Tips on Networking and Promoting Your Business

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					TIPS ON NETWORKING




HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
Contents
WHAT IS NETWORKING? ............................................................................................................................... 3
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING? .............................................................................................. 3
HOW CAN I USE NETWORKING TO PROMOTE MY BUSINESS? ..................................................................... 4
WHAT TYPE OF NETWORKING ACTIVITIES SHOULD I ENGAGE IN? .............................................................. 4
   Personal Networking................................................................................................................................. 4
   Focused Networking ................................................................................................................................. 5
   Online Networking .................................................................................................................................... 5
   Additional Networking .............................................................................................................................. 6
NETWORKING TIPS ........................................................................................................................................ 6
   TIP #1 – Define Your Networking Objectives ............................................................................................ 6
   TIP #2 – Identify Networking Groups, Events, and Opportunities ............................................................ 6
   TIP #3 – Create a Networking Schedule of Events/Activities .................................................................... 7
   TIP #4 – Follow-Up with Your Connections............................................................................................... 7
   TIP #5 – Evaluate Your Networks .............................................................................................................. 7




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WHAT IS NETWORKING?


Networking is simply defined as the process of getting to know people, making connections,
and establishing relationships that will be helpful to your personal, individual, and/or business
endeavors.

There are several types of networking strategies and approaches that can be implemented to
position you or your business for success. Whether you are trying to recruit the best talent for
the job, or increase your customer base, networking is an important and critical activity to
engage in order to promote and grow your business.

Networking activities can range from a simple conversation with a new acquaintance, to a
larger, more strategic networking effort. No matter what the case is, the most effective
networking strategies involve a plan that is focused on specific goals and objectives.




WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING?


There are numerous benefits to networking. Networking provides a means to:

     Build new relationships

     Gain respect and establish a positive image and reputation

     Inform others about not only about yourself or your business , but your vision and
      objectives

     Market yourself or your business at little to no cost

     Partake in personal and impressionable involvements

     Identify new business opportunities




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HOW CAN I USE NETWORKING TO PROMOTE MY BUSINESS?


Many successful businesses have a strong network, based on a sound networking strategy,
which adds value to the operation and has a positive impact on the overall bottom line.

Business networking is an effective tool used to strategically promote your business, creating
specific opportunities for you to:

     Identify new clients, customers, investors, and/or stakeholders

     Learn important information about the industry

     Gain a better understanding of your position in the market place

     Scope out the competition

     Get advice and exchange best practices

     Establish partnerships and alliances

     Recruit the best talent




WHAT TYPE OF NETWORKING ACTIVITIES SHOULD I ENGAGE IN?


The type of networking activities you should engage in depends on your overall goals and
objectives. Select activities that are strategically aligned with these goals and objectives.
Consider using as many networking activities as possible to maximize your desired networking
results.

    Personal Networking


    Personal networking is primarily used to reach out to individuals in either a casual, informal,
    or formal setting. Whether you know it or not, this type of networking is occurring all the
    time - every time you strike up a conversation or introduce yourself to someone, you are
    networking.



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    Just remember to present yourself well at all times and have business cards or personal
    contact information readily available. Use the following venues to engage in personal
    networking.

        Dinners
        Events
        Small gatherings
        Birthday parties
        Volunteer activities
        Parties
        Ceremonies
        The gym
        The grocery store



    Focused Networking


    Focused networking is a more structured approach to connecting and establishing
    relationships with individuals, organizations, or businesses that operate within a similar or
    complimentary market.

    Focused networking provides opportunities to:

          Exchange referrals

          Create partnerships to provide total solutions to an existing or new customer base

          Share information, best practices, support and resources



    Online Networking


    Online networking is a must in this day and age simply because it is a highly effective and
    convenient resource for establishing local and worldwide social networks for little to no
    cost. There are a number of traditional and non-traditional networking websites that focus
    on particular interests and/or allow you to create your own.

    Determine what online networking websites are best suited to meet your needs.



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    Additional Networking


    There are countless ways to establish and increase your network. Below are some
    additional networking suggestions.

             Conduct Interviews – both informal, formal and informational, introductions
             Distribute business cards
             Seek and provide referrals and references
             Identify key networks that will connect you with new networks
             Become actively involved in the community



NETWORKING TIPS

    TIP #1 – Define Your Networking Objectives


    Define your networking objectives by listing the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE and
    HOW.



     Who will do what?

     What are we trying to accomplish?

     Why are we trying to accomplish this?

     When are we going to do it?

     Where are we going to do it?

     How will we do it?



    TIP #2 – Identify Networking Groups, Events, and Opportunities


    Create a list of key individuals, groups, associations, events, and opportunities that have
    relevance to your existing or desired network. Briefly explain the relevance and benefit of
    each to you or your business. Organize and prioritize the list.



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    TIP #3 – Create a Networking Schedule of Events/Activities


    Once you have identified and prioritized the list of networking opportunities, create a
    schedule of networking events/activities to participate in. The schedule should be specific
    and realistic.



    TIP #4 – Follow-Up with Your Connections


    Once you establish a new connection, it is very important to follow-up. This will
    demonstrate your interest and increase your chances of establishing a relationship with
    your new connection. Networking often requires a lot of time, patience, and effort. Be
    persistent.



    TIP #5 – Evaluate Your Networks


    It is important to evaluate your network on a regular basis. Over time, your networking
    goals and objectives may change or you may decide that there is no longer a benefit to a
    particular individual or organization within your network. Consider the relevance, quality,
    and quantity of your networks in your evaluation and update as necessary.




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