When thinking about business networking, it’s important to narrow down your goals. Consider the following questions;
- Where’s the right place?
- What’s the right time?
- Who are the people you need to be with?
- What is your message?
Do you love business networking or do you hate it? I think I both love and hate it.
I believe there are an art and a science to business networking
Networking is a great way to increase your audience because what you don’t want to do is find yourself spending 80% of your time doing business networking, and only having 20% of your time left for actually doing your business, right?
I think business networking is a little bit like marketing. You want to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, delivering the right message. And for every single business, that’s going to look and feel a little bit different.
The place to start is right now. In your mind, for your business, what is the right place and where are the people I need to speak to? Maybe it’s the Chamber of Commerce. Maybe it’s an association. Maybe it’s the golf course. I don’t know. But for your business, there is the right place for you to increase your exposure depending on your purpose too.
What’s your purpose for networking? I want you to actually answer these questions. What is the right place for me to be gaining the exposure that serves my highest purpose in my business right now? What’s the right time for me to be there? What are the right events for me to be at? When’s the right time for me to dart in and dart out? Where could I gain maximum benefit for my time and my investment? Who are the people that I need to be connecting with the most, and when are they there, and how am I going to connect with them? And then finally, what’s the message?
The message is the one that I think we can all work on. We can all do a great stellar introduction and elevate our pitch. But if you’re not in the right place with the right people, who cares, right? You really want to think this through.
One of my friends, Rena Hawkins, has thought through networking for her business on a whole new level. Very involved in local organizations, but really creative about how she introduces herself to prospective clients and really strategic. What I saw her do during the time of COVID, was to identify three or four target businesses that she would like to work with. She then came up with a unique way to reach them in a really thoughtful way that stood out. She delivered a special package straight to their business, and she instantly started conversations.
You might say, well, that’s not really networking. And I would say, okay, fair point, but it worked. And during these times we need to pivot and find slightly different ways of doing things. So I’ll call that networking, reaching out to someone you don’t yet know and making it work.
Those are the things that are unique and make you stand out because you want to stand out, and you want to be authentic about it. I think you really need to think this through.
Where’s the right place, what’s the right time, who are the people you need to be with,
and what is your message? Get those things right, and you will take your networking to the next level.
I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite place to network for your business, online or offline? Email us at email@example.com and let us know where your favorite place is to network. We’d love to hear from you.