Recently, a client was talking about how difficult it is to get out of the house to network when you have so much to do. It’s something I can completely relate to. As a mom and entrepreneur, I need to make the most of my time, and from the outside, networking can look like a big chunk of time in your day.
What we often forget is that networking IS marketing. And, as a business owner, your number 1 job is to market yourself and your business. Your products and services come second.
This is how to network as an entrepreneur
Be Consistent: Schedule it into your week and month and when you don’t feel like doing it, push yourself to do it. The bonus is that even when you have too much to do, stepping out of the office for a few hours will be good for you! Often I find that I am more grounded and productive when I take the time to shut things down.
Focus on Relationships: Networking isn’t about selling; it’s about building relationships. It’s sharing and educating others about what you do and who you do it for. Chances are that person you connect with isn’t going to be your next customer, but you are building relationships, not only with the person you meet but those in their network.
Ask Questions:There are two questions that are important in networking, connecting and building relationships. The first seems obvious, but we often get caught up in the moment and forget to ask what we can do to support the other person. Not only is that person a potential referral source for your business, they are also a possible resource for your network.
The next question to ask is who do you know who would benefit from my services or who do you know who is struggling with the specific problem you solve? This helps them think of specific people in their network that they can refer you to. If they have a specific person in mind, a third important question is to ask them to make an introduction!
Reach out to someone, let them know you were thinking of them and wanted to hear more about what they do, then invite them for coffee! If time and distance are an issue, schedule a Virtual Coffee Chat!
How are you spending your time?
How we think we spend our time and how we are truly spending our time, can be two very different things.
When we have a good understanding of where we spend our time and how much time is used for each task, we can begin the work to use our time more effectively.