Business Networking Strategy
Business Networking is a powerful way to start to get yourself known and see
how your business idea lands. But 99.9% of business owners do it wrong and
miss out on forming deep relationships and clients. If you follow my advice
below you will start to enjoy business networking and see the rewards fast.
Choose 5 Business Networking Events
• Go to Twitter and follow each networking event.
• Connect with the networking leader on Twitter and start to tweet before the
event and make yourself known.
• If the chosen networking events have a list of people who attend (BNI and 4
Networking do) then try and connect with them on twitter too and say
you will be going to the event. That way when you go to the event you
will already have a relationship built with them and it will be:
1 a) less scary
2 b) less cold
3 c) you will already have something to talk about
If you can connect with people on Facebook (some people use Facebook for
work as well as personal) then go and connect with the leader and those who
attend before the event. Do not be worried if they do not add you on
Facebook, they may keep it friends only.
As with Twitter go and add them on LinkedIn and send them a message that
you will be attending their networking event. See if they can recommend any
good groups for reaching your ideal audience, see who their ideal client is so
you can refer people to them.
The more work you do before the networking event the more you will get out
of the event.
AT THE EVENTS
Relax, be friendly, and ask questions. Do not sell. The aim of business
networking events is to build relationships not sell to people when you don’t
know them. Unless they ask you, make the conversation about them.
Knowledge is power and with the knowledge you will know if you can help
them. Either with your services, or refer someone else.
You will of course take business cards with you. But the aim when you are
networking is to get information from others, not give your cards out willy nilly.
When you get a business card from someone, take time to look at the card,
and then ask them if they would be happy for you to send them your free
eBook/join your very informative newsletter/whitepaper/blog etc. Then write
on the card either YES/NO (whilst they are still standing in front of you) so that
when you get back to the office you can add them and send them the
eBook/whitepaper/blog that was fitting for them.
If you haven’t already connected on the social media channels, make sure
you ask them if they are on social media, and would they like to connect. This
way you can continue the relationship after the event.
AFTER THE EVENTS
Send all who wanted to hear from you a ‘great to meet you’ email with the free
eBook etc. to them.
Add them to your newsletter list if they agreed to hear from you.
Connect on LinkedIn and Facebook and jump on Twitter, follow them and do
a shout out and share one of their tweets.
When you have added them on LinkedIn make sure you tag them (this is
possible when you look at your contacts, there is a tagging option). Use the
networking event as a tag name so that you know where you met them first.
If there is anyone that you really felt you connected with arrange a 1:1 with
them and spend 30mins getting to know them better outside of the networking
If there was anyone at the business networking event you really wish you
could have spoken with but didn’t then make sure you reach out to them and
connect. LinkedIn is the perfect way to do so.
If you follow this simple networking process you will find you spend more time
building relationships than just going to networking events, eating breakfast or
lunch, and wasting your time. Remember the 4 hours you spend at networking
events is very precious. If you imagine your time is worth at least £250 an
hour it cost you £1000 to go to that networking event.
Do not lose sight of the power of deep relationships when building your
Amanda specialises in helping people stuck in the corporate jungle, escape
the cubicle and turn their passion into a full time job.
The Corporate Escape Programme is an award winning 6-month business
incubator that has helped 100’s of new and aspiring entrepreneurs transition
with ease to become Thriving Entrepreneurs. She also is the founder of The
Corporate Escape Club, a monthly event held in the City in London for those
exploring leaving their day job.
For further information please visit www.amandacwatts.com