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How to Build a Kick Ass Business Network

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How to build a professional network in a way that enhances your standing and nurtures your business and your life.
Why networking is worth the time and the effort spent.
Why successful networking is especially important for entrepreneurs.
Being aware of the rules and also the cardinal sins of networking.
How networking can give your business personality.

Published in: Business
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How to Build a Kick Ass Business Network

  1. 1. BuildingaKickAssBusinessNetwork NIChamberofCommerce/ArtsCouncilofNI 13March 2014
  2. 2. A bit about me … • I startedlife as a commercialaccountant • I left my safejob to become a SiliconValley dotcommer • Became an entrepreneurlaterin life thanmost • Have founded4 startupsof my own … so far! • I’ve been described by others as “as a collectorof people anda nurturerof networks” – I’ve been doing thatallof my life • I’ve only ever appliedfor a job throughformalmeans once in my life
  3. 3. Why bother with networking?
  4. 4. Why bother with networking? “You start forming relationshipsthe day youare born;growing and nurturingthose relationshipsis key to the success of anentrepreneur”
  5. 5. Why bother with networking? • Gain introductions • Meet peopleyou canaccess for help& advice • Make sales and get new leads • Personal careeradvice • We live in an increasinglycollaborativeworld
  6. 6. Why bother with networking? “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else” Sun Microsystems
  7. 7. Why bother with networking? “In order to be open for business, you need to be open in every sense of the word”
  8. 8. How do I get started?
  9. 9. How do I get started? • Thinkabout who youalreadyknow • Join some organisations– formal& informal • Start to write a blogor comment on other people’s • Joinsome LinkedInor Facebookgroups & make smarter use of Twitter • Do some homework beforeyou attendevents
  10. 10. What are the Rules? • Be braveandapproachstrangers – what’s the worst thatcanhappen • Be friendlyand pleasant • Have a 30 secondelevatorpitchandbe ready to trot it out • Be ambitiousin who youreachout to – especiallyonline • Remember this is a two-way street & karma playsa part
  11. 11. Watch out for the Cardinal Sins? • Not followingup • Playinga numbers game • Rejecting anyoneyou deem to not be useful • Mixingup networkingandselling – a complete no-no • Disregardingreputationalcapital • If you’re the “recipient” – don’t expect the otherparty to do any runningor heavy lifting
  12. 12. A nice visual representation
  13. 13. So - what’s networking ever done for me? • I’ve met some very interestingpeople – many of whom are now friends • I’ve given my business a personality • Networkinghasled to new work andengagements • I’m betterinformedthanI wouldotherwise be • I’ve dramaticallyincreasedmy reach& mademyself more visible • I founda wonderfulnon exec directorfor my Board • I’ve met peoplewho I’ve laterrecruited • Oh yeah – I’ve hada lot of laughsalongthe way
  14. 14. I even met this guy…
  15. 15. …and persuaded this one to let me put him on a mug…
  16. 16. …and I was the proud recipient of an MBE this month…
  17. 17. Final thought … “A wide and varied network is a thing of beauty and a joy forever – so building it is definitely worth the effort”
  18. 18. • Emailaddress mary@kickhq.com • Read my blogat www.kickingassets.co.uk • Connect with me on Twitterat @MMaryMcKenna

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