Is your business exploding? If it isn’t, you might need to focus on networking more frequently. Assuming that you run a tight ship and provide high-quality professional services, then you probably don’t have enough contacts with business owners and executives who can refer clients to you.
Let’s imagine you have a website building business in a thriving city like San Diego — how would you go about building your business through networking? You would do it by learning the art of efficient networking, by networking with the right people, and by networking at the right places.
The Art of Networking
It’s not enough to network, you also have to do it well. Take the time to read books, articles, and blog posts on effective networking. Then, create a plan to help you succeed. When you network systematically rather than just meeting people randomly and hoping for the best outcome, it will take your business to the next level faster.
Network with the Right People
Spend most of your time and effort networking with business owners, company executives, and independent professionals who will provide you with client referrals.
Here are three examples of the types of professionals who could give you referrals because they are not in a competitive business:
- Network with a San Diego marketing agency executive who helps business clients with their marketing.
- Network with a San Diego business lawyer who helps business owners with their legal issues.
- Network with a freelance copywriter who writes sales letters and white papers for businesses.
These types of professionals will be glad to refer you. It will not only help them improve their own relationships with their clients, but you might also return the favor and refer clients who need marketing, legal, or copywriting services.
Naturally, you will meet all kinds of business owners at networking events, but focus your attention on people with mutual business interests. While, for example, it might be fun to talk to an owner of a small bakery, he or she is less likely to recommend people who need a web developer. Don’t spend the entire hour or two of the networking event with the baker because they love your football team; mingle with other people, too.
Where to Network?
Many organizations in San Diego will help you meet other people interested in networking. These social events usually occur one evening a week at a popular restaurant in a central location. By choosing a few groups, you can network in the evenings a few times a week.
Here are two examples:
- Speed Networking in San Diego is a networking organization.
- Network After Work – San Diego Networking Events is a Meetup group that meets at different locations.
Online vs Offline Networking
Although it may seem rather old-fashioned to network in person when you can just join a few social media groups and network from the comfort and privacy of your home or office, your chances of success will exponentially increase when you meet people in person.
Networking offline does not mean that you should completely ignore networking on social media, though. There is no reason why you can’t do both.
Be Patient & Persistent
While you can’t orchestrate who you will meet, networking will put you in the right position to meet people who will help you grow your business. By networking, you will increase your chances of success. Sometimes you might meet the right people within a few weeks of networking. At other times, it may take a few months to develop meaningful business relationships. So be patient and persistent.