How networking helps the growth of your business or brand
I moved to the Raleigh - Durham, NC area in 2016. With my sights set on being a business owner I was inspired to gain all of the knowledge I could about my area of focus. I wanted to meet people that were already successful in the industry or people that were trying to accomplish the same goal as I. I was able to find the people I was looking for and this propelled me into opportunities that I never would have been able to achieve on my own.
The following is how I found ways to network, what I learned from networking and how it created opportunities.
Seek and Find.
I was able to find events, places and ultimately people to network with from the power of social media. Here is a list of places I searched.
Meetup.com - I signed up to Meet Up and they made the process so easy for me. They start by asking you questions about your interest and then suggesting groups that serve your same interest. I was able to find several groups in my area that were constantly hosting networking event.
Facebook Groups - There are so many groups on Facebook, anything your into I'm sure there is a group for it. I searched not only for business groups but also groups that were consumers of my type of business. I went to the type of events that were not necessarily for networking but just for fun. I never attended these events with the mind set promote! promote! promote! but rather learn, engage, and enjoy. What you often find is there is opportunity to mention your brand or business.
LinkedIn.com - Of course right! I mean it is a platform for business professionals and entrepreneurs, however it can be a little tricky to figure out exactly how to maneuver across the platform and find the right opportunities for you. I would suggest paying attention to your connections and seeing what their doing. Don't be afraid to do digital networking, message people ask them questions. I've made great connections and have learned a lot.
Networking creates less working
Once I was able to find like minded people in my space, it opened up available resources that I could use that saved me time, money and headaches. Here's what I learned about networking.
Cliché saying "Its not What you know Its WHO you know". I've heard that saying my whole life but now I was finally applying it. The people you meet can open so many doors for you it's your job to meet them.
Build your TEAM! I am a Young Jeezy fans in one of his songs he says " All these free agents better build your team" and he was right. In networking what you'll find is that you can meet people with the same general goal but may just need a little help. I would advice find out how you can work together what do they bring to the table and what do you bring to the table? You might just create a meal (million, see what I did there?) !
You hang around MILLIONIARES you'll become one yourself! I remember being told that by an old barber. Its true! I seek the guidance of people I meet that are where I want to be. Now cautions don't be a groupie. Meaning don't bug them 24/7 as they busy just as much as you are. But ask them to grab some coffee or lunch, maybe request whenever there available can we talk? If they grant you the opportunity show gratitude. Whatever you do don't hog the conversation by trying to explain the story of your business from beginning to end, but acknowledge areas where you feel you need help and let them do the talking. I learned to just listen and answer questions when asked.
Ain't nobody messing with my Clique.
I now have a team, resources and opportunity all thanks to getting out there and networking. I am now able to provide theses resources to others through my marketing agency FYB Marketing and Branding. I still enjoy meeting new people and adding them to my network. Which is why I am an active member of Six 1 Seven Social and attend as many events as possible cause hey! you never know who you might meet!