Are you one of those people who’s Networking- Phobic? Perhaps you’ve been attending networking events for a while now and haven’t seen the results you would like to see? I’ve developed 5 easy steps for you to follow to get your networking actually working for you! This is #1.
1. Approach networking from a relationship building standpoint – don’t be a “card collector”
I can always sniff out a new networker (and yes, I will admit, I was one 4.5 years ago!) They’re the ones who approach you, business cards in hand, ready to thrust their card into your hand as fast as you’ll receive it. The conversation always starts with “so what do you do?” And they will usually speak about their incredible business or the new product that you’ve just got to try until your ears bleed. If they pause to ask you a question, you may be lucky to get in a short response before the topic of conversation returns to them. Then they will go back to their office and promptly enter your email address into their email newsletter database and begin the slow, painful drip of unwanted messaging ‘convincing’ you of your extreme need for their product/service, which is of course, the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Ok, so maybe I exaggerate a little, but I’m really not too far off!
What if we all approached it from a different space? What if we all cared more for the individual standing in front of us than the 2×3 piece of cardboard with their contact information? What if going to a networking event was a pleasant endeavor, filled with a series of delightful “getting to know you” conversations and, perhaps, a few commenced relationships? What if you let your intuition (yes, that inner energetic GPS) lead you to speak to certain people and begin to get to know them for the uniqueness they be?
Have you ever approached someone at a networking event and asked “so, what have you done that’s fun for you lately?” or “What’s the thing that has you most excited about life right now?” Give it a shot — try to ask a question that has nothing to do with business and see how that person responds. Then, let your intuition guide you to stay and chat some more, or move on to the next intriguing, authentic being. Chances are, you’ll feel much better about the conversation as a whole and if you’re lucky, you’ll have the beginnings of a great KLT (Know, Like & Trust) relationship — one that may actually turn into a great referral partnership, a friend, or possibly even a client!
I definitely recommend you try out a Behind the Moon networking event; I think you’ll find that this style of networking reflects exactly what I’m talking about! No membership is necessary but there are definite advantages to being a member! Check out the membership application here: BTM Memberships
What do you think? What makes for a pleasant relationship-building experience when you network? Ideas??
How much easier can spreading consciousness be?? One of my favorite clients is Rikka Zimmerman and working with her and attending her classes, I have already experienced such amazing shifts in my life. Some of the areas I’ve done complete 180′s in: Relationship, Business, Money, Health, just to name a few.
Why am I blogging about this? I am an entrepreneur. Many of you reading this may be also. So here’s my story. January 2011 I was overwhelmed beyond belief. As an entrepreneur, I was always ‘broke.’ I was barely sleeping because I felt that I had to work a ton in order to ‘get to the next level and make money.’ I was dating energy sucker after energy sucker. I cried pretty much all the time, depression was the ‘new black’ for me. Feeling fat and gross, completely stressed out, lacking energy at all times and feeling… well… devastated.
What if all that was required was choosing change. If I was myself a year ago reading this blog post, I would likely have said “it’s not that easy Meghann, you have no money and you’re not courageous enough.”
And here’s what I’d say to my January 2011 self:
The results I have achieved thus far using Rikka’s teaching and my knowing because I have chosen to use them on a daily basis have resulted in the gift of my life, completely redesigned and rejuvenated. I have gained courage I never thought I had to do things like: go out on my own in business and be the potent captain of my own ship, resulting in exponentially increased happiness, clients and profits. Trademark myself as the Mistress of Social Media™ and stepped into a leadership role in my life and my community. Choosing a healthy lifestyle which again added more fun to my life. I’ve stopped dating men who are a suck on my energy and life and have been with an amazing, conscious man, who is a constant positive contribution to all of me and I to him. I have a more profound relationship that is full of supportive energy and positivity with those family and friends I have chosen.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, desperate, devastated, like there’s no way out and this is “just what life’s going to be like,” stop. All that is required is to choose something different. Do things different. Start with one thing a day.
