Promoting Your Business Through Networking
Networking is a powerful thing for any professional and their business. It’s a way to become a walking, talking advertisement not only for yourself, but for the people you meet at networking events. For instance, you’re out to lunch with a friend and he’s talking about needing a new accountant. It turns out that you know of one in his area because you just met her at a networking event! You give your friend her business card and there you go! That accountant you just met has new business.
Networking is word of mouth marketing. The more you talk about your business and get its name out there, the more likely you will be able to attract attention and new customers. Word of mouth marketing is the original form of social media. And as we know, (digital) social media is an effective tool to get your business’ message out to the public for free.
To effectively network yourself and your business it’s best to come up with an “elevator speech.” Think of what you would say about yourself and your business in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It’s a little more difficult than you would think, right? It’s hard to pay attention to someone who tries to tell you all the aspects of their business in a five minute speech. But then again, it’s hard to grasp the uniqueness of someone’s business if they just say, “I work with insurance.” A lot of questions pop up and some people might be too shy to ask you more about what you do. In that case, you lost the potential for new business.
To create a successful elevator chat, we recommend following these guidelines:
- Identify your goal
- When you are at a networking event, what is it exactly that you want to tell others about yourself and your business?
- Explain what you do
- If you have a job description that you know is difficult for people outside of your field to understand, try playing with different ways of explaining it.
- Communicate unique selling proposition
- Why should people care about where you work? And why should they keep you in mind to refer to others? Every business has at least one unique selling point so use that to your advantage!
Once you have practiced your 45 second speech a few times, you’re ready to go out and network! There are a lot of different networking groups around the country. Are you involved in any?