Updated: Nov 6, 2018
Grow Your Online & Off-Line Network
Why Effective Networking is Effective Marketing
Have you ever heard the phrase: “You’re only as powerful as your network?” Do you believe it? Well, I do. Having a powerful network is the best way to position yourself for new opportunities. The reason being, the more people that get to experience you, your brand and what you have to offer, the more that benefit from the value of what you have to bring to the table. When your audience has a better understanding of how you can help them and they are able to clearly articulate those benefits to others, you instantly win! Networking is a key component of effective marketing. Regardless of your ad budget, quality and consistency of content and communication style, the ability to build your network is invaluable.
Building a network may be difficult initially due to lack of experience and exposure. Therefore, you must push yourself to expose yourself to new experiences. The first step is to start with effective research. This begins with researching groups online as well as organizations that meet regularly that you are able to participate in. Before joining a group online, think about the types of questions you want to ask in the group that will stimulate dialog. When planning to attend an in-person networking event, think about what you would like to learn from the group as well as how you may be able to assist the group with your expertise. Coming prepared to assist is a great way to demonstrate your genuine desire to be a contributor to the organization.
Building the confidence to participate in online groups and especially in-person networking events can be difficult due to self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, as well as being afraid of not having started a certain project that you want to share in the near future. The key to successful networking is to remember that most participants are networking to learn and to share. As long as you are willing to learn and share, you can’t lose. Here are a few things that you can do to build your confidence before joining an online group or in-person networking group:
1.) Make a list of skills that you may be lacking that are preventing you from achieving your goals. When you converse with someone that demonstrates proficiency in this area, ask questions regarding this during the natural flow of conversation. By asking questions, this allows that individual to demonstrate their expertise but it allows you to learn. 2.) Make a list of professional actions you have taken and or results over the past two years that you are most proud of. When you encounter someone during a networking experience that can benefit from your expertise, don’t be afraid to share. This allows you to help someone else while enhancing your abilities to articulate your areas of strength. 3.) Establish a goal for making connections through the online group or event. For example, increase clientele base, find a mentor, enhance skill-sets, etc. Ask yourself if the group is a good fit for your business or professional goals prior to participating.
Building your presence through effective online and in-person networking only magnifies your online marketing because when you post, you have given more people the chance to get to know the real you! Get out and share all of the awesome things that you have to offer! If you need help learning how to market yourself, contact the Modern Créatif team.