Networking is one of those marketing activities (yes, it is a marketing activity!) we neglect for any number of reasons but the truth is, networking is critically important of generating leads and sourcing new customers.
If you’re networking consistently, you’ll always have an opportunity to introduce new people to what you do and have a fresh audience to try out the ways you talk about your business so you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Opportunities abound to connect with others that are interested in and want to support your business. Consider these if you need to freshen up your connections:
Live & Local
I joined my local chamber of commerce last year. Since my membership became official, I’ve attended a networking lunch events where I’ve connected with other business owners, met the mayor of my city and was featured in the chamber magazine as a new member. Becoming a member of your chamber of commerce will get you out of the office and in the flow of what other business owners in your community are doing. You’ll uncover business prospects and you’ll gain traction when it comes talking about what you offer.
Digital & Meaningful
Some of my deepest networking relationships have come through Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Through those groups, I’ve been featured as masterclass speaker, met people I float product ideas to for feedback, found customers for my public speaking products and joined a mastermind that has been a game-changer for my business. If you’re not engaging in online communities, you’re missing out on prime networking opportunities. Best part of this option? You don’t have to get dressed to talk with your new contacts.
Large & In Charge
I’m a big fan of public speaking and even wrote a book and a video course on how to land speaking gigs. There’s nothing like networking from a stage where you are automatically an authority on your subject. Look for public speaking opportunities through your local chamber of commerce (see tip #1!). Look into industry conferences and events where your customers go to learn and network themselves. Find out how to get on the agenda, nail down a topic that will mean something to the audience and pitch yourself to speak. Once you’re on stage, you’re immediately seen as an authority by potential customers listening.
Every business needs a steady stream of new friends. Use networking to build new connections, new referral sources and new customer leads. Nothing is as powerful as connections built on relationship.