Networking Tips: How To Network Successfully
Remember that simply going to a networking event and handing out business cards to every single person there won’t really work. You want to stand back at first and figure out who are the movers and shakers within the networking group, and then work your way into the inner circle of the group slowly. It’s important to tread lightly and not be too pushy. Have a plan going in and you’ll build up your status within the group.
You probably already do some networking such as joining groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as other online opportunities. But, did you know that even if your business is 100 percent online you can make your networking even more powerful by attending seminars, hosting seminars and appearing at other live events? Live events are very popular today and for good reason. They work.
There are various types of networking that you can participate in and you’ll want to consider participating in them all, because the best thing you can do when networking is to diversify. But, before you do that, just try one new group every three or four months. You want to be sure that you can give all that you have to give and not spread yourself too thin.
Attend networking events online and offline
Look on Google Hangouts for online networking events and online seminars to attend. The ones that allow for questions and answers and participation from others is an important distinction for online events. For offline events, you can try out many different types that are happening in your local area, and attend some bigger events that are happening at destination locations across the globe – as long as they relate to your business in some way.
Look for professional associations
Within any industry there are professional associations. It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in; you can do a quick Google Search and find a professional association for that business. If you’re a professional life coach, you can find groups that you can network with, along with seminars to attend for continuing education. It’s just the same for virtual assistants, coders, graphic designers, and others. Honestly – anything under the sun can be found.
Attend in-person networks
One of the most popular and famous is Business Network International (BNI) but you can find others. Most people are very satisfied with their experiences with BNI, though, so see if you can find one. Bear in mind that it can be hard to be accepted into a chapter because they only accept one business from each type of business. The benefit of this is that you will not have any competition within the group for a business like yours.
Find online networks
Do a search on Facebook and LinkedIn to find some online groups. Ask friends to help you find some networking groups as well. If you really cannot find anything you like, consider starting your own networking group. It may take some time to get members, but there are some advantages of starting your own online networking group. Online networks can be very good for referrals. Be sure to join without spamming a group. Give referrals too.