How often have you heard me say: "You are not an ISLAND!!!" You can't do life on your own. You need to network, network, and network." I know the world has been so weird since the pandemic. Plus, there's this virtual world they are trying to force on us so we can forget to interact in the real one. So it's not always easy to initiate a new relationship.
But because your girl thinks outside the box, I am going to share FOUR UNCONVENTIONAL NETWORKING STRATEGIES, along with an exciting bonus one that will revolutionize your approach.
Numero UNO: Learn to create bonds with strangers you meet regularly- Whether you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, a marketer, or an employee simply seeking to expand your professional network, you need to learn to create bonds with strangers you meet regularly. For example, I shop at the same grocery store and talk to the same cashier, go to the same restaurant and, as much as possible, sit at the same table to have the same server, and attend the same church. All this is to form habits with them so that they are more open to it when I finally initiate a business conversation instead of asking themselves: "Who is this chick?"
Starting this week, if you never thought about it before, I need to be more intentional in your interactions with strangers (not so strangers) you meet regularly. You never know when they might need your services or might know someone who does.
Numero SECUNDO: Spark curiosity about your work or services- When you find yourself in a conducive environment for networking, casually glance at your phone as if you are reading a text message, then mumbles something that piques curiosity about your work. Most people HATE THEIR JOB!!! And because they do, they are naturally curious to find out why you are so excited about yours.
You will not catch me shopping or dining and not find a way to start a conversation to drop what I do for a living in a smart but not pushy way. I believe "If I am spending my hard-earned money with an establishment, I need to try at least to get something in return. Your business or at least a subscriber for my blog :-)
Numero TRES: Learn to cultivate virtual connections to strengthen your network- Take the initiative to reach out to business acquaintances and former colleagues who share your interests. Most people are active on at least one social media platform. Take the time to engage genuinely by liking and commenting on their posts. I added the genuine part because people can sense insincerity or when you want something from them, even from across that screen.
Numero QUATRO: Leverage social media app's features - Did you know that WhatsApp offers a 24-hour story feature similar to Facebook and Instagram? And on Instagram, you can now add notes your followers can see when they access their chats. That note can be a conversation starter since they are about to chat :-) I have leveraged my WhatsApp story to the point where when I don't post, I get text messages asking why I'm quiet :-) But remember, for WhatsApp, only people who have saved your number or that you haven't blocked- hahaha- can view your story.
Bonus Strategy: EVENTBRITE- I just realized a couple of weeks ago that I can discover all the networking events in my area using Eventbrite. It allows you to step outside and connect with people who align with your niche but not necessarily in your field.
Words to the wise!!! Don't waste your time going to events where you know most attendants are in the same field as you. It's a waste of time because I assure you almost everyone is already in bed with a couple of people, and if you are starting, you don't have enough leverage to charm them professionally. Instead, think outside the box and attend events that your potential clients would be. For example, if I am in real estate, I would attend credit repair workshops :-)
That's all for today, my Beautiful People. If you found those tips helpful, please let me know in the Comments to encourage me to keep sharing them. And if you have some networking nuggets you'd like to share, please feel free to do so in the Comments. I am already excited.
Until next time,