What is Networking?
Networking is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions - either face-to-face at meetings and gatherings, or by other contact methods such as phone, email and increasingly social and business networking websites.
In simple terms, Networking is meant to build your tribe! Taking part in networking groups helps to build your character. If you have a good business, your network will recommend your products and services to others. One thing people overlook when it comes to networking is the people you're networking with may never use your product or service (which is okay! It just means they are not your ideal client) but they are there to spread the word about your offerings.
You need to put in work too, don't just think you can get away with going to networking events and getting your good name out there. You will need to do the same for other businesses too. A good "networker" will be making connections and building relationships all the time, even if it doesn't benefit their wallet.
Now that you know what networking is, here are 3 tips to make a bigger impact while you network.
1) Always carry business cards!
You never know when you might come across someone needing your services (grocery store, church, bank, a bar!). It would be a shame for you to say let me write down my information on a napkin. If you can whip out a business card and present all of the information they need right there, you are two steps ahead of the game and looking like a professional doing it!
2) Do you have an elevator pitch put together?
Elevator pitches are essentially what you would say to someone about your business in the time it takes to ride in an elevator ( approx 60 seconds). It is your best description of what you offer and serve up to your clients. Keep it short, sweet, to the point, and focused on your passions. Practice your elevator pitch and have it memorized so you don't fumble when it comes time to tell people what you do.
3) Do you have to attend networking events?
The answer is no. The truth is, you can network anywhere - especially online! Linkedin is a great way to hone in on the exact connection you are looking for. But how? Well, first and foremost you need to have a well working Linkedin account and be actively using it ( I can help with that ). Then start adding people to your network you have met along the way. Try to find people that will be good references for you. Keep in mind people from all walks of life have the potential of knowing others who may be your "Ideal Client".
No matter how you decide to network, remember to be yourself, smile, stay genuine and don’t forget your business cards!
Want to start implementing these tools?
Dig into our Freebie Downloads!