach marketing strategy at you, it just guides you through the natural course of communication. Which is honestly really great for an introvert like me. It almost has the feel of a dating site, without the creepers.
It’s The Real Deal
So why should you choose Alignable? Because it does what all the other social networking sites say they do, only geared specifically toward business. Facebook has a business page option, but it’s also for personal use. LinkedIn is for professionals, but not just business owners. Other business networking sites exist, but most of them focus on mentoring or meetups. Alignable takes all the best things about social media and communities, tailors them for business, and offers them to you on one platform. If you’re looking for business networking, this is an even better solution for you than LinkedIn.
So sign up already and come connect with me! Get all your fellow business owners to sign up too, and let’s build a community. After all, can it really hurt to get more referrals?
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