The Importance of Networking

One of the most important things for marketing your business is Networking.  Flyers, brochures and mail outs all have their place, but think about it, would you choose, say, a mortgage broker from a flyer you got in the mail or a referral from a trusted friend or colleague?  We all like to go with someone credible and known and what better way to feel that way than to hear about them or meet them directly?  And in order for someone to refer to you they need to know you – so when you network remember it’s not about who you know but who knows you!

Networking is internal and external; internal at your work, external outside of work.  At work you need to make sure you’re seen.  Be assertive – be INVOLVED.  When projects or events come up, offer to help.  Spend time with people over lunch and change up who are with regularly to get to know more people.  The more involved you are, the more visible and memorable you are.

Externally, get involved with professional organizations within your field, join your local chamber of commerce, board of trade or other local networking groups.  If networking in large groups like these make you nervous arrive early when the group is small and less intimidating or bring a colleague with you.  If you really want to be visible in the group, and beef up your resume, join the board.

In today’s world remember also to think online.  Join websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, or the like.  And remember when you’re using social media it’s important to supply useful information to others not just sell, sell, sell.  If all you do is try to sell your product you will get ignored!

Make sure when you’re networking that you exchange business cards.  NEVER attend a networking event without ensuring you are fully stocked with cards to hand out.  Always bring far more than you think you’ll require, then you can give out a handful to someone if they request.  You should not have to be stingy with your cards – they’re advertising!  How is someone supposed to remember you if they do not have something tangible to refer to after?  And of course this also gives them contact information for you.

Finally, remember when you attend networking events – it’s better to make contact with someone that brings you 10 clients than it is to meet one new client.  So make sure you’re not just focused on selling your product but expanding your circle of influence.

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This entry was posted by Anna Kouwenberg on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 5:04 pm and is filed under Marketing, Networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.