What image does “networking” conjure up in your mind? Do you think of a mad exchange of business cards and handshakes? Fake conversations with people who won’t remember you (and you won’t remember them)? A totally exhausting experience that makes you wish you stayed home?
If so, I have excellent news for you: Networking does not have to be this way. In fact, you can make networking an authentic and profitable experience for you.
The key is to remember this: One person, one conversation and one relationship at a time.
I spell it all out in this week’s marketing strategy. I hope you’ll watch!
I love to create graphics that enhance the learning in my weekly marketing strategies. Please feel free to share these on your social media!
Hey everyone, it’s Jill Celeste from the Celestial Marketing Academy and JillCeleste.com, where I teach purpose-driven entrepreneurs all they need to know about marketing so that they can become the directors of marketing for their business.
For so many purpose-driven entrepreneurs, networking feels like the ickiest task in the world, and that’s because networking has a bit of a reputation. So many of us when we envision networking, envision a room full of people just throwing business cards around, rapid conversation, trying to make referrals, trying to help get referrals for other members, and it feels very icky.
But it doesn’t have to be, and I want to share with you how you can do authentic marketing if you just focus on one thing, and that is one conversation, one person, and one relationship at a time.
Here’s the thing: When you go to a networking meeting, often we feel like we’re entering a mixer, where we are intending to mingle around and meet as many people as we’re supposed to. If that’s how you like to approach networking, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you are more of an introvert or perhaps just really mission-based, that type of networking technique doesn’t work for you, it feels out of alignment.
What you can do instead is when you enter a networking event, is just focus on one person. Go find one person, maybe someone you don’t know, and your job, your objective for that networking meeting is to start a relationship with that one person. Networking meetings are not a race. It is not a competition to see how many business cards you can collect, and how many people you can shake hands with. It really is about relationship building. So if you go to your next networking meeting and you intentionally sit down by somebody you don’t know, or maybe kind of know, and you think about conversing with that person, really getting to know that person and building that relationship, you’re going to get so much more out of your networking experience, and it’s going to feel even better.
When you’re done with that networking meeting, not only have you spent 30 minutes, 60 minutes with that one person, now you have an idea as to what she does, and she has an idea as to what you do, and perhaps that person is your ideal client and/or a referral source for you. I would recommend after that conversation, yes, exchange business cards, and when you get home, reach back out to that person. The best way to do that is just say, “Great to meet you,” email just to follow up, and depending on who that contact is, you may even want to recommend a second in person meeting, such as a coffee date, or you guys can continue the conversation without all the networking meeting going on around you.
If you do this every time you go to a networking meeting, even if you’re going to a conference or some other place where you can meet other people, you will enjoy networking so much more and it will be more profitable and worth your time. Your assignment for this week is to walk into a networking meeting, find the one person you want to connect with, and only do that. Let me know how it goes.
You know I’m here for you, and if you need anything, come on over to my website at JillCeleste.com where you can learn more about the Celestial Marketing Academy, my coaching programs, and check out my blog, ’cause I’ve got tons of tips there for you as well. So until next time, here’s to your marketing success, sending you lots of love, have a great day. Bye.
Jill Celeste, MA is a bestselling author, marketing teacher and founder of the Celestial Marketing Academy. Jill teaches purpose-driven entrepreneurs everything they need to know about marketing so they can become the Directors of Marketing for their businesses.
Jill is the author of the Amazon Top 25 Bestselling Marketing Book, That First Client, as well as the co-author of the bestseller, Cultivating Joy, and international bestseller, Gratitude and Grace.
Jill graduated with a B.A. in English from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She obtained her master’s degree in history from the State University of Georgia in Carrollton. Prior to becoming a marketing coach, Jill worked for 14 years in the private sector, and has experience in marketing and public relations in healthcare, IT and small business.
Jill lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, two sons, two guinea pigs and a basset hound named Emma.