by Alison BW Pena
1) Ask your best clients, colleagues and friends the most effective place(s) they network for business. Allow them to introduce you into their community. That simple action already increases your Know, Like and Trust factor.
2) Pay to network. That said, most paid networking groups allow prospective members to attend 1-2 meetings FREE before they decide or have a non-member price for events. Check them out before you commit.
3) Do your Google research on the group and event. Then go forth and network.
Meetup.com, eventbrite.com, BNI, Chambers of Commerce, search online for your audience (i.e., business networking, women’s networking…)
Who is on the membership roster? Would you like to know them?
What is the topic of the activity and does it sound fun or interesting?
When do events happen – mornings, 9-5 pm M-F or weekends? Ideally, you want networking to be at a time when you are at your best.
Does your target audience go to these events?
Do professionals who serve your target market attend the network?
4) Schedule 1-2 networking events each week and go. Networking is a muscle that atrophies when it is not flexed. You don’t have to be perfect. You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person or the right thing to the wrong person.
5) With each conversation, you hone your capacity to open and deepen your connections with people. You get clearer about what aspects of your work are most important to them. That shapes what you say next to them or a person like them. That can guide your marketing copy.
6) A person is not only their profession or business. Asking about family, hobbies, restaurant or travel recommendations is not a technique. The more common touches you have with the person you are talking to, the more likely they are to become a client or refer you to one, partnership or friend.
7) Don’t try to meet everyone in the room. I aim to truly connect with 3 people at every event. Anything more is a bonus. If you notice there are more than 3 people you are eager to get to know, that is a group you might consider joining.
8) Get to know the connectors (especially if you are an introvert). You will notice people who easily make organic connections for themselves and others. They exist is EVERY group and are what I call circles of influence. Their ripple effect is HUGE!
9) If you go to a networking group or event, connect with 3 promising-looking people and that network does not resonate with you, it’s OK to leave.
10) Your time is valuable. Think of networking as a kind of play or dance. What’s the next move? Network consistently and you will find YOUR best practices for connecting as you discover people and networks you truly enjoy. Have fun!
Affluence is not a mindset. It’s not a destination. It’s not a fixed dollar amount. And it’s certainly not just for rich people. In fact, affluence is more like a secret code. Which means that whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever the numbers in your bank account, you have options. You can choose lack, scarcity, and “not enough.” Or you can choose affluence.
Alison believes that true affluence is having the time, money, freedom and aliveness you desire. She helps entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals shift into bounty, wealth, purpose and new possibility.