What everybody ought to know about networking

What everybody ought to know about networking

Choosing to implement networking into your marketing strategy is a great idea!

Networking can be fantastically rewarding! It’s great for personal development and confidence building, but most importantly it’s probably the most cost effective way there is to generate new business.

I think everybody should include some form of networking in their overall marketing plan!

If you’ve tried networking before and not enjoyed it, then you’ve probably attended events that just aren’t right for you.

If you need to become a better networker, check out my Top 7 business networking blog posts. These posts provide hints, tips and support to help you shine at business networking events!

Share your networking experiences! Drop an email to hello@andyditchburn.com  or tweet @Perro_Andy.

The best business networking tip – don’t forget to follow up!

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How to use business cards to make your networking more effective

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Top 6 tips to survive (and enjoy) your next networking event!

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Business networking tips – the main reasons why you should participate in business networking

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Are you attending the right kind of networking events?

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How to make a great first impression at your next networking event

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5 things to avoid doing at your next networking event

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networkingguide

Click to find out more… What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking.

Think about your networking strategy! Find the right events to attend. Don’t forget the follow up… make sure you follow up by doing whatever you said you would do!

The most important thing is to get out there and enjoy it!
Create a plan, be realistic, stick to it, test and measure everything, then review the plan and adapt accordingly.

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Back 2 basics – the best business networking tips

Back 2 basics – the best business networking tips

Are you looking for business networking tips to use at your next business networking event?

I think everybody should be attending business networking events! Business networking is a great way to expand your networks, acquire knowledge and make new connections.

Business networking is great for personal development and confidence building and it’s also the most cost effective way to generate new business opportunities!

There are lots of different business networking events. Some are more formal and structured, others are more relaxed. I advise finding the style of event that works for you!

Are you getting the most out of the business networking events that you attend? Do you have a business networking strategy that clearly defines your aims, objectives and goals? Is business networking ‘working’ for you?

This is my back 2 basics guide – how to improve your business networking – the best business networking tips –

Before we look at some business networking tips, lets ask ourselves why we attend regular business networking events?

Most people attend business networking events to find out about new business opportunities, make new connects with other links minded business people and to ultimately generate new enquiries or sales opportunities.

Here’s some other reasons why you should attend business networking events include –

Raise your (and your business) profile

Receive the right kind of advice

Increase your personal confidence

Become the ‘go to’ person

Developing new friends

Benefit from helping other people

To find out more, check out –
Business networking tips – the main reasons why you should participate in business networking

My first business networking tip – find the type of event that works for you!

These are the main different types of business networking events –

Casual Contact Events

Strong Contact Events

Community Groups and Forums

Industry Specific Networking

Conferences, Trade Shows and Exhibitions

Private Invitation Only Events

Social Groups

Women Only Networking

Initially I recommend attending lots of different types of networking events whilst keeping an open mind.

Different people naturally prefer different situations and environments.

When developing your networking strategy and plan, it’s important to know which events ‘work for you’ and make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Find out more about the different types of business networking events at –
Are you attending the right kind of networking events?

networking

Check out my other Networking blog posts.

Ask yourself ‘why’ you attend business networking events!

Like all types of marketing activity, you’ll experience more positive results if you have a plan in place and have developed some key aims and objectives.

Why do you attend? What do you want to achieve? Is it worth your time? Are you wasting your time? What could you do better or differently?

All of these questions become a lot easier to answer if you actually have a strategy in place.

I like to break networking strategy into the following 3 stages –

1. Preparation – Preparing A Networking Strategy
2. Networking – What To Do At The Event
3. Following Up – What To Do After the Event

One of my favourite business networking tips – develop and practice your ‘elevator pitch’ –

According to Wikipedia the elevator pitch is – ‘A short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.’

At a networking event the likelihood is that people are going to ask you who you are and what you do. So it’s well worth developing and practicing your ‘elevator pitch’.

