“Know where you want to go and make sure the right people know about it.”Meredith Mahoney
Let’s talk about networking tips. When I started my Real Estate career in 2005, I remember my broker telling me that in order for us to put ourselves out there, we had to be sure of what is it exactly we were selling. If not, we will not get our message across.
That’s why one of the first things I learn to establish was my niche. When the time came to network, everyone knew what area I specialized in and what type of Real Estate I practiced. The same goes with every business. Remember, everyone you meet is an opportunity to network.
With that being said, as Mompreneurs, no matter what type of business service or product we offer, spending part of the week networking and making new contacts is important.
Here are easy ways to network like a pro:
Examine your current resources. You already know someone that is well-connected. Think about all of your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Consider your entire social network. Maybe you’re a member of a church, the PTA, or a local women’s group. Are you leveraging those contacts effectively?
The key to effective networking is consistency and persistence. A little each day is more effective than a monumental effort every once in a while. It’s like going to the gym. You need to be consistent in your efforts if you want to see big results. Set aside time to reach out to people each week
Join relevant local and national organizations. There are many Women organizations that cater to your needs and interests. I have posted some on our Instagram. Become a part of them. Do some research and see what you can find.
Make use of social media. Linkedin.com, Instagram and Facebook are great for networking. Utilize social media and make your presence known to the world. Reach out to those people you think might be a good fit to collaborate.
Be proactive. You can’t just stand in the middle of the crowd at a networking event and expect people to line up for the privilege of talking to you. The burden is on you to start conversations. Take the bull by the horns and mingle. You’ll get much better with practice.
Learn to ask open-ended questions. It’s hard to maintain a conversation by asking questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Ask questions that require a detailed answer. You’ll find it much easier to speak with others when you use open-ended question.
For example: How did you get involved in…? or What do you love/enjoy most about what you do? or What do you see as the coming trends in your profession/area of expertise? You get it right?
Follow up religiously. Communicating with someone one time won’t do much for you. Reach out to the most promising contacts you’ve made and touch base. Stay in touch.
“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.”Diane Helbig
You can’t expect to receive more effort and value than you provide. The truth is you receive what you give when it comes to networking. If you don’t give much, you will not receive much. Make a real effort to help others.
Focus on quality over quantity. Passing out your business card like you’re passing out car wash coupons won’t do you a lot of good. Everyone can see what you’re doing. Make an effort to make a few real connection rather than throwing a 100 darts at the wall. For example, hand out business cards to those you feel will help your business succeed. Quality counts.
Connect others together. This can be especially powerful. Bring other people together. It is easy to do and can pay off down the road for your own career.
Avoid selling or asking for anything. If every time you reach out to someone you’re trying to get something from them, people will tire of you very quickly. Instead, give them something of value. For example, an article that fits their business or needs.
Networking can be an effective way to begin the process of building relationships with potential employers, or collaborators.
You can also get to know people that can give you referrals. Ensure that you’re also doing all you can for your network. Most importantly, the more value you can provide, the more you’re likely to receive.
I hope these networking tips help you become a Networking Rockstar!
If you feel the need to have more information, Download this Networking Challenge and put it into practice the next time you are out there!
And remember our first Miami Mompreneur Networking Event is on October 10 from 5-8pm. We can practice together and have a fun night making new connections.
See you then!