Top 6 Networking Strategies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Adoptby Sarah Williams Blogger, writer
Fostering relationships is the backbone of building a successful business. We reveal the top 5 networking strategies every entrepreneur should use.
What’s the foundation of good business?
Sufficient capital? Modern marketing? Effective advertising?
All valid ideas, but no. The cornerstone of business is relationships. It always has been, and it always will be. At its core, a business simply cannot work in a silo. A successful business needs customers, employees, investors, partners and so on…Relationships are vital.
This is where networking comes in. For instance, networking accounts for 85% of jobs filled in organizations. Need someone for a role? Get networking!
But the benefits don’t stop there. Networking generates leads, raises your profile, creates connections, stimulates business opportunities, and builds brand awareness, among others.
Clearly, there’s always room for more networking. However, you want to ensure you’re doing it right. Want to add another string to your bow?
Keep reading to discover 6 effective networking strategies to better your business.
Networking Strategies to Know Right Now
Budding entrepreneur? You need to network your socks off. Check out the following strategies to get you going.
1. Be Top of Mind
Top of Mind is a book by John Hall.
You should read it.
But in brief, the idea put forward is that your sole intention in business should be to remain top of mind in your market. What does that mean exactly? It means you need to be the first person someone thinks of in relation to their needs.
How do you do it? By being helpful, providing value, trying to enrich your audience’s lives, and developing trust. Why should you do it? Because it’s a good thing all-around and creates business opportunities in the process.
He talks about this in terms of content creation. However, the practice extends to relationships and networking. Set about networking opportunities in a certain way. Don’t go into an interaction thinking ‘how can I get this person to help me?’ Instead, ask ‘how can I help this person to the best of my ability?’
Do this over time and you’ll become top of mind. The people you interact with will think of and turn to you with proposals and ideas. That all adds up to a better business.
2. Understand Your Aim
Networking should be goal-oriented.
Now, we just mentioned the importance of making interactions about others and not you. However, you can absolutely do that while understanding the reasons you’re networking.
Are you trying to headhunt? Are you hoping to attract b2b opportunities? Do you want to promote a new product? Make a sale? Put yourself forward for a new project? Win a client? Know what you need.
Then go ahead and get it by becoming top of mind. Play the long game. Go ahead with a give, give, give, give, then take approach.
3. Get Out There
You can’t network on your sofa, in your undies, watching Netflix all night.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Instead, you need to be out there at every opportunity. Show your face whenever there’s an event that it makes business sense to attend. It might be after-work drinks on a Friday. However, it could also mean going to that conference overseas.
Speaking events are great opportunities to meet and engage with industry leaders. Heck, you may even be speaking yourself. Public speaking is an incredible way to stimulate leads and interest. Learn more about it here.
Create an events calendar and look ahead to the coming year. Decide where to be and commit to going.
4. In Person Trumps Online
Networking is always more effective in person.
Now, there’s still room for online interactions. LinkedIn, Facebook, and our own service, are all full of networking opportunities.
However, strive for face to face engagements where possible. It’s downright easier. It’s more human and personal. It’s the difference between getting a handwritten birthday card through the post, and a casual ‘hbd’ written on your Facebook wall.
There’s no replacement for a solid handshake and eye contact throughout proceedings. It’s easier to communicate effectively as well, which is essential to getting a message across.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Networking takes time to perfect.
Some people seem born for it. They have the requisite confidence and ability to saunter up to a stranger and be best friends in an instant. For the rest of us, it can take time to improve.
The first few interactions may be downright awkward as you find your feet. Indeed, you may be conversing with industry leaders who you respect and admire. Go easy on yourself and don’t expect to become an expert overnight.
In fact, it’s in your interest to simply be yourself. Trying too hard is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to building rapport and relationships, authenticity, genuineness and time are all essential.
The more events you attend, the easier networking will become. You’ll start to recognize the same faces. You’ll begin to form the confidence required. You may even develop techniques, conversation starters, and proven approaches that work in your favor.
Keep at it. Keep providing value and offering support. Focus on the relationships over personal gain. The networking rewards will come your way.
6. Follow-Up Effectively
Following-up is an essential strategy for successful networking.
Meet someone for the first time? Did they express an interest in your product or service? Give them a call, drop them an email, or arrange another meeting to follow-up. This is where you get your return on investment.
As you know, life is busy and work demands never rest. People forget your conversations all too easily! Without a follow-up, you’re far less likely to succeed in your endeavors.
Likewise, if you’ve met someone at an event and offered to do something for them, be sure to do it! You’ll never succeed in business (and relationship development) if you fail to deliver on promises.
Time to Get Networking
There you have it: 6 networking strategies you should be mastering right now.
Relationships are central to business success. Networking is central to relationship development. In essence, networking is central to business! But that doesn’t make it easy.
You need to master the right strategies to be successful at networking events. Hopefully, the information above has helped with the cause.
Like this piece? Looking to build business networks? Click here to register with us and start networking online right now.
Created on Apr 19th 2019 02:31. Viewed 165 times.