The 10 steps to smart networking that’ll get you visible are literally at the end of your fingertips. In today’s world of both online and offline options, you’ve got more resources available to you for creating connections than ever before.
What is Networking?
The definition, according to Collins Dictionary is: “the developing of contacts or exchanging of information with others in an informal network, as to further a career”. Here at TVAFS, we believe that it is so much more. Networking is about establishing meaningful connections with people and building relationships for effective collaboration and business growth.
Why is Networking Important?
Knowing how to network effectively is vital to business & personal growth. It doesn’t matter if you are a Virtual Assistant, a freelancer or a COO, we all need to practice the art of successful networking.
Many entrepreneurs have lost the art of being social on social media and yet it is the easiest place on planet earth to connect with people.
The 10 Steps
If you want to build your network and increase your client base, then commit to following these steps.
1. Always be authentic
If you want to make meaningful connections that are based on mutual respect and admiration, it is so important to always be yourself.
2. Know your Network
Join the right online communities. Not 50. Five is a great number to start with. It is much easier to keep track of and interact with people in 5 groups.
3. Optimize your online presence
When people want to know more about you after interacting with you in the groups, the first thing that they are going to do is click on your Facebook Profile. Ensure that people can easily connect with you by including links to your website, your Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn, etc.
This is a great read on how to optimize your Social Media Presence.
4. Be smart about how you introduce yourself
People want to know how you can help them. Not just what you do. Don’t make your introduction all about you. Make it all about how you can help.
5. Connect with Intent
Have a reason you’re reaching out and connecting with people. Don’t just send an awkward friend request. Send the request and once accepted, send a message. It doesn’t have to be long. A simple Hello and thank you for connecting type message is perfect. It’ll put you on their radar. Just don’t try and sell anything!
6. Ask questions. Be curious. Really connect
Once the conversation is open and they respond to your first message, take the time to get to know them and their business. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Make a real connection. Forget about the sale.
7. Focus on maintaining the connections you’ve made
It’s easy to send one or two messages, the real power is in maintaining and nurturing those relationships. Focus on building the like, know and trust factor. People buy from people they know, like and trust. And just as important, people refer people that they know like and trust.
8. Always add value
Have fun. Social media is meant to be social. Add real value. Answer questions, make suggestions, refer someone, without expecting anything in return.
9. Ask for referrals
The quickest way to build your network is to connect with your network’s connections based on a referral from them. If you have focused on nurturing the connections you’ve made, this should be easy.
10. Be clear
There is nothing more deadly to a deal than ambiguity. When asking, be clear about what you want.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to networking is to be your authentic self and to always add value.
Want to have these steps handy? Download the Ebook here.