Yes… we know… we’ve got to network to grow our businesses… except, just like the “adults” we are, some of us would rather hide out in a pillow fort and color than attend a networking event.
It’s not necessarily “schmooze or lose” but intentionally building a network of business contacts who you can then reach out to for ideas, resources, support, and promotion is priceless.
So let’s chat about how you can make that happen.
First, you’ve got the traditional in-person networking approach.
- Attend lots of networking meetings.
- Eat questionable chicken (or fish).
- Hand out business cards and give your elevator speech to everyone you meet.
- Wonder if anyone in the room is actually an ideal client…
- Come home and put the business cards you’ve collected in a stack and “forget” to follow up.
That doesn’t sound very effective, does it?
Here are some tips to help with the “Art of Networking”…
And what if you don’t WANT to network in person? Then what?
Second, you’ve got the virtual approach.
For those of us who aren’t super comfy networking in person – the internet is amazing, isn’t it?
Join the right websites and groups.
Jump into the conversations to be helpful and answer questions.
Potential clients message YOU looking for more info.
This one sounds a little better than the first one, right?
Third, get others to promote and share you.
Are you liking the third approach already? ;)
I’ve written before about my love affair with tools like JustRetweet, Viral Content Bee, and others.
Because I can promote, and reach my circle…
But if 5 other people promote and share me, I can reach an exponentially bigger circle!
Those tools make it easy by bringing people together in a group who want to promote others.
Because the tricky part of networking to find referral partners is figuring out WHO to approach, WHEN to approach them, WHAT to ask, and HOW to inspire them to say “YES!” to promoting you.
Here are the rules I follow:
- Give value first – always ask something like, “What’s your biggest challenge in ___________?” then offer any resources, products, services, connections or ideas you’ve got to help them solve that problem.
- Never count anyone out – you might be surprised what happens if you ask, “Do you or someone you know struggle with ________?” (insert the problem you help solve in your business). Even if someone doesn’t look like an ideal client for you, they might know someone who is!
- Follow up, follow up, follow up, and ask – this might be the toughest step but you’ve got to follow up, and you’ve got to ASK!
And the future is beautiful!
There’s a fascinatingly effective way to make all of the above happen – without cold calls, without messaging people and hoping they’re open to the idea, without all the headaches and frustration of working to build relationships in hope that it’ll be a good fit and you can do cross promotions.
What if instead, you could be added to a group of 25 total entrepreneurs, small business owners, speakers and authors who are LOOKING to promote businesses like yours? And what if, every single month for a year, you’d get promoted automatically by two people in your group?
Think that would be helpful and generate new prospects for you to connect with and turn into clients?
In the Connection Club – that’s reality. And it’s the future of networking.
Want in? Want details? Let me know privately right here, and I’ll personally follow up with you – no obligation.