Last week we started our Fully Booked 8 Week Marketing Program with some reallllly amazing humans!!! I get so excited when I can share my expertise and business knowledge with others, then watch them TURN around and nail it!! I am so looking forward to what they create over the next 3 months ?
Last week one of our Core Marketing modules was on Networking. I know you all have heard of “networking” but do you really get what to do and HOW to do that creates growth for YOU in your business?
Here’s the truth, when I started my business way back in December of 2010, I did Networking ALL WRONG!!! I made all the critical mistakes! I walked in and “expected” something. I also thought I was going to walk away that night with a new client, I mean come on – everyone NEEDS a concierge, right??
Boy was I wrong! I damn near pretty much embarrassed the shit out of myself my first event. I definitely did not know how to use networking the right way to grow my business.
But luckily my intuition showed me pretty quickly how to shift the way I was approaching my networking. And it was through the way I networked with my local Chamber of Commerce that I became a “self-sustaining” business within 6 months of getting started.
And today I want to share with you the TOP 4 things I did RIGHT away to shift my approach to networking.
If you haven’t gotten started with committing to your networking process yet, OR you need to up your game, I have 4 common mistakes people make and what to do instead!
Start with people you already know
You don’t need to meet new people to start networking effectively. This is often the MOST overlooked thing! People get started in business, they hear “networking” and they start searching right? But the fact is, you probably already know dozens of people who may just be able to help you.
If you’re new in business the first thing to do is tell ALLLLLL your friends and family and local connections. What you need most right now is more people being AWARE that your business doors are open and what your plans are.
Let all the people in your life know what you’re up to and who an ideal client ( or referral ) is for you. Once they know YOUR “who”, they can easily keep a lookout for the opportunity to share your name when the opportunity pops up!
Give First – Always
Networking done right is the opportunity for you to GIVE Value first. For your networking to be the MOST productive, and most financially beneficial for you, remember this: “Givers Gain”. One of the easiest ways to do this is by providing information, resources and connections to the people you are networking with.
If you see any way you can offer to help someone you’re networking with, suggest it. If you’re ever in a position to help someone else to make a networking connection, go for it. Aside from the good karma, this is one of the absolute FASTEST ways to be SEEN as someone who is a leader in their own business and community.
Even though I had ZERO business knowledge and was a brand new business owner with ZERO clients or connections, I quickly upped my game to be SEEN as a great “connector”.
As soon as I started “giving” first without any expectation of getting something in return, I started getting referrals and new opportunities fall in my lap pretty quickly.
If you’ve never read the book, The Go Giver it’s a great simple story about how to think about giving first and how when we give unconditionally, it always comes back 10-fold.
Learn to Be Patient
Networking rarely bears fruit right away. In fact, it can be helpful to know upfront that most of the true business conversations happen “later” after the networking event. Plus, networking is often simply a “numbers game”. The more people you meet and connect with, the more people you “give to first” (reread what I shared above ) the more people you begin to develop a deeper relationship with. And THOSE people become the connections who will either hire you or refer you, or at LEAST help you through other connections, invites, and speaking opportunities.
No matter how long you’ve been networking, remember that the overall measurement of your networking success isn’t directly reflected in immediate $$.
Monitor and measure your networking and the opportunities that arise from EACH group your part of over a 6-month period.
Follow Up for Deeper Connecting
You do NOT have to follow up with EVERYONE you meet. This is a statement that just needs to be said. And it’s also something most people “overthink”. Who “should” you follow up with you may be wondering? People who INTEREST you!!! Yep, that simple.
Here’s the thing most people get wrong with their networking. They think “everyone” is either a prospect or a source of referrals. OR that “everyone” needs your canned “it was so great to meet you last night” speech. It’s just NOT TRUE!
When we follow up, we need to do it with “intention”. And since “keeping in touch” doesn’t end after 1 or 2 emails back and forth, you want to BUILD deeper connections. So if you want to “stay in touch” more successfully – choose to stay in touch with people you actually LIKE having conversations with and would like to get to know on a deeper level.
Need more tips on the Dos and Don’ts of Follow up? You can check out last week’s post ?
I know – some of these pointers seem so “basic” right? So why then do so many people do networking wrong? Partly because I don’t think people truly know How to USE networking as a marketing tool and quite frankly when I started way back in December 2010 – I had NOOOOO clue either lol. So, my friend, here’s to shifting your mindset about networking and HOW to use it to GROW your business ?
Welcome readers! If this is your first time reading my blog, thank you for stopping by! As a concierge who has built a successful business, I have decided to help other budding entrepreneurs do the same! As the Founder of The Concierge Academy, I write about specific topics and marketing strategies that WORK for our industry!
It’s not always easy to build a service-based business. Many see it as an intangible, but you can build a profitable and flourishing concierge business!
Be sure to grab your FREE checklist right now! 111 Ways to Grow Your Concierge Business