Networking is a great way to start opening doors for your business and showing people how awesome your business truly is!
Networking when you’re an entrepreneur can super beneficial, of course – but where do you start? How do you reach out and talk to a bunch of others about yourself — without sounding like a cheesehead?
There’s no lack of resources or places to go for networking! Even if you live in the burbs, you have the Internet which is chock full of Facebook groups waiting to know you. (Like maybe Internet Fame? 🤔)
#1 – Be ready with your brand message statement.
Which brings me to my #1 tip — be ready to explain who you are, who you help, and the problem your business solves in a matter of a few sentences. Sometimes, this is referred to as an elevator pitch, brand message statement, or mission statement. Write it down, play with it, and know it inside-out. When networking, you want to capture someone’s attention while you have it – and you don’t want to sound wishy-washy about your business. Knowing WHAT to say will make you sound confident and clear.
#2 – What happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas, but what happens at a networking event shouldn’t!
Now you might be thinking, “Great! I can do that! But how do I really seal the deal with these people?”
Online, Facebook Groups have been a huge business booster for connecting with my ideal clients, but networking dinners are totally where it’s at! These dinners have been a great way for me to put myself out there as a business in-person. Conferences haven’t been useful for me, personally, at all – and I think it’s just because there is usually too much distraction and too many people to make a meaningful, lasting connection. (I’d be curious to hear what you guys have experienced!)
#3 – When networking, listen more than you talk.
The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs make when networking is not listening to the person with whom you’re interacting. If you spend the whole time talking about what you do (which is another reason to keep that concise – see above!), you’ll come off as selfish and disinterested in the other person. Even if you don’t care what they do, it’s polite to pretend. Go with it and act like a human first and a business second!
So get out there and let your awesomeness do all the talking for you and your business!
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