Working on your professional network is one of the best investments you can make as a busy business owner.
New customers can be gained through attending events and establishing connections with other attendees. Additionally, studies show that networking at these events can create up to 20% of a company’s total revenue. Unfortunately, successful networking is not always simple.
When trying to make connections, you must deal with awkward introductions and time constraints.
Building relationships requires time. However, as every business owner knows, time is money. How do you ensure that you continue to work on your networking strategy when time is limited?
Here are some TIPS and Strategies to make it effortless…
Make It a Daily Habit
The more you incorporate networking into your daily routine, the more it will become a part of your day.
Instead of setting aside an hour per week to speak with people who could help your business expand, you use five minutes per day. Start the day by sending emails and establishing social media connections with peers. Sending a text to someone or a private message.
A wonderful way to leverage your time is to incorporate phone calls with potential partners and investors into your calendar and complete them while stuck in traffic or waiting for something else to occur.
As networking becomes a routine as brushing your teeth or styling your hair, it becomes more natural and effortless to do it all the time.
In addition, when networking becomes a habit, it becomes something for which you must schedule time. You are less likely to make the excuse that you don’t have time.
Leverage New Connections
Networking is not limited to forming new relationships.
There is a good chance that you already have some high-caliber contacts in your network who could introduce you to influential figures in your field. The workplace is a great place to start building your network.
Get to know the people around you and learn their histories. When possible, look for opportunities to meet new people through people you already know like your coworkers and other entrepreneurs who are well connected. You may discover that your internal network offers significantly more value than you initially believed. Loads of time can be saved with a warm introduction so find out who people know.
Use Existing Activities
Why not use social activities as part of your networking strategy if you already participate in them on occasion? For instance, if you regularly volunteer at non-profit organizations, you can strike up conversations with people in this setting.
Even if you do not make any valuable connections, taking the time to connect with others and hone your networking skills will be beneficial in the long run. You can converse anywhere, from the gym to the pickleball court.
It is much more valuable than most people realize to incorporate the practice into your daily routine in which you work on your ability to form emotional bonds with others.
Schedule Important Events in Advance
If you do want to attend a particular in-person networking event, it is essential to plan in advance. You may not be able to attend most events if you wait until the last minute, but you can attend the important ones if you are organized.
To increase your chances of networking regularly, try to attend at least one event per month, even if it’s online. Create a list of the events you wish to attend the most and add them to your calendar so that you have ample time to prepare.
Choose your events with discretion. You should visit an environment where you can meet people who will be beneficial to you and your business.
Use Social Media
Lastly, social media is one of the most popular and convenient networking tools available today.
Devote a small amount of time daily to reviewing your LinkedIn connections and reaching out to those who could be beneficial to your social circle. The key to social media networking success is not allowing it to consume too much of your time.
Set aside a specific amount of time to prevent excessive distractions. Consider consolidating multiple social media accounts with a social media marketing tool so you can share content more easily and attract potential connections.
This is even something you can have your virtual assistant help you with as you nurture relationships.
Networking is crucial to your success and the success of your business. Keeping these tips in mind will allow you to engage in crucial networking activities without sacrificing time for other aspects of your business.
Remember your network is your net worth.