I would highly recommend beginning with some free resources from Rikka.
Oh, and there are a bunch of free resources out there too:
I’d love to hear your comments. What do you love most about your life? What are you choosing to make it better every day?
I had a personal branding expert whom I highly respect tell me yesterday that a key trait of my personal brand is that I pride myself on generating social capital – promoting others and being helpful to others, in person and on the web. I rave about others and promote them at least twice as much as I talk about myself and my company. I make it a point when I’m at networking events to connect the people whom I think would be power partners and would help each other out. I connect people on LinkedIn and Facebook all the time. I pride myself on being a connector.
One of my good friends who owns a custom embroidery & screen printing shop in Denver said one of the key elements to his personal brand is class. He has front row tickets to the performing arts center, tickets on the ice at Avs games, seats just off the floor at Nuggets games… the point is, whenever he gives his tickets to a potential client or a referral partner, they know without a doubt, that the seats are going to be killer!
We all have things that we do which set us apart from others, especially those of us who are entrepreneurs. We don’t have millions of dollars to spend on PR and marketing, and yet we need to formulate a positive and deliberate impression of ourselves in the eyes of our target market at all times. That means identifying our distinguishing traits and authentically flaunting them. Guess what that does for us?? It helps us attract the right kind of clients who really want to work with us! And then they become our biggest raving fans!
What’s a personal branding trait of yours??!
If you can’t answer that question right now. Yes, right now! Stop what you are doing and go to http://lida360.com/reputation360book.html and buy Lida Citroen’s book… it gives you step-by-step instructions to build your personal brand NOW. In some cases, your brand may be YOU. Or, it’s your company’s innards, assigning human traits (characteristics, beliefs, values, etc.) to your brand name. Why should you care? Because your clients and your potential clients care. It’s a big part of why they do business with you versus your competition who provides the same exact service.
If you’re still reading this, I’m guessing you can easily define your brand personality.
Let me tell you about ours at Your Social Source~~~
We are funny. Hilarious actually. We make our clients laugh. We provide a space for them to let their hair down and show their true colors. Because guess what, that’s what their clients/potential clients want to experience too!
We are authentic and transparent. For real.
If we were a language, we would be Anglofrancospagnoltalian (that’s multi-lingual) because we believe in the value of communicating directly to the target market in the right voice, demanding adaptation like a chameleon.
We are purple because we are majestic and royal in the value we provide our clients and outgoing and bubbly in our communication.
If we were an animal, we’d be a mole, digging around and investigating new tunnels, then popping our heads up to deliver new findings to our clients, running around to see what’s going on up top, and then go back to analyzing the complex tunnels and their changing directions (that’s a metaphor for the Internet Don’t forget the complex mole communities we’d build for all of our friends and clients!
Imagine a young, talented skier (or snowboarder if you prefer) doing hellis off of jumps and 360s in the half pipe, wearing the perfect outfit matching with the skis… utterly cool… yep, that’s us!
If we were a song, we’d be an uplifting hip hop/dance number, something you could shake your money maker to!
When it comes down to business, we put on our suits and give it some elbow grease. We work hard for our clients and we produce results, and help them succeed.
Some of our other personality traits – we embrace change – in the online realm it is an every day reality; we are extraordinarily creative; we believe in open-mindedness and tolerance; we’re positive and upbeat, engaging and participatory, trusting and sincere. Adventure is our middle name.
Our brand story? We recognized years ago that small businesses deserved marketing solutions they could afford and that provided them with constant prospects and business. We set out to develop ourselves as experts in every niche of modern marketing and now we have the right professionals with specific knowledge all in one place, working together to provide your company with the marketing tools and solutions you need at the prices you can afford to pay. And we’re darn good too!
Here’s another great resource http://visual-branding.com/eight-outlines/creating-a-brand-personality/ to explain brand identity and personality (and distinguishing between the two).