networkA network is the foundation of any entrepreneurial business. Networking, whether it’s in person or on social media, is extremely important to become successful. It’s absolutely necessary… 

So with that in mind, here are certain strategies that you can implement… 

  1. Take every opportunity to meet new people: Don’t dismiss a single soul because you never know who you’re talking to, who they might know, or how they might be able to contribute. Just think about this saying, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’
  2. Focus on how you can help: People often go to networking events seeking individuals who can help them. However, networking is all about helping others. Engage in meaningful conversation, share your interests, and see how you can offer your resources. 
  3. Find a community: An easy way to find a tribe is to take classes. Many are free, and they’re typically populated with knowledgeable teachers who are willing to help you troubleshoot beyond the classroom. 
  4. Be sure to meet people in other industries: Sticking with what you know has its place, but meeting people from other industries can be highly rewarding for your business and career. 
  5. Make a networking goal, and stick to it: Find networking events through Business Network International, industry associations, Facebook events, and more. Start by setting a goal of going to one networking event per month. 
  6. Outline objectives and target networking audience: If you have a business plan and a marketing plan, then why not draft a strategic networking plan? Outline objectives, target networking audience, the type of events I wanted to go to, and a budget. 
  7. Ask for introductions: People you already know can be the best resource for meeting new people in your industry. 
  8. Listen more than you speak: It may be tempting to get as many words in as possible, but it’s a much better strategy to focus on the quality of your words, not the quantity.
  9. Make the first move: When I reached out to those experts and small business owners, I was straightforward about my inexperience and my desire for help. I think my honesty made people even more willing to chat with me and share their advice
  10. Don’t expect immediate gratification: Many of the most valuable network leads gathered came from people who remembered you.
  11. Keep in touch: If you just met someone and want to keep in touch with them, schedule an email that asks how they’re doing, and offer a chance to meet again. 

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