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The hardest part of any business is trying to engage your audience in the first place, never mind get people to buy your products or services. Be it competition or low attention spans, you’ll find the average user gets distracted very easily! So…. What can you do that may just give you the edge? Well, here are a few tips to try which should help you create an engaged network which I can honestly say has worked for me in terms of raising awareness, gaining exposure, maintaining interest and most importantly… allowing people to really connect with YOU!
Email everyone you’ve connected with ASAP after networking or exchanging business cards!
This lets potential business partners know how driven and serious you are. You should also always keep in mind everyone you come across has the potential to end up working with you so don’t dismiss someone just because you don’t initially see synergy.
‘THE OPPOSITE OF NETWORKING IS NOT WORKING!”
Connect on Social Media!
Do this within 24 hours while you’re still fresh in their memory and vice versa. If you can email and connect in the same evening, you’ll definitely leave an impression.
Endorse, like, comment or share your new connections posts!
This again brings you to the forefront of their mind. You’ve now not only connected quickly, but you’ve shown you’re willing to help them look good to their contacts and this will usually let them start to engage with you too!
Arrange to meet for a coffee if your contacts are local!
If you’ve met business owners through networking, then it’s a great opportunity to have that 1-2-1 with them afterwards. This way you’ll really get to know about their business and you’ll get the opportunity to talk about yours. Look at how you can both potentially help each other either in terms of collaborating or through social media promotion as there is always some way to be supportive to each other.
“COMMUNICATION – THE HUMAN CONNECTION – IS THE KEY TO PERSONAL AND CAREER SUCCESS”
– Paul J Meyer
Make introductions to other contacts – be a connector!
Most businesses work in conjunction with others whether it be suppliers or consumers so make introductions to either. You never know who people know that could potentially gain anyone business. You’ll be remembered somewhere down the line when you do people favours. Some won’t appreciate it of course, but most will, so make it worthwhile and do it without any expectation of gain.
Create a community through a group, meeting or social event!
This is easier than you think but will also take longer than you think. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to really show people the benefits of supporting and promoting each other, they’ll eventually see it as you do. This could be in the form of a social media group or an email group where you could invite people to meet up once a month to discuss their businesses etc. There is real power in this and once their eyes have been opened, there is no going back!
“COMMUNICATION IS THE REAL WORK OF LEADERSHIP”
– Nitin Nohria
Don’t do a hard sell to your contacts, be honest and ask them if they’d be interested?
People don’t like being sold to… however, they don’t mind a gentle nudge to let them know you’re thinking of them from time to time. Be honest rather than using a bunch of buzzwords which most people can see through… you’ll get a lot further with a genuine approach!
Well that’s my top tips for now on creating a network and maintaining your relationship with them! I hope you’ve found this helpful. These tips are ones which have helped me immensely in building a great network to date… I hope they will for you too.
Just remember the most important thing is COMMUNICATION. Be yourself, be genuine and take an interest in people and you’ll find they’ll open up to you too!