Where’s The Best Place To Network?
I wonder if like me you’ve had mixed experiences when networking?
This week having just returned from 3 weeks holiday, I’ve been doing quite a bit of networking (on-line and face-to-face) and I’ve had a great time – at least most of the time!
I’ve met some fantastic like-minded people who I felt energised around and look forward to getting to know better. There were others who seemed nice enough but something was ‘missing’ in our conversations. And a few lost souls who I’ll be quite happy to send lots of love, kindness and compassion to, but with whom I really don’t have any desire to connect with again. Most of the events I’ve attended have been fantastic however one drained my energy so much I couldn’t wait to leave.
If any of that sounds familiar, here are some tips to help you choose the best places to ‘hang out’ – so you make best use of your time and money!
- Be clear on your desired outcome for each networking opportunity – e.g. to meet like-minded people, to share ideas, to connect with potential joint venture partners, to meet ideal clients, to get support, to feel part of a group so you don’t feel so isolated. The benefits of being part of the ‘right’ networking group are far more than simply getting clients.
- Choose networks that meet those desired outcomes – I participate in various types of groups e.g. people going through similar training, networks full of my ideal clients, groups of people with similar interests, other business owners. The ones I enjoy the most of course, are the ones I run for heart-centered business owners and clients (click here to find out more).
- Participate in networks where your ideal clients/ referral partners are – e.g. if your clients are on Facebook and you’re not, you will be missing out on opportunities to connect with ideal clients will be loosing business to those your ideal clients are ‘meeting’. And remember groups you’re already part of in your personal life – lots of business can come from personal connections.
- Participate in networks that energise you – there’s nothing worse than going to networks full of people you don’t connect with or squash your ideas. And thankfully there are plenty of groups full of wonderful people who will support and help you build your business. So don’t waste your time in groups that drain you or that you don’t look forward to.
- Participate in training programmes – that are full of your ideal clients, referral partners and other like-minded business owners (especially those with on-line forums / ongoing support). Developing good relationships over time through mutual learning is a great way to build your network.
And remember, networking isn’t about simply being part of a group – to get the most from it you need to regularly attend, participate, contribute and share ideas.
Most importantly, work out a way of really enjoying networking. I used to hate it – mainly because ‘had’ to go along to events full of people I didn’t connect with, with very different values and interests. Now I’ve worked out how to connect with those who really energise and inspire me – I love meeting new people!
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts – please do share your comments below.
Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world.
She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.
Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:
- The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
- 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
- 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)
You can connect with Alisoun here:
- Alisoun’s website – www.alisoun.com
- Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
- The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
- Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE