- December 31, 2012
- Posted by: brianwrigley
- Category: Business Coaching and Training
Variety is not only the spice of life,
it will also grow your network.
Networking is one of the most effective ways of growing your business, when it is done correctly. That I am afraid is the sticking point for most people who go to a few events and then say ‘Networking doesn’t work for me, I never get any business from it.’
That is such a shame because those are the people who, if they stuck at it and changed some of the ways they do things, could be very successful and turn networking into one of the most profitable marketing strategies they have.
Anyway minor rant over, lets get on to the important part of this networking growth and make sure that networking variety provides you with stronger connections, relationships and inevitably a stronger business.
There are many different types of organised networking events around like BNI (Business Network International), 4Networking, Business for Breakfast, The Business Club, FSB (Federation of Small Business), the Chamber of Commerce, plus many others I could include, most of which have a membership fee. Next there are meetings which are pay as you go, some more formal than others and finally you have the everyday networking opportunities which exist when you go shopping, play sport, other non-business membership clubs, take the kids to school and other events. In fact generally you should be aware of networking opportunities all of the time.
I titled this ‘Variety is not only the spice of life‘ because a fatal flaw in some peoples networking plans is that they join one specific group and expect everything to happen at the meetings. To get the most out of your networking, you should be attending a number of different events, these will have different people attending, who could add value not only to your network, but also to those in your other networks. Networking is about adding value to as many people and businesses as you can, because like Newtons Third Law States ‘With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’, in BNI philosophy this is ‘Givers Gain’.
A couple of questions for you to consider:
- How varied is my networking?
- Am I always prepared for a networking opportunity?
- How am I giving to my network?
Another thing you should be considering when looking at your networking is ‘Where do my preferred clients network?’ How much easier would networking be when you are face to face with the people who you want to work with and who will you add massive value to?
With the way the internet is changing it is important that you do not neglect your online networking either. Lets face it, whether you like it or not your audience is more than likely using Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter, You Tube, Google +, etc. If you are not using at least 2 or 3 of these platforms to connect, you are disconnecting from your network. I understand that some of you will not want to be sharing everything and want to be involved in the minutia of other peoples lives. Do not forget, though, these are places that you can show your skills, your values and your personality to attract the people you want to connect with into your life. If you are not sure how to begin, there are many specialists who would be more than willing to help you to get set up and start connecting at a new level (If you are local to Northamptonshire there are a couple I would recommend if you want to drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to connect with me I would be more than happy to find out more about you, who you are looking to connect with and what you are looking for.
The most important thing is to be doing something on every level of networking and make sure that you are getting plenty of variety, building your connections and relationships, plus you are giving plenty of value for your time.
It would be rude of me not to give a quick plug for 2 events that we are involved in Papa Cino’s Business Lunch in Northampton and La Rocca Business Lunch in Wellingborough, both of which MP Growth run for the good of the restaurants and to help connect local businesses. We do not get paid to market, host and run either. The details of both can be found by clicking on the link highlighted, but the philosophy we apply to each event is relaxed networking, good food & drink and have fun.
Happy Networking and Business Growth