Check out a previous blog post on how to develop great elevator pitch –
How to make a great first impression at your next networking event

networkingguide

Click to find out more… What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking.

The best business networking tip – Don’t forget to follow up –

The ‘follow up’ is crucial! There’s no point in attending lots of events and meeting lots of new contacts, then forgetting about these people as soon as the event has finished!

Following up isn’t about collecting as many business cards as possible then letting them gather dust on your desk.

The follow up is essentially doing what you said you would do within an acceptable timeframe! Not doing the follow up is simply unforgivable. In the long run it will only damage your credibility and reputation.

Find out more about how to follow up –
The best business networking tip – don’t forget to follow up!

Check out this previous blog post on the things that you shouldn’t be doing at your next business networking event –
5 things to avoid doing at your next networking event

So what is business networking really all about?

Don’t forget my definition of business networking –

‘Business networking is NOT about selling, it’s about building relationships built on trust.’

Business networking is about helping people! When you attend your next event and meet a new contact, ask yourself – how can I help this person!

Of all of the best business networking tips, this one really is the most important!

How to do great marketing and win more customers

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Business networking tips – the main reasons why you should participate in business networking

Business networking tips – the main reasons why you should participate in business networking

I think everyone should be looking for new business networking tips!

If you aren’t already attending business networking events, then you should be! Business networking is a great way to expand your networks, acquire knowledge and make new connections. It’s also the most cost effective way to generate new business opportunities.

If you do attend business networking events, are you getting the most out of them? Do you have a business networking strategy that clearly defines your aims, objectives and goals?

Sometimes it’s important to step back and take time to understand why we do things.

These are the main reasons why I believe everyone should attend regular business networking events –

Check out these 9 business networking tips!

The first 6 are some ‘not so obvious’ reasons why you should attend regular business networking events –

Raise your (and your business) profile

Being visible at the right kind of business networking events will get you noticed and hopefully recognised by your business community. This will help you to build a good reputation and raise credibility.

blog-businessnetworkingtips

For more business networking tips – check out my other Networking blog posts.

Receive the right kind of advice

If you surround yourself with like-minded business people there’s a chance that you will pick up hints, tips and advice to help your business succeed. Networking is a fantastic way to connect with experienced business leaders who you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Increase your personal confidence

I’ve always firmly believed that business networking is great for both confidence building and personal development. Business networking can be great experience for both extroverts and introverts. Talking to new people and making new connections can be daunting at first, but hugely beneficial in the long run.

Become the ‘go to’ person

As your network widens and grows, you’ll naturally develop lots more contacts and connections. Your existing networks will start to appreciate how well connected you’ve become and naturally ask you for recommendations.

Developing new friends

This is more personal than business related. I’ve generated strong friendships from attending networking events. If you surround yourself with like-minded people, then you’ll naturally develop friendships.

Benefit from helping other people

As you become a more experienced and regular networker, you’ll be able to help other people. Helping other people is what networking is really about! You’ll be able to share knowledge, advice and tips, pass referrals, or point people in the right direction. You’ll gain a lot of personal satisfaction from helping people.

networkingguide

Click to find out more… What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking.

These are the ‘well known’ and ‘more obvious’ reasons why people attend business networking events –

Find out about new opportunities

Attending the right kind of business networking events will ensure that you’re perfectly placed to hear about and maximise upon many different new opportunities.

New opportunities could include the chance to partner with other businesses, learning about grants and funding, being invited to other events, hearing about tenders, finding new suppliers.

Make new connections

Business networking events are great for making new connections. It’s important to think about how you will treat your new business connections. I believe making connections is a massively important step in a successful business networking strategy.

I always advise people to help as many of your new connections as you can. When you connect with someone, always ask yourself – ‘what can I do to help that person’.

Generate referrals or sales

This is probably your ultimate goal and the reason why you’ve decided (or are thinking about) attending business networking events. It shouldn’t be your main goal! Your main goal should be to make as many good quality connections as possible.

