One of my favorite topics to share is how to be memorable in networking! Networking is probably the most cost-effective way to be memorable and to grow your business. It’s also the best way to grow your business from grassroots.
What’s the best way to get started networking?
Visit organizations setup for networking such as BNI, ConnectShare, and others.
- If you have a good feeling about them and their members then join! It’s a great way to easily get out there networking consistently. If not, keep visiting until you find the right group for you.
Look and participate in online connections such as Facebook groups, meetup.com, or others.
- This is a super-efficient way to network, but it may take you longer to make solid connections.
Ask people you know for referrals of people that would be good connections.
- Ask for people you want to connect with and people you know you can add value and refer to.
Utilize LinkedIn to its full capability
- Make warm connections
- Send messages requesting to connect
There are a ton more ways to connect with people from the chamber of commerce, conventions, trade shows, etc. Let me know if you need more help in finding ways to connect with people.
Once you have started connecting, there are a few things I recommend:
- Always make sure you have business cards and make sure they are unique, not just in design, but also in shape. Nowadays people will retain your information in a CRM and throw away anyway.
- Have a marketing tool that people will remember you by. They may not remember your name, but they will remember a unique marketing tool. I am biased to Private Label Chocolate 😉
- Make sure you can explain your business, the value you bring, and why they should want to connect with you in 10 seconds. Heres mine “I’m Ty with Private Label Chocolate, I teach people and businesses how to always be remembered and have substantial growth with chocolate.”
Once you have connected and people start remembering you, this is where the most important part of follow up and connection comes in!
- Don’t discount anyone you connect with because you don’t know who they know.
- Set up a time to connect with them one on one, preferrable in person and at your location.
- Have an automated campaign set up to follow up on your connections (I used clienttether.com)
- A great way to easily schedule this is Calendly.
- Propose a game plan for your 1 to 1 prior to the meeting
- Let them know who you are looking to be connected with (be detailed! company, industry and examples of people)
- Let them know what industries you spend the most time in and some great goto contacts you have.
- When meeting in person, keep it on schedule (no more than an hour.)
- Give a tour of your office and give detail about what you do.
- Come prepared with referrals, ideas, or concepts you can share with them.
- Refer as many people as possible. Connections that would benefit them are good too. The more referrals you give the more trust you will build.
Set up an affiliate program on your website
- Give your networking contacts a way to refer business to you and be compensated easily.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Set as many 1 to 1’s as you can every day. Network more, set more 1 to 1’s, refer more business. You will be blown away by how fast people start remembering you and sending you business from every direction.
Side note: Build a power group that lives in the same industry you do and works together daily to refer business to each other.