The Keys to Successful Networking

Over the years since I first became a business owner in 1990, I have come to appreciate the value of having strong relationships with contacts. Communicating with these contacts, or going to a new person for communication purposes, is an essential element of any marketing plan.

Personally, I have managed a real estate management company, helped run the drum education and repair business, I was a broadcaster, blogger and writer in several fields (review, blogging, freelance, published author). Many of the strong relationships we have built in each of these industries over the past 30 years are still important stakeholders today.

To understand what the network involves, you need to know and prepare for the hidden tasks behind the scenes that make it all possible. Before you start a campaign, think about how your communication should reflect the image of your company. This can include color scheme, design, logos, links and other intricate elements that reflect your marketing. Consider, too, the visible effect of your communication: no matter how clean, short, attractive, and flawless it may seem. Clean, clean and easy is the best way to travel.

Network means you need something to offer. Will you include their name in your ad? Can you include some part of their business activities, policies or community projects in your client’s e-bulletin? Are you able to work with them to obtain a special auction, or to get your staff to do volunteer work? Can you give them great resources, for no other reason than just helping them? Will you target customers to them? Maybe you can be a mentor, offer advice, offer services, discounts for their employees, trade coupons. Communication campaigns will vary over the years and you may find that you have to come up with reasons to access and reconnect with your contacts (at least every year).

It is equally important to have a plan in place so that when someone reaches out and does something good they can be thankful quickly and effectively.

Keep a brief record of the communication you have had with your network group. It is easy to use a simple program like Excel to create a short worksheet where you can add names, contacts and a recent campaign project. Enter the color code of the worksheet so you can see at a glance who should be followed. Each time you reach out, make sure you offer something – a useful link, a competition they might be interested in, a discounted product, a gift of some kind, a network idea they might want to join, or check to see if they need more content for their blog.

Finding new network contacts is rarely a problem. Start with a bunch of your business cards, your suppliers, employees, and customer lists. Do not forget your personal phone book when you have a list of people you know. Give each of them a quick note that lets them know how much you appreciate them, what you appreciate about them, and how you hope to work together in some way, or maybe you come to let them know how you are. to do and what to do.

Visit local employment agencies to learn about local businesses that promote or compete with you. Small business advice groups, workshops and events can be found at the local library and at government offices. Don’t forget to contact staff while you are there – at least introduce yourself, invite them to extend a hand and give them your card. If you are going to any of these events, have a set of business cards in hand. Write on the back of your card (or those) a note about the conversation and what you promised to do, that is, you may have said “I will reach out to you tomorrow to let you know who my son’s baseball coach is.” and write it on the card he gave you and you. After the event, it is easy to view the cards collected remembering everyone you meet and extend a hand, refer to the conversation and fulfill your promise.

View articles and interviews with people working in the same field as you – learn about the steps they have taken, the successes and mistakes they have made, the resources they can recommend. Visit their websites and try to find out why they chose that layout, design, images, etc. Contact them to let them know that they influence you, that you like their article or interview, or that you would like to contact them on social media. Search for like-minded websites for resources, useful links and articles. Check out their media pages to see where they got the exposure; perhaps the media listed there may also be of interest to you.

Lillian and her husband Dave are a group that follows Brummet Media Group, hitting with joy as they pass each other from exploring one thing or another on their long list of things to do. Their business includes Dave’s music studio and production equipment as well as graphic design work and a host of non-fiction books that have won awards and popular blogs. Today we are helping them celebrate their latest book release – From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes! Visit Brummet at BrummetMedia.ca

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