Spectrum Public Relations provides free tips and trends in communications.
For some, networking is a joy; for others, it’s a necessary evil. If you’re in business and have a responsibility to bring in new customers, it’s a must.
Here are five quick tips on effective networking for brand awareness and business development:
- Less is More – Time is money, so choose where you spend your time wisely. When you first start out, you may want to attend a lot of events and scope out multiple groups, but be careful what you commit to long-term. You don’t want to accidentally make networking your full-time job. It’s better to get more deeply involved with one quality group than to be a serial attendee of five lower value (to you) organizations.
- Balance it Out – Choose groups that are made up of different categories of people and serve different purposes. You may want to spend some of your time networking with other business owners, and some time being involved in a charitable cause that you care about that could also be a source of business. Most importantly, only choose groups you enjoy.
- Connect with “The Competition” – It’s also important to network within your profession or industry. Don’t look at them as competition, but potential collaborators. When you form meaningful relationships with others in your field, they will know your niches and be able to refer business to you, and vice versa. You could even help each other out if you have a large project.
- Stand Out – Determine what will differentiate you from the rest. You might sponsor or donate your time to a key cause with which you’d like to align yourself. You could ask thoughtful questions to speakers in networking forums. Perhaps be a part of a group where you are the only one representing your industry.
- Follow Up – To cultivate new business, you have to follow up with the contacts you make when you are out and about. If you meet someone you would like to work with, take the next step and invite them to coffee, breakfast or lunch, or even simply connect on LinkedIn or the social media platform of your choice. Don’t feel obligated to follow up with everyone – especially that guy or gal who runs around networking events pelting people with business cards.
For more on strategic and effective networking, contact us today – we’d love to assist you in developing a comprehensive approach to brand awareness and, ultimately, business development.