The Novice Networker!
So your boss has tasked you with getting out into the big wide world to shout about your organisation’s products and services. Quite frankly, not only are you too busy but you’d rather do a bungee jump than walk alone into a room full of people you don’t know! You’ve got a problem! How to overcome your fear, get the job done and do it successfully? Without the time and money to go on an Anthony Robbins motivational seminar, you need to do some research and planning to find out the best ways get out there without giving yourself severe anxiety! Before you do that though, read on to find out what’s happening out there in the world of networking opportunity! Before you know it you will have caught the networking bug and your boss’s new problem will be wondering when you’ll return to the office to get on with your other work!
This is where you can get smart and work smarter! Not all networking has to be face to face. The advent of social media means that you can network online without having to leave the office! It is now more important than ever to increase your online presence and social media has to become a part of every organisation’s digital marketing strategy. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular platforms for business but be sure to do your research. Understand your target market, know what your competitor’s are doing and match their activity. Know the demographic of your target audience and choose your channels appropriately. Then post on a regular basis but remember you need to engage your audience, an audience that is getting bombarded 24/7 from the media so keep your posts interesting, educational and of value to ensure you build a following. Remember you are raising brand awareness with every post you make so always reflect your company’s vision and values at all times.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Attending or exhibiting at events is always an enjoyable experience and great opportunity for a novice networker. The popularity of these events is on the increase as they provide the unique chance for businesses to share their products and services with a warm audience. The delegates would not be at the event if they didn’t either work within the industry or have an interest in it. Regardless of whether you attend an indoor or outdoor exhibition, your aim will be the same, to glean as much information as possible about your industry and your competitors and to gain as many leads as possible. The atmosphere at events is always positive and even the most nervous of networkers will find them easier to attend and take part in as people are there to talk and do business. The best advice before you go is to plan ahead. Do your research and go with a strategy. That way you will be able to work your way around the trade show stands more efficiently allowing yourself to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Join a Group
Joining a local networking group such as your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent way for the novice networker to get over their fear. You will find there will be many events to choose from such as business breakfasts and seminars to lunches, trainings and presentations and less formal social events. As your first event, choose one that really appeals so you will be in a positive frame of mind. Let the organiser know you are new to the group and make yourself known to them on arrival so they can help break the ice and introduce you to a few people to help get you started. As you attend more events, you will start to get know the members and they will get to know your organisation, its products and services. Take advantage of every opportunity offered such as discounted trainings and presentations by industry experts and when you are feeling brave enough, be sure to take up speaking and presenting opportunities too. This way you will become known as an expert in your field which of course will attract more attention to your organisation as well as please your boss!