"But what does it mean, and why should I bother?"
Let's start with "why." Networking:
- Creates a vehicle for you to help others
- Puts opportunities in front of you
- Allows you to make choices about who, when, where, why and how you meet others
What does networking look like?
- Regularly scheduled meetings
- Social events
- Non-profit or charity events
- Educational seminars or classes
- Award presentations
- One-on-one meetings
You'll notice that one item missing from "Why" is "To get more business." Yes, it's absolutely possible that building your network will add revenue to your company. However, if you begin networking with the sole question, "What's in it for me?" you're going to be discouraged. Instead of focusing on your own dollars, concentrate instead on connecting people to each other and helping them meet their goals.
If you haven't put effort into building your network before, that's okay. But start now! An easy way to make networking a habit is to join a group that holds regular events (many are low-cost or no-cost) and then (THIS IS IMPORTANT) put the scheduled events on your calendar.
It's okay not to have perfect attendance, but remember, people can only know, like and trust you if you show up.
John, Wendy, Jayne and I believe so strongly in the importance of building networks that we happily invite you to attend a networking event as our guest. Check out our Events page for some ideas or email us.
It's a little scary to do something new, especially when everyone else seems so practiced. Just remember the words of "Eat That Frog" author Brian Tracy, "You can only grow if you're willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new."