It goes without saying that your business has, or should have, a marketing strategy. The same rule applies to networking. Having a clearly defined marketing strategy for networking will help you achieve your networking goals quickly, and help you measure your success. Unlike your company marketing strategy, there is no reason to have a long and involved process to create your networking strategy.
There is no one way to network. Developing a strategy for networking can be easy. Follow these five steps to identify and develop your personal networking strategy.
1. Identify your Goals
What do you need to achieve from networking? Create short term goals to keep you motivated and long term goals to maintain a vision. By setting goals you will be more aware of how you organize your time and resources. Your goals are what you will measure against to determine whether you are on track to attaining your desired outcome.
Begin by identifying the people or industries you want to connect with and how you will engage with them. Many people approach networking by thinking about what someone will be able to do for you. Try to think about what they will gain from you, what you can do for them, and you are one step closer to accomplishing your networking goals.
2. Determine your Purpose
It goes without saying that your purpose is to grow your business and make more money. Whether that be for your organization or your own personal development needs, growth financially is likely the basis of you networking at all. If this is not your main purpose consider that it may be to find employees or broaden your candidate pools, or to simply heighten your brand awareness and promote your services to a larger, more targeted market.
3. Find the Right Networks
Now that you have goals and purpose defined, you can find the right networks to build upon an branch out. It is a suggestion to keep your personal networks personal and to not intermingle them with your professional networks. Make use of your personal network by asking trusted friends in similar professions which networking events or groups they have benefited from.
4. Research Groups
Look closely and examine when groups meet and how often to see if they are a good fit for your needs and your schedule. Look up active members and their organizations. If you have identified the individuals that attend networking events as prospective clients or relationships that will benefit your goals and purpose, the group will most likely be successful for you.
5. Select an Approach
Depending on how the group may benefit your needs selecting an approach should always begin with how your product, services or organization will benefit others. Depending on the situation and type of group may drastically change your approach. Regardless of your approach, make sure that it fits the situation and the audience, and moves you closer to your goals.
These 5 Steps should greatly assist you in developing your networking strategy. Make sure you keep in touch with us. We would love to hear from you about strategies that have worked, or not, and help everyone be more effective networkers.
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