Everyone in business needs a network. So how are you growing your network?
Networking is important for connecting with other people in and out of your own specific industry. For soulpreneurs like myself, there is an understanding that clients find coaches who resonate with them. Therefore, there tends to be a lot less “competition” and more camaraderie and support. Therefore, we connect with one another share ideas, and offer support. I found in my own experience that networking outside of my industry was a lot more competitive and sales focused. The networkers were looking to sell to one another instead of sharing ideas. However, no network is necessarily created equally so when networking be sure to be attentive to others needs so that you don’t come off as too pushy or salesy. Nobody likes a sleezy salesperson.
Introduce yourself and your business and explain why you love what you do. Ask others what they do and get to know them. Remember, business is about giving more than receiving as the receiving part will always come back to you in the end. So focus on getting to know the other person and what their business is all about. If you feel the other person is a little pushy or focused on closing a sale, simply state that you respect them and their business but that you are not in a position to purchase their product or service but you’d like to stay connected professionally. This earns their respect and also asserts your position that you are not a prospective buyer.
Growing your network can be done through accessing various professional groups and organizations. It can also be done by networking via social media hubs like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter or Instagram. Networking can be done anywhere.
Here are some networking tips to get started:
1. Find groups or organizations that resonate or speak to you. You can find networking groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. You might even find people to network with on Pinterest! Also, check out meetup.com for networking groups in your local area.
2. If meeting in person, look professional or as you would for your work environment. Presentation is everything! If meeting online, make sure that your tone and demeanor within the online world reflects your tone as if you were meeting in person.
3. Stay connected and share ideas if you feel comfortable. Having a supportive network is important. Find common interests and ways to help and support those within your network and encourage others to share thoughts and ideas as well. This way you can support others to find new clients and customers so that you are not attempting to sell to each other.
4. Share wins and celebrate them. Share each other’s blogs or guest post on one another’s blogs. Find ways to celebrate the work of your colleagues and networking peeps. If you are not in the same line of work, you may just want to share their info on Twitter, to help them gain exposure to another network. Then when this reciprocates you have access to another network as well. Share the new sale of a fellow networker, or congratulate them when they’ve reached their 100th client. This helps support the networking relationship and lets the other person know you are supportive of their biz.
5. Get together regularly either online to share wins, struggles, and information on how to improve. Having a weekly or monthly networking event or conference calls can help you get pumped up in your own business. As a solopreneur business can get lonely. Therefore, reaching out to others and having a supportive business network that is active can help you stay focused and positive toward meeting your business goals.
In love and light,