One of the first things I learnt when I set up in business was to tell AT LEAST 5 people a day about you and what you do. Over the next month you would have told up to and possibly beyond 140 people.
Networking is done in many places; over the telephone, over lunch, a meal or coffee and cake, in the pub, at conferences and events, via text or email and social media; like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
By spending time talking to people about your business, you can raise your business’ profile which may also refer clients your way.
Research the networking events in your local area and go along to generate business.
HOWEVER… Remember! It is very important to research networking events and even go to a few adopting a “try before you buy” attitude before deciding on which one(s) you feel is right for you and your business.
Each event is different in that some may require you to;
- be in a certain area/location or industry
- pay a weekly, monthly or annual fee. However they could also be FREE
- be there at a certain time of day – You can now Network 24/7 and yes this includes Social Media
It is possibly even more important that you don’t choose a networking event that has a lot of people from the same sector or industry as yourself as they are effectively your competition. Competition is a good thing as it means that there is business in what you do. EVERYONE does business differently, has different skills and experiences. People buy from people!
Watch this video about Networking – 23minutes and 46seconds
7 Useful Networking Tips
When attending networking events:
- ensure your target audience/ideal customer attends this event
- know WHAT you are going to say to the people you want to meet
- have a particular product/service that you want to push that week/month rather than going in there and bombarding people with every aspect of what your business does. Not only will this confuse people but being given TOO MUCH information over a short period of time turns people off
- have a strategy of WHO you want to meet and WHAT you want to get out of the event. Having the idea of meeting 2-3 specific people or people in certain industries is a lot better than trying to get around everyone in the room
- be ASKED for your business card. This means don’t give them out to everyone
- don’t take EVERYTHING with you, just take yourself and business cards. If you book a 1:1 with someone that would be the best time to give them additional information IF and only if the time is right
- don’t not sell or push your wares onto the people in the room. You don’t want to be seen as desperate
There are a lot more tips and tricks that can be given to you when it comes to networking as it requires skills to meet the right people and do business but it is also a great way for getting more confident in talking to people, saying your elevator pitch and understanding WHO you want to speak to.
Check out www.findnetworkingevents.com.
Good luck and happy networking!