Often I get the question from some as to why bother going to networking meetings? They can be expensive and do they really help?
Often people in business are looking for a quick return on investment. Immediate results is what is wanted. That is not what networking is all about. Networking is about growing your network, finding people out there that are like minded. Getting out in the community, gets you seen and gains exposure. Your attitude to networking though can change your outcome though. Are you next working to get yourself further or are you looking to help people?
Referrals are much more real and beneficial when they come from a place of geniuine friendship and trust. Networking can grow your business if you are willing to go out and be a genuine helpful person. Approach even talking about your business as helping someone. Even if what you do isn't what they are interested in if you are looking to help, people will notice.
Generally speaking people want to do business with good people who are honest, hard working and helpful. They don't want someone who is going to take their money and run.
Now there some simple thing to remember with networking.
- Be yourself
- Be genuine
- Be honest
- Be helpful
Now it is very likley you will need to attend many meetings before you get relationships growing. Proper networking groups that have a platform in place to get you heard are really the best choices. Many will also offer advertising options for repeat or commoted people. NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF ONLINE ADVERTISING!
In the world where everyone is looking to be their own boss and work from home, you need to stand out from the crowd. I love networking, I love meeting new people and seeing how I can help them grow. While I have my own business , my heart is in networking and building relationships.
Heart Link Women's Network
In the respect of full disclosure I am a Heart Link Chapter leader. I had run my own small group for about 8 months before joining the network. I know what a bigger more known can do verus a small operation.