Eighty percent of success is just showing up according to actor Woody Allen, but what exactly does that mean? Here are some suggestions:
1. Is your client base local? Then you must get out from behind your computer and go to networking efforts. Yes, even if you’re an introvert and are convinced you can do it by email. People like to give business to those they’ve met and liked and/or respected.
How can you minimize the pain of networking if it doesn’t come naturally to you? Pick your events carefully, and focus on making quality contacts instead of meeting the entire room. If the group also has an online component, see who’s going to be attending and select ahead of time who you are going to meet. Checking out the attendees ahead of time can also help you remember names better. Naturally, you can’t just show up, so having a game plan ahead of time can minimize the awkwardness.
Do you prefer breakfast, lunch, or gatherings after work? It’s definitely reasonable to choose what best fits your personality, both in terms of time of day and the overall character of the meeting. Breakfast meetings, for example, tend to be more business-like and wrap up more quickly so everyone can get on with their day.
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2. What if you have an online business? Then showing up takes on the form of social media, newsletters, and emails. Don’t just forward and repost blog articles and images; be sure to comment actively, too.
Even online, it’s possible to make genuine connections with others, even if those others are across the world. Take the extra time and effort to help others as much as possible, and you’ll be rewarded with solid relationships across the world.
Aside from social media, you can use email, Skype, and Google Hangouts to create a more personal relationship. Keep in mind, though, that many people who gravitate to online jobs and businesses don’t necessarily crave as much face-to-face connection as others do, so if you get resistance when suggesting to Skype, for example, don’t take it personally if the other person just wants to stay with email and Facebook.
Here’s a selection of articles to give you more ideas about networking online.
3. What do they have in common? Both online and local businesses will thrive if you make the effort to get to know your fellow humans. Stand out from the crowd by showing up with a smile and genuine warmth, and you’ll see great results in either venue. Identify something you truly like or at least appreciate in each person you meet, and you’ll find the process to be much easier.
How do you make authentic connections with others? Please leave your comments below.