3 Keys to Networking
“There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”
― Gary Vaynerchuk
With all the changes happening in networking, marketing, sales, advertising, design, and technology, the business world itself has now become even more complex as technology has taken over how we do just about everything. What if I told you I had the answer to solving this issue? Well, listen up because in this article I will be explaining what each of us does every day without noticing and the benefits of networking. There are three main networking keys we will discuss that will have you sounding like a pro.
According to Aja Frost blog, Network Statistics state:
85% of jobs are filled through networking
72% of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake (source: Aja Frost blog)
With this piece of information in mind you can now understand the importance of networking,
so let’s first go over a few terms and their definitions: (Keep an eye out for keynotes)
Where do you go to Network?
Today’s modern age technology plays a major role in how business is conducted, especially in the entrepreneurial world. There are many ways to market your business and yourself online with platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on. Every platform I mentioned is free of course, as the budget is important for every entrepreneur and startup business.
Another way to network is to put yourself out there, LITERALLY.
How do you do that you ask?
This depends on where you’re located. Technology is here for your advantage, so use it!
Google is your best friend in this case.Simply search the web for networking events in your specific area, if you’re on a budget then be honest. No need to be shy.
Here’s a great example of FREE Networking Events
If you’re located in Philadelphia you have to check out Technically Philly this organization is killing the networking game. Their events are solely meant to bring entrepreneurs together to network and build relationships that will in the future turn into potential clients, partners, employees and so forth. A great example of a networking event coming up is PHILLY TECH WEEK.
Trust me when I say you do not want to miss it. This event is the place to be especially if you’re a startup, entrepreneur, or just thinking of venturing off on your own.
You also need to understand how and why networking and communication are your marketing and sales tools (“keynote”, your bread and butter). As we know marketing cannot function without sales and vice versa, with that in mind you should start to see the gist of the metaphor. Communication is key in life and if you cannot communicate your brand or message properly then networking will obviously be a challenge. Pro tip: don’t think too deep into it. This is your vision, your dream; so it should not be hard to explain it. There are many YouTube videos on how to communicate and face public speaking fears and network. TED Talks has great knowledge based videos explaining almost every topic. These videos are great examples of how to overcome speaking to others in public speaking in events networking and so forth.
Lastly, start by changing your mindset. If you are not yet an entrepreneur then let’s think like one. Once you realize networking and communication is your number one tool use it to your advantage! Network everywhere you possibly can!
Let’s jump into the top three networking keys that will have you
networking like a pro
Inspiration / Shared Knowledge
One of the most important key takeaways when networking is spreading and receiving inspiration and knowledge from others. Remember your mindset has changed you are now thinking like an entrepreneur meaning when others speak you listen and dissect every bit of information you are given, be sure to ask questions and learn something new.Everyone in the room has the same goal, we are entrepreneurs looking to feed off of one another’s passion and knowledge, we are here to learn and help.
According to Andrew Vest “True networking occurs when there’s an understanding that everyone in the room has equal value. In its purest form, it’s about people enjoying other people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions. It’s about listening, figuring out what others need and connecting them with people you think can help, without any designs for personal gain. The most successful networkers build genuine relationships and give more than they receive. They go beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?”
“Networking is a deliberate activity to build, reinforce and maintain relationships of trust with other people to further goals. Professional networking is simply networking focused on professional goals.” – Andrew Hennigan, Networking speaker, trainer, coach. Author of “Pay Forward Networking”.
Ahh, trust…where do we begin? Trust has to be one of the touchiest subjects for us all. Trust means to put confidence, belief and rely on a person, business or vision. Trust builds something that we all strive for … credit! When someone gives you credit they value your work, they believe and rely on you which is how trust works. When a person connects with you and trusts you or your brand then they are likely to refer you to other individuals.
According to Ivan Misner trust helps you build relationships and keep them which is considered effective networking.Trust can take time so enjoy the ride and build relationships. Trust helps you and your brand as the more people who know what you and your business do the more acknowledgment your business receives, which helps you with Brand awareness. If you have mastered and fully understand this key you are already winning.
3. Brand Awareness
This is the money maker! Brand awareness is how you communicate with your consumers. Your goal should be top of mind awareness. For example, when someone thinks of Google Adwords experts in Philadelphia, I want them to think of Mac Frederick and Momentum Digital. Brand Awareness is what people think of when they hear or see you or your business. Mac Frederick knows all the tips and tricks to help brand awareness from ROI, SEO,Social Media,Web Design, Ads, and so forth.My best advice in growing your online brand presence is to check his blogs and youtube videos for inspiration and possible answers to your questions.
“If your business comes from relationships, relationships should be your business.”– Doug Ales
These are a few examples of a few simple questions to keep in mind when trying to build a trusted brand and spread awareness. What is your brand’s message? How can you become successful if no one knows about your business? How do you build Brand Awareness? What should the logo and name look like? Once you have your branding questions all figured out it’s time for the next step.
This is where we shift our current mindset from entrepreneur to consumer… as a consumer what’s your favorite store to shop at? Why? What makes it your favorite store? Would you trust any business? Would you refer a business you don’t know much about? Why not? Chances are you have referred many friends and family to this store because you value and trust the brand with.
Trust helps build brand awareness keeping this in mind when networking is key. According to Nelson, people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.v— Nielsen. Here’s an example:when someone purchase from your brand or gives your brand a try and likes their experience and or product you start to build credit.Always keep in mind referrals are your money shakers whether via online or in person your referred client is part of what we marketers consider organic traffic which is your best consumer. Consumers are more likely to use your service or refer your services to individuals due to emotion which is an important part of the brand message. If you are able to deliver emotion when you network you have sealed the deal and are in for the big bucks.
I personally live by networking and have build many relationships. I have held several positions from networking , like the current position I hold at Momentum Digital. Networking is crucial for any entrepreneur, I have learned and branded myself by creating my own networking keys from experience. These keys in networking will help you understand and spread your true passion the next time you network with others.
Comment below once you’ve tried these networking keys, keep in mind networking is another form of communication, brand yourself and your business and get to networking!