Networking is a tool everyone should use in the development and promotion of their business. Even for those of you out there who are reading this, thinking, “Networking is not for me!” – it is! The trick is to be prepared and to strategically pick events that will show you results (and increase your networking confidence)! Get some networking events on your calendar now so you can prepare yourself before you arrive. I would suggest: General networking events. Pick 1-2 that are near your office or home so you are more likely to go. As an even further motivator, pick events that happen during the time of day that best matches your work schedule, traffic patterns, and energy levels. Organization/industry events. Find events of complementary industries, not necessarily the industry you are IN. For example, my marketing company joined the Hispanic Chamber instead of the Nashville American Marketing Association because there are referral partners and potential business leads there, whereas NAMA is mostly my competition. Host your own event. These have the BEST ROI! Host an event at your office or nearby restaurant once a quarter to get started (be on the lookout for my step-by-step guide to starting your own organization in 2016). Digital/online groups. You can research, join, and bulk up your network online. I would recommend starting this now to set yourself up for the new year. For instance, groups like Your Networking Toolbox are a great, easy to use, low maintenance resource that keeps connections readily available at your fingertips, on your schedule.
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