3 New Ways to Network
DIY Sprocket Solutions
This article has been updated on 3/30/2021 with the article entitled “3 Networking Tricks that Don't Depend on Shaking Hands.”
We’ve talked about networking before folks. We’ve pushed you in both the conventional and unconventional networking directions. Now how about a few “new” ideas for you? We are social beings; networking (whether we’re good at it or not) has always been and will continue to be extremely important to the success of your business, brand, and growth. If you’re uncomfortable –get comfortable. Or at least fake it till you make it. For those still shaking in your boots, checking for pit stains, and wiping off sweaty palms here are a few new, slightly less pressure, ways to network.
1. Do What You Love:
Getting social in general is a great way to make connections. You don’t have to meet other professionals in a professional setting. Take a class, join a book club, or sign up for golf lessons. Whatever it is that you’ve wanted to try –go for it. While you’re there, open your mouth. Talk to the person next to you. Make a connection. I don’t have to explain to you how to make friends. This is the definition of making connections. Connections = marketing. One thing leads to another and the next thing you know you’re bragging about your custom tie business and you find out that John Doe over here is looking for ties for his whole staff. Boom, networking. It doesn’t have to be stuffy and it doesn’t have to be high stress. Sometimes comfortable is better. Be yourself and don’t be intimidated.
2. Volunteer Your Time:
Getting involved with a non-profit or a charity is a great way to get out there and network for your business –not to mention that it’s just a great way to spend your time. You can find a non-profit organization or charity that is somehow related to your business or you can just find something that you’re passionate about and dive in. Either way, you’re getting out there and making connections with people. It’s not a one night, 3 hour, networking mixer. It’s a relationship with an organization and people that you’re building over time –and honestly, that connection is probably going to be a whole lot more meaningful. If it’s the type of organization that is somehow related to your business and they have an event, showcase your brand. Make some pamphlets to hand out, etc. Just make sure that you keep the focus on the cause.
3. Start Your Own Networking Group:
This is for the bravest of the bunch. Honestly though, if you’re concerned about organizing a group it might take some of the pressure off of walking cold into a room and trying to make connections. You’re running the shin dig; you have a purpose here! You can even start a group and get a conversation going on social media first, see what kind of interest you can pick up, and then take it to the streets if you get some real interest and actual footing. You can decide what kind of group you want it to be, name it, extend invitations, and encourage people to pass the word around. See what kind of traction you can get.
We all know that networking is an essential part of any business; the issue is making it a reality. Sometimes we have to think outside the box a little and also remember that we can make connections anywhere that we go. We are human beings. For the most part, we know how to speak to one another. Sometimes even coherently. There are times in life that you just have to jump in with both feet.