As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I can tell you that Networking is one of the most misunderstood marketing terms there is.
Professional speakers, consultants, coaches, and independent professionals either love it or hate it - and no matter which camp you find yourself in, there are probably some misconceptions and misunderstanding that are preventing you from making networking as fully effective as it can be and should be to help you grow your business.
Networking: What is it?
- Meeting people at events, mixers etc. (the obvious first step)
- Goal: move it to a different level, namely...
- Introducing people to each other (Netweaving)
- Having breakfast, lunch, coffee or dinner 1-on-1 to build new key relationships
- Meeting people in organizations (civic/social; religious; recreational)
- ASKING people to introduce you to someone
- Doing favors for people for no reason (random acts of networking kindness)
- Asking others for help and resources
- Bringing a group of your own together for brainstorming, mastermind group, etc.
Maximize Your Affiliations
- Friends, neighbors, church, hobbies, past bosses and colleagues
- Speakers Bureaus, meeting planners, training companies, event producers
- Your Professional affiliations (trade, professional, civic, etc)
- Other colleagues outside of your peer groups such as NSA (speakers), IMC (consultants), or ICF (coaches)
- Your Industry affiliations within your target industry groups
Your Keys to Networking Success
- Over deliver make them look like a genius for referring or connecting you
- Lead and get involved (raise your visibility and credibility within each group)
- Serve on committees, projects, and bring “outside” ideas to solve big problems
- Become known as a connector, a hub, and a linchpin
- Give three times as much as you hope to get