Networking is a must for any businesswoman. We know this. It is practically gospel. For an entrepreneur, expanding your social circle is a surefire way to increase the scope of your brand awareness, increase sales of products and services, and grow your business. Or is it?
It is, if you’re networking the right way.
Here are some basic dos and don’ts for the next time you’re organizing those new business cards from that networking cocktail soiree.
Do: Send a follow up email within 48 hours of meeting for the first time. Offer to help your new contact in some way directly, or by connecting them to someone who can help them. Too often people only reach out when they need something. Be the exception. Focus on them. You’ll be more memorable and create a positive rapport immediately.
Don’t: Leave the new contact’s card in your wallet for 3 weeks, and then send them an email asking for a favour.
Do: Establish whether they use social networking sites for business before sending a Facebook friend request. Always include a message with your friend request, reminding the person who you are, where you met and why you’d like to connect.
Don’t: Send a friend request then write on their wall, “Hey grrrrl – hot pics! I want your life. Call me let’s talk business. Muuah!” Too much, too soon, too desperate.
Do: Invite your new contacts to join your mailing list. Send them a personal email, explain your services, and sign up for their lists if they have one. Create reciprocity.
Don’t: Start blasting your new contacts your unsolicited blog, monthly newsletter, or daily tidbit of wisdom. There’s no faster way to be relegated to the annoying, wish-I-never-met-her category.
Entrepreneurs understand that the most powerful form of advertising is word of mouth. You’re only as good as your reputation. Here’s to making that a positive one. Here’s to your success!