In part one of “growing your business” we discussed the importance of understanding and communicating with the media. In this section we’ll explore networking as a method of improving your public relations. Networking is a valuable skill and one that every business owner should work on perfecting. In fact, most business owners do work on their networking (in clubs, associations, and charitable events) and that is what you really want to get involved with.
The world is changing quickly and so is the definition of “networking”. Social networks such as MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook have made networking a PR technique that can be done at any point in the day, from anywhere. Just as it is important to join particular groups and associations within the community, internet Groups are rapidly growing resource for making key connections, finding out about local events, and building awareness of your business (even internationally). If you are not “tech-savvy” then I seriously recommend that you spend the time to familiarize yourself with just the social networks. Understanding social networking on the internet is beginning to play a larger role in our day to day activities, so it is important to take this seriously as we move forward. Find Live in the Now on Facebook – Click Here.
Face-to-face networking is not just about meeting prospective clients; it is about meeting colleagues, potential affiliates, and even competitors. Networking gives you an inexhaustible supply of business wisdom and experience to draw from and use in your own strategies as well as a source of advice and support. A lot of what I cover as a business coach revolves around having the mindset to properly communicate in these situations and to remain clear on your intentions. For some people networking is a very difficult thing to do but, with time and proper guidance, it can become both enjoyable and rewarding.
The important part is to get out there! The more networking you do, the easier it becomes. As a Calgary business coach I often notice that one major problem many business owners have is being too close to their business and not out growing it. I intend to cover more key points to successful networking in future articles and posts, but for now I will leave you with 2 important tips.
- Don’t be afraid to move on. Networking events are intended to be a place to make contacts, not build relationships.
- Don’t be needy. The more relaxed you are the better results you will get from your conversations.