“Pulling a good network together takes effort, sincerity, and time.”
Networking Requires Effort
No one can expect to sit in their office and hope that people will hear about them. No, we have to make an effort & take initiative. So here’s what I have found helpful…
Networking Requires Sincerity
People can see through a false agenda so these are some pointers when it comes to being sincere when networking…
Be yourself! If someone doesn’t like your brand image, that’s OK. If everyone had the same ideas wouldn’t the world be such a boring place.
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle! I love this saying and it is something I remind myself of often. Comparison is a thief of joy, and we want you to sincerely enjoy every moment of YOUR journey starting a business, so stop comparing.
Always respond politely even if someone doesn’t agree with your ideas. Integrity & sincerity go hand in hand in business and in everyday networking opportunities.
Engage in small talk (whether in person or on social media). It builds a good rapport and likeability with potential business contacts.
Don’t be afraid to tell people about your business and share your own experiences and thoughts, it really shows sincerity & authenticity. When a person hears sincere passion they will be compelled to tell others.
Networking Takes Time
This is where the rubber hits the road. Building up a good network doesn’t happen over night, it takes time and it takes up a lot of time. So may this encourage you…
Firstly, keep up the great work! You may feel disheartened at times but know that every meeting and every event is helping your brand grow, even if you don’t feel it.
Plan networking into your monthly schedule. Contact a few people every month and set up a time to chat over a cup of coffee.
Networking may need to happen over the weekend but the time it takes up will inspire you and it will help you to grow in confidence and grow your brand identity.
Follow up with people after you have met them at an event. This can be a simple message over social media, an email, or a phone call.
Lastly I want to stress this point again, DON’T COMPARE YOUR BEGINNING TO SOMEONE ELSE’S MIDDLE! Building up a network takes time, so enjoy every step and have fun while you’re doing it.
*This post is part of a blog series where 9 creative women are sharing tips on ‘How to start your own creative business’. If you’ve missed a day or two, then don’t waste another minute, click here to read about the series and get the links to all the other AMAZING blog posts.