The EVERYTHING guide you need to stand out with your NETWORKING
This is NOT a blog its a intensive how to…….
I am not going to share with you anything you don’t already know.
But by taking it up a notch, you’ll gain more clients – GUARANTEED.
Networking is probably the most effective and least expensive marketing method you can use to build your business, especially if you operate mostly in your local area.
Networking is a mutually beneficially process were we share leads, tips, ideas, business, support and connections.
Active networking is vital to your business growth.
It is often confused with selling!
Networking is about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who YOU can assist and who can potentially help you in return.
Your network includes everyone from friends and family to work colleagues, sporting clubs and members of groups to which you belong. Just about anywhere except maybe a funeral.
Networking is NOT an entitlement program.
Connections and leads come after the Like Know and Trust has been gained.
You may find a job in the first meeting you attend, that is because the person giving the business trusts the organisation hosting the event.
Types of Business Networking Opportunities
• Casual contact networks. Business groups that allow various overlapping professions such as a Chamber of Commerce.
• 1-1 networks, BNI, 1 person = 1 industry.
• Community service clubs, Rotary has a business arm “Rotary means Business”
• Professional associations, such as speakers associations.
• Online/social media networks.
You may consider hosting or co-hosting your own event it is always a good idea to co-host with a business that suits yours, such as Web Designer and Social Media agency, or perhaps if you’re Electrician then co-host with a Plumber.
The goal is to get your name and face in front of your customers on a regular basis so that they remember you and your business.
Currently private networking businesses are the fastest growing industries, that just proves networking and relationships WORK.
RBS breakfast Club a business I also own, is instrumental in bringing more than a million dollars’ worth of trade directly to our 45 members.
Our website builder would be managing a majority of our members sites, if each one of them spends an average of $2-5k well you can see how much income is from just these connections.
I met one of my clients at a Chamber function, they’ve been with me for years, I would have made around $75k.
Each of these outcomes happened due to trusted connections & FOLLOWUPS
FOLLOWING UP after an event is the KEY to gaining WORK. Either pick up the phone or send an email, but for REAL results PHONE.
How much more business could you connect to if we didn’t always stay with the same person, or we asked for introductions, if we introduced others and by FOLLOWING UP and ASKING FOR WORK.
CHALLENGE: THINK, WHO CAN YOU CONNECT MORE TO?
THANK YOU PHONE CALLS,
Each time I get a referral I ring INSTANTLY and say thank you, it is the most powerful aspect to networking. DO NOT do this as emails or I’ll do it next time I see them, RING NOW!
A referral is a powerful compliment as it says I trust you with my name and reputation, consider if I referred ABC and they did a bad job or was rude, then next time my associate needs a referral they won’t trust ME. Therefore always refer ONLY if you know the reputation.
It shocks me when I ask people how do you thank referrals, that it’s so few people who say thank you, often they’ll say I wait till I see them, but by then it’s not got the same impact as a phone call. By calling and keeping people informed, they’ll refer you again, plus consider this, someone has just handed you MONEY! Avoid the movie tickets or wine, if you’re going to do something do it personally and quickly.
CHALLENGE: WHO CAN YOU RING AND SAY THANKS TO?
Only Networking When You Need Work
Is the same as marketing when you have time, both these aspects to your business should be given a sole focus of at least 5 hours a week.
So If you’re part of a networking group be active in it.
STAND OUT and add value to your existing clients.
Tickets to the Fremantle Prison Tunnels cost $55 per person, grab a few of your associates who all can work together, in my case, website, graphic design, social media, accountant, marketing consultant etc.
For the price of LESS than one newspaper add you can take your A CLASS referrals to something unique, they’ll remember it and talk about it with others, connections will be made and work WILL come from it.
Include a lunch as well, I usually get them to buy their own lunch but will pay for the tunnels, PLUS if you have a group and go on a Tuesday, why not ask to block off the tour so it’s only you. 8 people is a good number to go.
The prison is just one idea, but whatever you decide make it unique.
Ask your accountant how to see about making it a taxable deduction for your business.
CHALLENGE:- WHO WOULD YOU TAKE AND WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
Rockingham Dolphins Watch, A day on Garden Island, get Impressions Catering to make a private lunch somewhere different.
THE POWER OF THE ASK…
If you want anything from anyone ASK, it is amazing how many people ASSUME or feel they may already have a so and so, I have achieved amazing outcomes and meet amazing people because I asked.
SO WHAT if they say no, or not right now, they’ll remembered you asked and they often will see you as a self-starter.
With the ask, get to the point of what you want, be it a meeting, a job or their number. Follow up Promptly (I have templated email introductions I simply change accordingly) afterwards, thank them.
Consider some of the guest speakers our community has heard from, such as Rick Hart, Dale Alcock and John Hughes all because I ASKED. Dale said not right now but call me after the AFL season I thanked him and did that.
John Hughes, once said during a speaking conference, “I have trouble with the young ones”, I stood up and replied “I can solve that”, the end result I was given a contract for a division of The John Hughes group. So don’t be frightened to speak up and say I can fix/do that.
