Wednesday, August 18, 2010


For some of us, meeting new people is an easy task. Drop us into a room full of people and we have no problem striking up a conversation. Others of us are shy by nature and would rather be home working on their computers rather than mixing and mingling.

Networking is a very loosey-goosey concept. Essentially, you figure some of the people you meet will refer some business to you. It's sort of a cousin of getting referrals from customers, except that some networking contacts are not customers. Maybe they are just people you liked when you met and you keep their business card in your file, then one day, what they do happens to be just what you need. Or what someone you know needs.

Sometimes it may take a while before you see any results from gong to networking meetings and trading business cards. So you make note of where new business comes from and keep in mind where the contact came from. There are lots of networking groups and your experience will let you know which ones are worth continuing with and which are not.

With things like online directories, they all help, but that is where it differs from in person events. At some in person events, you may or may not ever get a bit of business from them, but it always costs something to participate. With some online directory listings, once you are on them they stay out there all year, until you renew. And, of course, there are some things that are out there on the Internet that seem to stay there forever.

When people google your name or your business name, the fact that you are included on a lot of sites, even ones that never generate any business for you, all helps your name float to the top in the search engines.

I always make it a point to ask people who call me how they chose to call me. If they are not a friend of someone I have worked with before, they will mention the name of a website where they found me.

Networking is a part of the strategy for success for any entrepreneur. How you use it, and the most productive ways to use it are things we all discover by trial and error.

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