Referrals and sales will probably be generated from your business networking strategy, but it shouldn’t be your main focus.

If you think that business networking is for you, then I recommend developing a strategy and plan to ensure that you get the most out of attending these events.

How to do great marketing and win more customers

Download my FREE workbook – How to do great marketing and win more customers.

The best business networking tip – don’t forget to follow up!

The best business networking tip – don’t forget to follow up!

I’ve published previous posts on business networking tips. If you’ve seen these posts, then you’ll know that I firmly believe that some form of business networking should be a part of your overall marketing strategy and plan.

Networking is great for personal development and confidence building, but it’s also the most cost effective way to develop business contacts and generate new business.

It’s important that you thoroughly prepare in advance for a networking event and that you maximise every opportunity at the actual event, but the crucial and most important business networking tip is to always, always, always ‘follow up’!

Grabbing as many business cards as possible isn’t what networking should be about! The ‘follow up’ is the most important part of the process. The ‘follow up’ should never be forgotten about or neglected!

Here’s some business networking tips on how to follow up –

Send an email
Checking in with someone to say that you enjoyed meeting them is always a good idea. An email also gives you the opportunity to share information or provide more information on areas that you maybe didn’t have time to discuss.

Check out my other Networking blog posts.

Connect on social media
Showing an interest and following or liking social media profiles or pages is also a great idea. Could you help new contacts out be sharing their social media content? LinkedIn might be the most appropriate channel to connect with business contacts.

Set up a meeting
If it’s appropriate to, then set up a follow up 1-2-1 meeting with your new business contact. This gives you more time and privacy to discuss ways in which you can help each other in more detail.

Opt in to their email marketing lists
This is another great way to show interest in a new business contact. Signing up to an email marketing list suggests that you’re interested in their product / service and want to hear more about what they have to offer.

Share your contacts
If you know the type of introduction that a new contact is looking for then put them in touch with each other. This will probably be best done through email.

3 business networking tips to remember –

Make the first move.

Don’t ‘stalk’ people or appear too pushy.

Always try to help people first.

Mastering the ‘follow up’ is essentially making sure that you do exactly what you said you were going to do!

networkingguide

Click to find out more… What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking.

Most people who network believe that networking is a viable way to generate new business. But these people often appear reluctant to commit to a networking strategy or plan.

If you think networking is potentially a lucrative source of income generation, then I recommend developing a strategy and plan to maximise the opportunity.

How to do great marketing and win more customers

Download my FREE workbook – How to do great marketing and win more customers.

Top 6 tips to survive (and enjoy) your next networking event!

Top 6 tips to survive (and enjoy) your next networking event!

Attending a networking event might be putting you well and truly out of your comfort zone? But it’s well worth giving networking some thought!

Some form of networking should be part of your overall marketing strategy! It’s probably the most cost effective way to generate new business contacts!

It can also be fantastically rewarding! It’s great for personal development and confidence building!

Like all types of marketing activity, you’ll experience more positive results if you have a plan in place and have developed some key aims and objectives.

I like to break networking strategy and planning into the following 3 stages –

1. Preparation – Preparing A Networking Strategy

2. Networking – What To Do At The Event

3. Following Up – What To Do After the Event

These are my top tips for your next networking event –

Plan, plan and then plan some more.

There’s nothing worse than not being prepared. Do some research on the venue, figure out how you will get there and where you will park. Find out more about the host of the event. Is the event formal or casual? Is there a dress code? Ask for the delegate list so that you know in advance who is likely to be present.

If you’re well prepared and know what to expect, then there’s more chance that you will relax and enjoy the event.

survive (and enjoy) your next networking event! - Check out my other Networking blog posts.

Check out my other Networking blog posts.

Develop and practice your ‘elevator pitch’.

According to Wikipedia the elevator pitch is – ‘A short summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, service, organization, or event and its value proposition.’

