08 Dec Building Your Networ-Kingdom
Building Your Networ-Kingdom:
“Matt, exactly how many networking groups are you in?”
A friend asked me this after we attended a number of different events together. He was also surprised when I answered “4.”
“I thought it was more like 6 or 7!”
The 4 felt like a huge number to me. But my friend’s larger guess was a reflection of how much of a presence I was making out in our community. Networking is a vital part of my business life. Making connections and taking opportunities to share about my business and how I help others increases my reach and potential client base.
But networking is not just about finding new customers. In the right places, you will start meaningful relationships with other business owners and professionals who become your friends. They will offer support, insight, and also referrals that can lead to new business for you! Think of the people you were closest with growing up that you went to to celebrate good things and to talk through problems. The people you connect with in networking groups have the potential to be the professional equivalent of that.
How do you get the most out of your networking strategy? Here’s what I do:
- Join a mix of groups. I belong to both smaller, intimate networking groups and larger ones. The smaller groups tend to meet more frequently and allow you to develop a close support system quickly. In the large groups you have an opportunity to meet multiple people in a short span of time! In a more exclusive group like a BNI you might be the sole person in your industry there, which allows you to be the person who gains referrals from those members.
- Take the time to meet and greet new people at every event. Your network should be a universe that always expands! And the more names and faces that you meet, the more that your name travels along that vast galaxy of connections!
- Have an elevator pitch, actually, have a few of them. You’ll want to describe what your business and how you benefit others in a concise way, but you won’t want to say the same thing every time. Talk about a different type of person you serve, one of your main services, or even share a different success story each time. Have a variety and don’t play the same tune every time you have the spotlight!
- And most importantly, follow up with people outside of the events. Stay in touch through email, social media, the phone, and the lost art of one on one meetings. You only get so much time to start building the relationship at the event. Take the foundation that you’ve put down and build on it promptly!
These strategies will help you grow your circle of influence and connections and give you a NetworKingdom where you are the ruler of your field of expertise!
Good luck and Happy Networking!
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