The power of the ASK “can my business help you with ABC”….
The answer will be YES 90%, so you’re only hurting yourself by not asking.
Waiting to be asked may never happen, because they’ve given work to the person, well who asked.
CHALLENGE:- WHAT DO YOU WANT AND WHO WILL YOU ASK?
Deliver goods your customer has ordered to the next networking event.
If someone has ordered from you, then offer to bring their goods to the next meeting, as that way people can see your work and see that others have bought from you.
Especially if you say, here is the ABC you ordered.
NOT every networking group suits every person.
Networking takes time, it is best to pick two groups to network and grow in otherwise you spread yourself too thin and the commitment wains.
Consider who is in the group, are they your target markets, are the members aligned with your goals, vision and also are they the sort that gives work.
Don’t just think how could this ONE person help me once, think of whom they know and the power of the referral but also think of an alliance, create marketing suggestions, a day spa and real estate agency, each time someone buys a house they can get a voucher as a thank you from the real estate agency.
Could each employee benefit from a Gym membership?.
It takes just as much work to make $10 per hour as it does to make $100 per hour, the only difference is the suggestion of the sale and potential marketing opportunity.
CHALLENGE:- WHO COULD YOU FORM AN ALLIANCE WITH?
CHANGE YOUR LOGO on your shirt.
My shirt says “I teach Facebook for business” or another one is “I am a social media manager” then under it I put my business name, this has gotten me MORE work than you may realise, as it cuts out the “oh what do you do” conversation and because my work is the focal point it’s amazing how many people have come up and said “You’re someone who can help me” With my Laptop bag, I once had a man give me his card in the airport, a week later I was fixing his Facebook issues.
We need today to stand out from all the NOISE so get to the point with your marketing. I am a plumber, I am a website designer, I am a marketing consultant.
By all means put your business name under the description but make it smaller, make what YOU do stand out.
Here are some tips that may help you, or may challenge you…
• It’s ok to come with a friend but don’t spend all night with them, separate!
• Do you give a business card to the person you’ve just been introduced to or worse do you shake hands quickly and hand out business cards at the same time.
STOP this is considered SPAMMING, Bring cards but only give them to people who show a real interest in what you do.
A good way to also introduce yourself is to have an introduction text in your phone that also includes your website address, a very short simple introduction and then text it that way they have your number and your website ON their phone.
I often say “I have a card or I can text you, which do you prefer”, if they’re an environmentalist they’ll appreciate the phone, in today’s world we need to adapt to all forms of communication.
Do you have an elevator pitch – if not write one
Be exact and if you can result driven.
I’m Sharyn McCaskey, I’m a Social Media Manager, I can either train you or I can action the Facebook marketing for your business, let’s face it is the way many people today look for products and services.
Then always have a few key words in your head ready for the response.
“I hate Facebook!” – “did you know over 89,000 Rockingham residents are on Facebook, it’s a bit tricky to understand but once you know the potential it can really be beneficial to your business”
“Does Facebook really work?” – My clients which include City Farmers Dog Wash, Malibu Fresh, Lavoro and Rotary think so, what confuses you about it, can I help you understand it?.
We all know what questions our industry get, so have a few key sentences in your mind, it builds confidence within yourself and also makes you look prepared.
Be an introducer! If you’re talking to someone and you think they may be good fit with so and so then introduce them. BUT a lesson I learnt from someone who said I introduced people then I walked away leaving them going ummm, so stay and make sure their made that connection before excusing yourself.
If you see someone on their own, walk up and say, Good Evening I am ABC, and you are? Trust me making someone alone in a room feel comfortable will win you a friend for life. This person may be alone due to being anxious, nervous and intimidated, 80% of people attending functions feel sick before heading in, especially if it is new to them, myself included.
People are clicky… is something I’ve heard over time.
NO THEIR NOT, they’re huddled in groups simply as its safe, however if you walk up and introduce yourself and say “You all seem to know each other and I wanted to come and join you, is that OK?”
I doubt anyone would say no go away,
You can clearly see when two or three people are intently in a conversation, I’d leave those as they’re probably not wanting to be interrupted.
A SMILE and HANDSHAKE is the most welcoming aspect to any networking meeting. Listen when you join a conversation, then show you were listening by feeding back, Be yourself and don’t try to sell.
People may not remember your conversation but they do remember, how you made them feel. So always be positive, take note of something positive or proactive you may have heard. “Is it right I just heard you won a contract with the Navy, congratulations that impressive” or “I recently heard Jo from ABC say that the work you did for them was exceptional” just be genuine in your comments. There is ALWAYS something good you can say.
If you’re unsure of whom to meet at a function ask the host if you wish for an introduction.
Get Social in Your Off Hours. Just because you’re off the clock doesn’t mean it’s time to stop networking. If you want to expand your reach, make an effort to chat with attendees at your health club. You can even make business connections at your child’s school activities and sports events.
Dress appropriately and professionally. This does not mean that you need to wear expensive clothes, but do wear something a bit on the dressy side.
Ask questions and listen. Rather, ask people you meet questions about them and their business, then listen carefully to their answers. Find points of commonality that you can bring into the conversation.
