Build A Network

When many people start to build a network they commonly ask what is a business network? 

It's simply the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential business ally's whom you can mentor, be mentored by and/or ask for advice.

Bad First Impressions

In all forms of communications (written, oral or via social media) you NEVER want to leave a bad impression. 

Either by being too direct by asking for contacts, for leads or help opening the door to a key decision maker.

Yes that is one of your primary objectives, but leading off with that approach will just turn people off.

As the old saying goes “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

The impression you want try to create is one of a consummate professional.

Once you've built-up a good rapport...gently introduce that your trying to learn who you may be able to reach-out to provide you with good industry leads who would be willing to spend time with you in face to face meetings, so that you could gain knowledge.

How to build a network in five easy steps:

1.)  Make a Networking Action Plan (from work, social and industry groups)

2.)  Make a list of all your contacts (where and how you know them)

3.)  Organize contacts into categories (such as: Business, Personal etc.

4.)  Make action plans...Take action

5.)  Practice networking etiquette and your 30 second elevator speech

More Tips That Work To Consider When Building Your Network

Many of us look at networking the way we look at going to the dentist. We know we are supposed to do it, but we really don’t want to. Therefore, we put it off until one day, something goes wrong and we have no other choice and are "forced" to act.

However, networking isn’t really about forcing yourself out the door to attend networking events where you’ll present your elevator speech and hand out your business card to as many people as possible. It’s about developing genuine relationships with people who will be there for you even when you don’t need them.

So How Do You Do That (Build A Network)?

1. Become the type of person other people want to meet.

2. Be more interested in other people than you are in yourself.

3. Be more concerned with collecting business cards than with handing them out.

4. Join clubs.

The Bottom Line

Always have your elevator speech in mind.  The same goes for staying in touch with people even and especially when you don’t need something – yes, you should do this, it's an effective way to build a network.

However, you should do it because you really care about those people, not because you hope that your investment in birthday cards and postage will pay off one day, but you like being around them.

The real secret to networking is to be sincere and to be the best version of yourself.

Networking Groups and Organizations to Consider

1. BNI – Business Networking International

BNI is the world’s largest networking group and operates on the philosophy of “giver’s gain,” in which the more referrals you give to fellow members, the more referrals will be given back to you.

2. MasterMind Groups

MasterMind groups bring people together for a shared goal, such as better business.  MasterMind groups allow you to tap into other perspectives, get support to achieve your goals, and create a level of accountability for taking action to do so.  Just Google MasterMind Groups Near Me

4. Women In Business Networking

If you’re a business woman, don’t pass up an opportunity to join WIB.  Women In Business allows you to work with others to achieve your goals.

5. Chamber of Commerce

I know, I know, but almost everyone joins their local Chamber; but how active are you in it?  Do you attend meetings, volunteer for committees or otherwise play a role as an active member of the group?  If not, you’re undoubtedly missing local opportunities and connections that can propel your business.

What's on your mind? Is there something specific I can help you with?

This site's success will hinge on me helping you solve problems. For those of us over 50, we face more challenges than others younger than us when competing for jobs and getting doors to open.

I invite you all to share your stories of challenge and successes. We all can learn from those who have faced the same challenges. The idea here is to help and be helped - so please add your comment or insight!

Thank you for your contribution.

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