Inexpensive Yet Effective Marketing for Your Mompreneur Business Series: Offline Networking
Marketing for your small business does not need to be expensive neither does it need to be dull. I am always trying to come up with low-cost yet effective ways to market my online mompreneur business that actually can be fun at times too!
What Is Networking? And How Do I Do It?
Networking is a social activity that business owners and the business minded take part in to generate leads and sales. It can be very successful if done with honesty and integrity. Many believe it is one of the best ways to generate new business because the very nature of networking allows for people to create relationships that can benefit both parties. Relationships in business are extremely important.
It can be done in many fashions, sometimes simply being introduced to a fellow business owner can be networking. Group dinners or even special networking events can also be great networking opportunities.
How to Find Places to Network
Unfortunately, many of us don’t network because we believe it is done at events or in groups but that is not necessarily true. Networking can take place in everyday conversation with your family, friends and neighbors. It is ok to work into a conversation that you have started a new business and hand them a business card. Some of your best business can come from referrals from people that care about you.
But many times we do need to get out to events and in groups specifically created to advance your business in some way.
Here are just a few ways to get out there to network:
- Ask fellow business owners where they network. Heck, they may even take you with them. You can find them at Chamber of Commerce meetings or even online on Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Looking online is a great way to research where to get out there. Search for local business networking events or simply business conventions and events, especially in your field.
- Meetup is a great place to find groups that are specifically geared to networking for business.
Handy Tips to Keep in Mind When You Network
When I first started to network I received the best advice from my friend Alan Chatfield owner of Networking Secrets, Be Yourself. Just go on in, smile and be yourself. This certainly helped me to relax because I can honestly say I expected to be all business and I really didn’t know how to do that.
When you are yourself it is much easier to be a part of a conversation and make connections with others.
Don’t Be Shy But Don’t Be Pushy
It goes without saying that you do need to open up and talk to people. Forget the idea that you are shy and just go for it. What could possibly happen? The person is not interested and moves on? That is their loss not yours. Don’t worry, people are nice and will have conversation with you. Look up some good conversation openers online.
On the other spectrum, don’t be pushy. Don’t interrupt a conversation that has already started, especially to change the subject. Never push your way into a conversation or attempt to continue one that is going nowhere.
Never Forget Your Business Card and Your Smile
I would say that speaks for itself. Don’t be shy about handing someone your business card, they will give you one back, now you have made a connection!
Networking doesn’t need to be complicated or hard, just be yourself and get out there. You and your business will see great results!