The Basics of Networking #1: Don’t Focus on Your Own Industry Groups
To begin our discussion on networking, it’s important to note that, when attending a networking event, it’s a good idea to engage other industries that might require the services you offer.
In an article recently published in Forbes entitled “3 Networking Tips To Grow Your Business”, author Gay Gaddis suggests that seeking groups that are diverse, but do not involve your own industry, is the best tactic when networking.
“I seek groups that bring together an array of industries and perspectives. Many times they are our clients and prospective client events,” writes Gaddis.
The Basics of Networking #2: Building Relationships Takes Time
After making that initial connection, it’s vital to acquire a business card and follow up.
“Follow up is imperative, but easier said than done,” writes Gaddis. “When you meet a person who you think will strengthen your business, you should be in touch at least once a quarter. Send something relevant and of value to them. This takes planning, discipline and creativity. Eventually you will be on their radar.”
Be sure to add them to your social media accounts, and, if they consent to it, involve them in your quarterly email blasts. Keep them engaged in all your marketing materials.
The Basics of Networking #3: Get Involved in a Meaningful Way
It’s all about reciprocity. If you can help a business out by sitting on their board or volunteering your services in some capacity, it will positively reflect your business; and you’ll look good not only to that specific business, but others with which it’s affiliated.
“If an organization is worth your time, you should be right in the middle of the action. Seek to serve on their boards and committees,” writes Geddis. “When you are all-in, you will build relationships that matter. People will see how you work when you are at your best.”
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