You were given an in-depth course last week regarding networking etiquette. While we did not cover what to wear and whether the Donald Trump comb over (or would that be comb forward?) is a necessity to make an impressionable entrance for a business maneuver, you should now know the 5-Ups to networking.
(As I write this, I realize there may just be a rather frivolous number 6 to the Line Up, and that is never to show up to a meeting with a 7-Up can.)
Regardless, the rules are simple: Stand Up, Follow-up, Keep Up, Show Up, Grow Up.
That may sound harsh when written out, but if you missed the last Project Blog, check it out before you continue on because today, as promised, we address three hotspots where you can successfully network.
We are going to approach formal and a few informal styles that will help give you that edge that keeps everyone talking. It is a venue where business cards are key and the touch keys on your cell phones, for just a few hours, can get a break.
Chamber of Commerce: a great place to get to know your community as a local business owner and to understand its needs. Become aware of those whom you can help, those who can help you grow and in turn understand and refine your target audience through insight from small mom and pop shops to the pros. This is a proactive way to get your voice heard not just for networking but on behalf of all enterprising dreams across the nation.
BNI: (Business Networking International) a local business collaboration with global outreaches. Each chapter has a “one of each” motto. It is not a competition within your own niche. No two companies within the same regional chapter can represent the same field, or business. You send referrals to one another, demonstrate and elaborate upon the kind of clients for which you are looking. This professional atmosphere encourages entrepreneurs, helps them build long-term quality relationships and all through word-of-mouth.
LinkedIn: you will not need your business card here, but this replicates your online business card, resumé and public profile. This is where you connect with colleagues and how you get endorsed. Yes, endorsed. It may not be the way Gatorade endorses star athletes, but it has the same affect for your job performance. People whom you have or do associate with can recognize your work and endorse you for those skills. That impact will lead to promotions, referrals and additional connections. So, maintain your LinkedIn account with relevant information to your field – for example dress for the job you want? Post material with that same mindset: This is not Facebook. So don’t post, How Southern Are You or What Disney Frozen Character Do You Most Resemble?
There’s over 300 million professionals that are logged in, the way we can link our name to hundreds if not thousands to them are unimaginable.
We are always on-the-go, and now you are in the know. Networking is an entrepreneur’s ally. Getting someone to believe in your dream, to see just a glimpse of what you see, could just happen at or through one of these avenues.
-The Green Couch