Ok here’s the truth…. Most businesses have at least part of the business online, and sometimes communicating digitally can be incredibly lonely.
This is especially the case when you are starting out in business or have been in a role for a long time, but let me assure you, it happens to all of us.
Who do you ask for help? Who do you talk to about business? Is everyone doing super well and you’re the only one who’s feeling overwhelm?
That’s why you need business chums!
Luckily, recently there has been a resurgence of face to face networking events all around the UK, from the big established networks to the small seminar networking events, popping up at various businesses, more and more people are making the most of being able to go out there and meet people.
But we often shy away from networking, so let’s address a few things
You’re not going to get sold to!
It’s not about selling. You aren’t going to turn up and be expected to buy a wollop of services (unless you want to) and most people who approach it that way, don’t last long. It’s about meeting other professionals, building relationships, building connections, learning about what people want, and tailoring your services accordingly.
People really do buy from people they know and trust. (I may have stolen that tagline)
So, having that face to face contact is incredibly valuable. Everyone knows they are dealing with a human and being on the networking scene shows that you can be found and you are open to communication.
You will build connections FAST!
And you will be shocked at how quickly your network grows and how many strong relationships form in a short space of time!
Being in a room with lots of new people means you have to find common ground quickly and you can refine your “elevator pitch” to get the most relevant information across and FAST! (I can’t tell you how much I hate the term elevator pitch, but at least you know what I mean)
Everyone was once the newbie in the room!
Networking events can seem a bit intimidating at first; the prospect of putting yourself in a room with up to 100 people and explaining your business can be scary, but you very quickly realise that everyone in that room has at some point felt the exact same.
I don’t know if I can spare the time!
They adopt several different formats; round-tables, seminars, guest speaking events, breakfast or coffee mornings, speed networking, golfing days, cocktail parties, to be honest the list is ENDLESS.
And they are held at all different times of the day, so you can go for an early morning brekkie or maybe a cocktail after work, so some educational seminars during the day. Just find the ones that work for you!
What’s in it for the organisers?
This gets asked time and time again, and the organisers are also building connections, these could be possible clients or even just possible ways to help existing clients.
Those who understand the power of networking know that building a strong network and getting yourself known (and staying known) is one of the best things you can do for your business. So what better way than by organising your own events!
Many offer free or very low cost events. Don’t be suspicious of them, embrace them!
And you’ll often find they encourage you to make those connections and meet people of interest afterwards for a one-to-one to dig a little deeper. They WANT you, as part of their network, to be successful.
The Marketing Geeks are SO passionate about networking that we are in the process of organising our own events calendar starting 2018. In the meantime, we will be publishing the events we’ll be attending on our Where Will TMG Be? Page.
So, pop along! If you’re nervous and need some moral support, let us know and we’ll be sure to introduce you to some people when you get there!