Is networking part of your marketing strategy? When I first jumped into the world of direct sales more than 20 years ago, I had no clue how I was going to expand my business and meet potential clients, all I knew was that I had to if I was going to be able to make my new business work.

I was fortunate enough to find two very supportive women’s networking groups In my local area. Not only did the amazing women I met educate me on the who and how of networking, they also educated me on the importance of relationship building which is vital to networking and business success.

I have to say, networking is still the largest part of my marketing budget and will most likely remain so because of the great benefits not only to my business but to me personally.

Here are four simple strategies I learned that have directly contributed to successful networking.

  1. Try it before you buy it.
  • Find local and online opportunities. Decide how you will network and how far you will travel to network.
  • Go where your potential clients network.
  • Go where the people who serve your potential clients network.
  • Visit various networking groups before committing to attending regularly.
  • Go where it feels good, where you like the people and see potential opportunity.
  1. Attend meetings regularly.
  • Become a familiar face – make it a priority to attend every meeting.
  • Volunteer without committing. (Be the unofficial greeter, help set up and clean up, introduce people, make visitors feel welcome, etc.) If you’ve been a member for a while and want to commit, great, just be certain it’s a group you want to stick with.
  • Build know, like, and trust with the people in the group. Helping others needs to be your mission.
  • Get to know everyone. (Learn and use names, seat hop, and spend time together before and after the meeting.)
  • Share who you are in attention grabbing ways. Your message needs to be memorable, think of stories and visuals that will help you make your point. (30 Second Success can help with that!)
  1. Build relationships by serving others.
  • Meet in between meetings and get to know one another. In-person and virtual coffee meetings are a great way to connect.
  • Connect, comment, and share on social media. Help your network by interacting with them on social media.
  • Ask great questions including: Who can I introduce you to? What would you like me to tell people about you? How would you like me to introduce you?
  • Remember…relationships take time, the investment is worth it.
  1. Put your network to work for you.
  • Teach people how to network by example.
  • Teach your network how to make in-person and online introductions by example.
  • Become memorable by giving and expecting nothing in return.
  • Ask for an introduction and make it easy for your network to give it by telling them who you want to meet and providing a simple statement for them to share in-person or online to make it happen.

Networking is a vital part of business for everyone: entrepreneur, business owner, business professional…everyone! Name me one person at the C-Suite level who doesn’t contribute even a small portion of their success to their network and I’ll show you someone who is kidding themselves. Even if they got there because of who they are related to family is still part of your network, technically.

Networking and relationship building are vital to business success. You could spend millions of marketing dollars on hopeful advertising and while that might work for large firms and companies that have millions to hope with, the benefits of networking will still produce great results for those who make the time to invest and learn how to build, nurture, and connect with their network and following these four simple strategies with help you do just that.

If you want to build your network and learn how to become a master connector with a network that will serve you for years to come. Get your copy of the new book 30 Second Success: Ditch the Pitch & Start Connecting. Order your copy today!

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