Business networking is an absolute must if you want to run a profitable business. Without networking with others, you’ll lose out on potential clients and profitable projects. If you are a new business owner or an absolute beginner at business networking, follow these five tips to get out there and network like a pro.
Business Networking: Give a Free Talk to a Local Group
Nonprofit organizations, community clubs, and hobby groups are always looking for guest speakers for meetings, luncheons, dinners, conferences, and other events. Offer to deliver a short speech at your favorite group’s next meeting so that the entire audience can be exposed to your knowledge and experience. Use the time immediately following your talk as business networking time. Work the room, exchange business cards with audience members, and provide additional information about your business.
Business Networking: Online Networking
Online networking has taken the world by storm. In the past, you had to attend a meeting or go to a conference to get the opportunity to do successful business networking. Now, sites like Schmoozii and LinkedIn offer professionals around the world the opportunity to network with others. The best thing about online networking is that you can connect with people from all different countries and industries, expanding your business network.
Business Networking: Join a Tips Club
Tips clubs (also called leads clubs) are great for business networking. The premise of such an organization is simple – members network with each other and refer each other to friends, family members, and business associates. One of the great things about these organizations is that they only allow one person from each type of business to join. For example, once a copywriter joins, no more copywriters are allowed to join unless that person leaves the organization. This means you won’t be competing against dozens of people for the same referrals.
Business Networking: Giving Back
Nonprofit organizations are always trying to accomplish more with less money and fewer staff members to keep things going. If you have a skill or talent that would benefit a nonprofit group, volunteer your services or offer your professional services at reduced rates. This is a great business networking technique because you can meet people from all industries, showcase your skills, and give back to your community at the same time.
Business Networking: Business Cards
Business networking often involves group meetings or special events. You need to have a business card with you at these events because, let’s face it; you don’t want to be the guy writing his phone number down on a cocktail napkin. Your business card should look professional, have all of your contact information included, and have value for its recipients. Many business owners choose to print a calendar, ruler, or other useful tool on the backs of their cards so that people hang on to them for a long time.
These business networking tips will help you break out of your shell and find the leads you need to take your business from startup to sensation.