Building a business network full of profitable partnerships isn’t hard to do. It just takes some organizing and planning. Once you get out there and start implementing your power networking plan, you’ll see yourself working toward your goals. Here are the 8 secrets to building the right network for you.
1. Do Your Homework
Before attending a networking event, do some research on the event and who will be attending. If you know the people you’re meeting before, you’ll know how to better make a connection with them. You can figure out how to present yourself in the best light.
2. Know Your Unique Value
How well do you understand your unique strengths? Spend some time figuring out the unique value you offer so you can communicate this when you meet people. Look at your past successes and areas of expertise. Think about the ways you’ve gotten results for others.
3. Emphasize the Benefits You Offer
While your story should tell people who you are and what you do, the emphasis should be on how you get results for others. This is the value of knowing you. Drill it down to a few key benefits and frame the discussion this way.
4. Get Organized
You’ll meet a great number of new people and it might be hard to keep them all straight. Take notes at the event and create an Excel file full of information on who you meet and how you can approach them to make offers. Create and implement a system for bringing new people into your orbit.
5. Learn to Tell Stories
Stories help in power networking because they’re engaging, relatable, and memorable. If you’re a good storyteller, you can convey who you are and what you do more effectively. Turn every aspect of your business and its history into an engaging story.
6. Get Out There and Meet People
Constantly seek out opportunities to network and attend events regularly. Fill your schedule with professional networking events. Always think about building your network wherever you are, whether at an event or just at the store.
7. Overcome Your Nerves
It’s okay to be nervous. Attending networking events takes some getting used to. Just like getting on stage and performing, you’ll be nervous at first, but you’ll gradually get used to it. Create a ritual where you can warm up before the event and get into a social mood, so you’re pumped up to go meet people.
8. Have Fun
Although you’re there with a specific business goal in mind, have fun with networking. When you’re enjoying yourself, others will enjoy interacting with you. Think of it as a fun social outing where you get to indulge in a hobby (your business) with like-minded people. If you can do this, you’ll increase your motivation to get out there and network, and your enthusiasm will be infectious.