5 Tips for Making the Most of Networking

I consider networking to be a “high-octane” marketing strategy. Networking is a highly effective way to build relationships and grow your businesswoman having fun conversation with colleague during breabusiness quickly. It is very difficult to grow your business if you are not well-connected.

Despite this fact, many entrepreneurs despise networking and do not experience its full benefits. Most of the time, they aren’t seeing the benefits of networking because they have a weak link in their networking approach.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting the most out of your networking efforts:

1) Be choosy.

Networking in the wrong places is a waste of time. When deciding which events or meetings you want to attend, think about your goals and desired outcomes. Ideally, you want to be networking in places that put you in contact with a mixture of potential clients, joint venture partners, referral sources, and service providers. You also want to make sure that the people, organization, or event, aligns with your values and personality.

2) Be proactive about meeting people.

You don’t have to try to meet everyone in the room, but you do need to leave your comfy seat and connect with people. Pretend that you are hosting the event. A good host mingles, greets her guests, and makes them feel at home. Remember, when you come from a place of service, fear dissipates. This is not the time to shove your business down someone’s throat.  Just be genuine and thoughtful person that you are.

3) Be consistent.

The best way to build relationships with people is to interact with them frequently. If you are a member of a group or an organization, be an active member. Go to meetings and make your presence known.

4) Look for support.

Most people really do want to help others. If you need something, ask for help finding it. Maybe you want more speaking gigs or a new housekeeper.  Someone is bound to point you in the right direction. In the process, you are expanding your network and meaningful connections.

5) Follow up.

Most people neglect this step. If you are networking in the right places, you are bound to meet people that you want to connect with on a deeper level. You want to give these people a call, shoot them an email, or maybe even set up a coffee or lunch date. Note: you don’t want to throw them onto your newsletter list unless they told you to add them. Networking is about making real connections with real people. You don’t need to try to follow-up with everyone.  Do it when it makes sense.

I would love to hear how you get them most out of your networking. Please leave me a line below.


About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Tiffany, these are very useful tips. One of the best “networking” moves I’ve made in awhile was joining Rotary International. I am finding that putting “service above self” is one of the best ways to “network.” Serving others ends up being positive for all.

  2. Tiffany, I like all your tips but the one I like the very most is “be choosy.” I had to learn that the hard way over time. We get so eager to gain the visibility that we waste a lot of time going to ill-matched places. Thank you for pointing that out!

  3. I’m with Sue on this one – being choosey about which networking events I attend AND also which biz learning/masterminding events I attend.

    Of course, follow-up is imperative…

  4. This is one of my speaking topics. There are so many ways to make networking more effective. Yet, I see so many people wasting opportunities! You’ve given them some good tips here!

  5. All of your tips are Right On!
    The key is the follow up. A total
    waste of time if you do not follow up.

  6. Great post. I especially love #4. If you don’t ask people won’t know what to give you. I saw a great ad in a magazine recently. It said, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask for.” Your point highlights this.

  7. Yes! Networking in the wrong places is a waste of time!

    I find that many people over time, as their business grows, outgrow the local networking events they started going to as a new business owner — and that many don’t realize it (or don’t want to realize it) and stay too long because it is so much fun to see their friends.

    Having enough confidence to make the shift to adjust your networking to match where you are in your business can be tough, but the rewards can be great!

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