At a networking event the likelihood is that people are going to ask you who you are and what you do. So it’s well worth developing and practicing your ‘elevator pitch’. Find out more here.

Be genuinely interested in other people!

Don’t jump straight in and start talking about yourself. Ask open questions and be interested in other people in the room.

Always ask yourself how you can help others!

Move around – or ‘work the room’!

Don’t get too comfortable and spend the whole event talking to the same person. Move around and aim to meet several new people.

It’s great if you bump into people that you already know, but you should also be aiming to build new connections.

Concentrate on building relationships.

Don’t expect or try to sell your product or service. Networking is more about relationship building than selling.

Nobody wants to be sold to! If you attend networking events to sell, then you’ll simply damage your own credibility and develop a bad reputation on the networking scene.

Follow Up!

The ‘follow up’ is essentially doing whatever you said that you were going to do. If you neglect the ‘follow up’, then attending the event was a waste of your time!

Not doing the follow up is simply unforgivable!

survive (and enjoy) your next networking event!

Click to find out more… What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking.

Click here to find out more about ‘What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking’.

Get out there and enjoy it!

survive (and enjoy) your next networking event!- Free Dowmload

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Are you attending the right kind of networking events?

Are you attending the right kind of networking events?

Most business owners engage in networking! It’s great for personal development and confidence building, but most importantly it’s probably the most cost effective way to generate new business.

If you believe that networking is a viable way to generate new business, then you should commit to and develop a networking strategy and plan.

Developing a strategy and a plan will help you to maximise the opportunities when you attend different events.

The actual events that you choose (or choose not) to attend will directly impact how successful your networking strategy becomes.

These are the main different types of networking events –

Casual Contact Events
Often a great place for inexperienced networkers to start! These events are usually informal and relaxed. You should expect to meet a broad range of connections from lots of different industry sectors. It’s likely that there won’t be a membership fee, usually there’s a nominal meeting fee.

Strong Contact Events
These events are more formal and much more structured. An annual joining fee is usually required to gain membership. As well as financial commitment, joining a Strong Contact Event group also needs personal commitment.

Community Groups and Forums
Rotary is a good example of this type of group. The intention is usually to create a positive impact for local charities or communities. Committing to these events can be a good way to implement part of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.

Industry Specific Networking
Usually ran by professional or trade associations. Membership fees and rules on attendance vary.
The audience at these events are limited to your industry. However, it’s a great opportunity to meet and share knowledge with industry leaders.

Conferences, Trade Shows and Exhibitions
The style of these events is similar to a Casual Contact Event. They probably aren’t advertised as ‘networking’, but they are undoubtedly great opportunities to connect with like minded individuals. They can be busy, crowded and fast paced.

Private Invitation Only Events
These ‘invitation only’ events are usually hosted by companies or organisations. They could be drinks receptions, launch events or awards dinners. Again, they’re not advertised as ‘networking events’, but most people in attendance will be engaging in networking of sorts.

Social Groups
These groups aren’t primarily about business, but they’re a great way to develop long term business relationships. Members share a hobby or a common interest in areas such as sports, music, crafts or religion.

Women Only Networking
Recently there has been an increase in Women Only Networking Groups. These groups fall into all of the categories mentioned above. They’re designed to support women who feel uncomfortable attending meetings or events that are strongly dominated by men.

Initially I recommend attending lots of different types of networking events whilst keeping an open mind.

Different people naturally prefer different situations and environments. When developing your networking strategy and plan, it’s important to know which events ‘work for you’ and make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

In my Guide, ‘What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking’, I break networking planning down into 3 stages –

Preparation – Preparing A Networking Strategy
Networking – What To Do At The Event
Following Up – What To Do After the Event

Click here to find out more about ‘What Everybody Ought To Know About Networking’.

Are you attending the right kind of networking events - Perro Freee Work Book

 

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