How to Get Started with Networking

Networking for business is important no matter what business you are in. It involves talking to people in various industries who can help you grow your business, gain clients and make a name for yourself in the market you serve. Everyone can network if they do a little homework on best practices. Here's how to get started with networking face to face.

Steps

  1. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 1
    1
    Think about the types of people your business serves. Start looking for organizations that serve that population. For instance, if you cater to moms in business, start looking for organizations with a high number of moms as members.
  2. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 2
    2
    Create a presence for yourself online by building a website. Either hire a designer or, if you have moderate web skills, do it yourself with sites like www.webs.com or www.fatcow.com.
  3. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 3
    3
    Design business cards so you will have them to pass around at events you will attend. You can easily create business cards online for a small fee at sites like www.moo.com and www.vistaprint.com.
  4. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 4
    4
    Join your county's Chamber of Commerce. Find it by typing in your city's name and the words "Chamber of Commerce" into a search engine. When you find the contact information, search the site for how to become a member.
  5. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 5
    5
    Start networking by going to events in your area as well as throughout your state that cater to the type of clients you'd like to be your customers. For example, if you offer architectural services, attend home design shows and expos.
  6. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 6
    6
    Start talking to everyone you can. Talk to people in stores, on the elevator, at your children's school and everywhere you go. Have a short pitch ready about what you do.
  7. Image titled Get Started with Networking Step 7
    7
    Write a pitch about your business that is more than 1 or 2 sentences that clearly state what you do and what your business offers. It's what you should memorize and have ready to tell anyone who will listen.

Tips

  • Always appear professional with your business cards at the ready even when you're at the grocery store or a non-business environment. You never know when a prospective client may cross your path.
  • Be positive. Whenever you discuss your business, keep the conversation flowing by telling your listener how great things are going. People want to associate with winners.
  • Dress the part. Every time you're out in public is a possible networking opportunity. Try to look your best whenever you are out in the community.
  • Use your personality. Being yourself always works. Shy people may feel like they can't network, but actually, introverted people tend to be great listeners and everyone loves to be listened to.
  • Try to talk to people from areas that you think might not even pertain to your business niche. You never know who might have a friend or neighbor who needs your service.

Article Info

Categories: Networking