Build Your Network With Professional Memberships

Build Your Network With Professional Memberships

Marketing Strategy, Networking
Membership in professional organizations offer a HUGE opportunity to network and build connections. Yes, you most likely pay a membership fee, but this is a necessary marketing expense as you build your business. When researching organizations to join, think about the benefits you will receive from your membership. Sure, lots of organizations host monthly meetings, and in theory these are great networking opportunities. Uh oh, wait for it… I said "in theory" and here’s why: If you’re a member of an organization that hosts regularly scheduled live programming, you most likely need to arrive early or stay late to network. Does your schedule allow for this extra time, and are your fellow members hanging around as well? This is a big consideration as you use your limited resource of time.…
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Upcoming Event: Do I Play or Pass?

Upcoming Event: Do I Play or Pass?

Marketing Strategy, Networking
We all need to network in some form to build our businesses, and there's nothing like face-to-face events to get the ball rolling. But there are too many choices, so what should you do? You have an idea of the types of events you'd like to attend. You’ve done a bit of research on each event, and you've given consideration to 5 important factors (we discussed these in a previous post). Now it’s time to make a decision: should you attend an event or not? Don’t wing it, make a calculated decision. Is this more of the same thing?  Take a look at the types of events you regularly attend. How does this event compare? Mix in some out-of-the-ordinary mixers, luncheons, breakfast meetings, evening socials, and conferences. Don’t stick with what or who you…
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Connect On LinkedIn With A Personal Message

Connect On LinkedIn With A Personal Message

Networking, Social Media
Let's face it, to build your professional network you will want to forge relationships with people who you don't know personally. So why not use LinkedIn as a professional starting point? LinkedIn is designed for professional networking! Let's take a step back first. What are the rules of offline networking? You don't just walk up to a person and ask them for their resume and list of contacts do you? No, you introduce yourself FIRST. The same rule applies to making connections via LinkedIn, that is if you want to really network. You don't want to go spamming people with empty invitations or canned messages to connect. You have to introduce yourself first! If you don't, you'll look like a lazy networker/sleazy salesperson who happens to be clueless about building relationships on social media. I know you don't want that to…
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Are Networking Mixers A Waste Of Time?

Networking
Before you get all defensive, I know plenty of people swear by the networking mixer as a great way to cast a wide net and meet a bunch of potential clients. As a general rule I don’t attend these types of events unless I have a purpose. Mingling by itself is not a purpose; I mean a defined (often quantifiable) objective. What prompted this post? I recently attended the worst networking mixer ever! I mean poor sound quality, multiple presenters just pitched and offered nothing of value, no traffic flow or structure within a huge lounge space, and… the attendees didn’t actually network. I went to meet a friend (and future client), and we both wanted to learn more about the hosting organization. My friend and I actually had a…
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Networking: The Conversation Just Started

Networking: The Conversation Just Started

Networking
If you are a current (or aspiring) business owner or self-employed by any means, you already know you can only eat if you make sales. With that being said, what are you doing to keep yourself fed? When you’re out attending events, traveling and otherwise  “networking”, what do you do when you get home? Networking is only useful if you FOLLOW UP to build the relationship and actually make a sale/gain a referral/gain a resource to grow your business. Thus we have today’s quick tip: don’t waste time networking if you’re not going to follow-up on the contacts you make. Attending networking events costs money, time and resources, so why not take the initiative to follow-up with interesting people you meet? Note: do not become a spammy salesperson. You can plan to…
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Business Cards Are Essential for Offline Networking

Networking
Most of us still use business cards on a regular basis to communicate who we are, what we do, etc. Yet so many seemingly professional people do not adhere to basic business card rules. Thus my cheat sheet on business card essentials. I didn't think I needed to spell these out, but I'm often taken aback by how many times I meet a business owner that either runs out of business cards or doesn't have pertinent information listed on the card. Don't you know, business card marketing is alive and well! Tsk tsk...  Here are just a few business card essentials for your offline networking. Keep it current Make sure you have business cards with your current contact information on you at all times. You can't predict when a business opportunity…
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