Networking 101

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Networking 101

Networking is a great way to catapult your business in a short time, if you know how to do it right. Through networking you can find customers, business partners, mentors, and more. The key is finding the right people and communicating with them correctly. Here are a few tips to network effectively and make yourself more successful:

Be friendly – If you’re at a business conference, you’re not going to able to network by being rude or by sulking in the corner. The same goes online. You need to be friendly and pleasant to everyone. Do ask about others’ business ventures, but don’t forget to ask about their families and personal interests.

Give and take – Nothing is more annoying than someone who shows up at a seminar or on a message board, introduces themselves, and immediately starts hounding people for help. Sure, you need help and support, but that doesn’t mean you need to ask someone to walk you through it and not do any work yourself. And if you want someone to help you, you must be willing to help them in return.

Keep it up – Meeting people is great, but in order to be a successful networker, you need to keep the relationships going. It may be by contacting them about a business deal or just giving them a call or sending an email to see how they’re doing. Networking is a continuing process, not a one-time task.

So how do you get started with networking? The easiest way to network is doing it online. There are hundreds of ways to meet people and maintain positive working relationships from across the country or even across the world. You just have to learn how to use the technology available to you.

Social networking sites – Social networking sites are a great way to meet people and stay in touch online. Just be careful about what you post on your pages and how it makes you and your business look. Find quality message boards, chat rooms, or Facebook or LinkedIn groups based on your industry. This is a great way to network with a lot of people at one time who are interested in the same types of business as you are.

Blogging – Blogging is another way to maintain online relationships without having to spend a large amount of time communicating with each person individually. Blogging is a quick and easy way to keep people updated on what’s going on with you and your business. And be sure you read and comment on others’ blogs to keep up with them.

Face-to-face networking – While the Internet provides an unlimited number of networking possibilities, remember that face-to-face networking is still essential. This is generally done the old fashioned way, at seminars, conferences, and other in-person business activities. After a conference, it’s a good idea to follow up with online networking. Send follow-up emails to the contacts you made, telling them how great it was to meet them. Try bringing up ideas that came up during conversations and suggesting ways to follow up on them. And be sure to add them as contacts on your social networking sites.

Networking is a great way to catapult your business in a short time, if you know how to do it right. Here are a few tips to network effectively and make yourself more successful.

Do your social media profiles need a boost? Contact me for a thorough analysis and suggestions for improvements.

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