Networking: Marketing in Disguise
As Halloween is just around the corner, individuals of all ages will be in costumes disguising themselves as many different characters and creatures. But when it comes down to it, who and what they really are do not change.
Use this Halloween as an inspiration for your marketing goals. Embrace that networking in its true form is simply marketing wearing a mask. Whenever you network, you have a goal to increase awareness for your brand, gain referrals for your brand/company, and build your brand recognition and image.
Networking is just another way to market yourself, your company, and your brand on a more intimate and personal level. If you are able to continually build strong relationships through networking opportunities, there is no limit to your success. Networking takes practice! You must develop your marketing skills so that you are able to achieve your networking and marketing goal each time to talk to a potential client, referral, or business associate.
SIX Wickedly Awesome Keys for Networking Success:
- Have a Plan – Lay out an attainable and realistic goal for each time you are attending a networking event. Prepare your elevator pitch and two-minute introductions.
- Be Selective – During networking events, maximizing your time is essential. Try to reach out and network with individuals you have not met already or with individuals you know may be potential clients.
- Use the “Hostess Principle” – At the event, be sure to walk up to an individual or a group and stick out your hand and introduce yourself. Be outgoing and honest, make others feel comfortable within the group.
- Make Real Connections – Your goal is not in the quality of business cards you receive or hand out, but rather the quality of connections you make at the event.
- Continue to be Current – Be sure to build and keep your network current and up to date. Utilize social media to keep ongoing and constant communication with your network.
- Pay it Forward – “You will only be as successful as you help others to be successful.” Reach out and help others within your network, whether that is by introducing them to potential clients, recommending them, sending them referrals, or simply offering them help.
Even though networking is marketing in disguise, be honest and open. Inform others about who you are and what you do. You will find great success when you work to continuously build your brand and help others to do the same.Resource: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanrittscher/2012/05/31/six-keys-to-successful-networking-for-entrepreneurs/