Sit with people you don’t know. Many events have walk-around networking followed by a sit-down meeting. During the walk-around, do talk to people you have met before to enhance your relationship, but sit with people you don’t know in order to widen your network and meet potential customers. Here too, ask questions and listen.
Move on – politely. Don’t spend all of your time talking to one person. Gather the information you need, exchange business cards, if appropriate, and move on. I often say, “I look forward to seeing you again, I’m about to mingle, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you.”
Give to get. Focus on what you can do for others, not what they can do for you. Perhaps you know someone who could use your prospects services. If you do and you trust them, make the referral.
Follow up. If you make a good connection with someone, after the event, send a note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If appropriate, send an article or some kind of information that they might find helpful. Don’t add them to your E mailing list.
Don’t Be Negative, avoid speaking negatively after all, you don’t want potential contacts thinking you’d say bad things about them. When I have been faced with someone saying something negative I’ll respond with “oh that is not my opinion” or “what do you say about me when I am not around”
NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS:
I am an introvert, I am a very private person, you know a few things, I am a social media manager, my son and I have AS, I do not outside of my circle share much about me, I am an introverted extravert. Google it, there is a thing.
I often will say to myself, I am not going to go because I don’t know anyone, people will judge me, I don’t want to get out of my corporate PJ’s but each time I also say, “but what could I be missing out on”
Be yourself and DO NOT apologies for it, introverts find introverts.
Most introverts are super smart. Blame brain chemistry see it’s not personal it’s like having a headache,
Pick the places you feel comfortable
Tell yourself it’s valuable to you to meet others.
Ask for a warm introduction,
The beginning of an event is the perfect time to arrive if you’re an introvert.
Bring a wing person but do not stay with them all night.
Don’t be afraid of strangers, cause we all are strangers till we say hello
Set a goal to meet 2 people.
And my favourite, if all else fails, outsource and get someone to attend and promote you.
IN A NUTSHELL
• Make Networking a priority and part of your marketing.
• Say hello to old associates but always make a point of meeting 2 new ones.
• Listen and do not sell at someone, engage in the conversation.
• DO NOT thrust business cards at people, but offer only if it is appropriate.
• What is your elevator pitch. Write it and practice it.
• Don’t display logo/business name as the key point on your shirts, have what you do.
• Remember The power of the Ask
• FOLLOW UP
• Who do you think would be good for your business and your A class associates, where could you take them that is private and different and unique and memorable.
• RING INSTANTLY and say THANK YOU for referrals and contracts.
• Think BIG, offer marketing alliances that benefit BOTH parties.
Networking ON LINE…
Your Social Media should be a mixture of selling your products and services, talking about you personally, plus how your business can solve problems for customers.
• Join an online community such as LinkedIn and Facebook
• Just two or three social media sites RELEVANT to your industry works and then be active on their, give the same amount of time on line to what I give to face to face networking.
• Write comments, give your opinion, be vocal
• Recommend the products and services of other businesses
• Introduce yourself in a smart way
• Make sure your contact details are EASY to find.
• Develop a strategy on each of the social media options
• For example you might use Twitter to promote sales or special offers, Facebook as way for customers to talk about your products and share their experiences, LinkedIn for building credibility of your key people and You Tube as your “infomercial” space.
• Link with other businesses
• Linking is still a very important way to build traffic to a website, but it is also a way to build relationships.
• Think on line as you do off line with the same rules and outcomes it’s just networking but one is on a computer and one is face to face.
My name is Sharyn McCaskey and I am about to launch Your Social Media Career.
This is the only program in Australia that teaches people how to run their own Social Media Agencies, so if you know anyone who has a strong grasp on social media already be it if their young, old, a man, or woman or transgender who is looking to run a Social Media Business and earn a truck load of money from Facebook, Please speak to me on 0408863331
Do you want a social media presence that is informative, professional and proactive?
One that shows your business as engaging, well respected and likable.
Do you want to have someone manage your social media platforms leaving you to work on your business more effectively?
If so, then let me introduce myself, I’m Sharyn McCaskey.
I am a well-respected Facebook Marketing Specialist, who has trained over 30,000 attendees in Facebook Marketing.
I manage the marketing of a select few clients and I am considered one of Perth’s most respected Facebook specialist.
I am a South Coast Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year and have constantly been a winner or finalist in many business awards, from Business Centres and Chambers of Commerce, including Micro Business Operator in 2015 and Winner again in 2017 and 2019.
I am thrilled to have been nominated for a life time award in 2019 and an Australia Day Award.
I’ve been flown/driven to 27 regional towns/districts nationally teaching Facebook marketing including the major tourist destination Jindabyne NSW and Ned Kelly Tourist region Jerrilderie NSW.
Most attendees of my seminars are referrals from past clients and I am exceptional at gaining ongoing organic reach when marketing for my clients, four posts have gone viral in the true meaning, including being picked up by 7news.
YouTube Search Mdvs Facebook Management and Training
Phone 0408 863331
Sharyn McCaskey your Facebook Marketing Specialist.