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You have the power to end your networking overwhelm and find time for what’s most important in your business.
This statement sounds so simple, but I know that a lot of people are struggling with this.
I’ve been guilty of networking like I’m a hamster on a wheel, too. Sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that “I’m working”. Often I’ve made myself so busy that I didn’t have time to do actual work!
I found it easier to just say YES to that new event invite and squeeze it into an already busy schedule, rather than first focus on my business goals and the people I already knew.
Maybe it’s because I had been programmed to think that I need to get “out there” in order to network. So I armed myself with business cards and headed off to events that were complete gambles in trying to find my ideal client. It was exhausting and not the best way to try to grow my network.
I traveled to events across the country, partly in fear that I would be “missing out” if I didn’t go. Marketing copy can be quite compelling — I used to think that if I didn’t attend then I wouldn’t learn some secret that would make me a ton of money. I know I’m not the only one who has done this!!
Finally I decided to take back my time & start saying NO. I realized that I was the person responsible for my exhaustion and it had to stop.
Now, I am very selective about my schedule. I regularly attended two events a month. Going on a regular basis means I can build relationships. Meeting monthly means that I have more time to focus on my business, my clients, my loved ones and myself. I can keep in touch with people between meetings via social networks, phone or email.
This was possible because of my online brand. It is working, 24/7.
To make this shift for yourself, start by using just a little of your networking time to update a basic website, your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Many people tell me the reason they have not done this is time. Make the time with this simple shift. Invest one 4-hour block of time (skip ONE event) and do a simple update.
Think before you RSVP:
Will the target audience of your fastest route to income be there? If NO, don’t go.
Will your top business advisors (such as in a mastermind) be there? Go IF you are getting a good return on the knowledge you are learning (I say YES to some, NO to others).
Is it going to cost more time & money to attend than the value you’ll get from it? I use this formula for both local events (it’s why I opted not to join a weekly referral group) and also traveling to events (hotel, meals, travel AND time away from the office adds up!)
Look for alternate ways to connect such as Facebook groups or live streams. Sure, it’s not quite the same, but this has really been a great option for me if I’m on the fence about attending — and in every single case I’ve been glad I did NOT go.
Can you get the knowledge elsewhere for free? A Google search or virtual trip to the library can give you general information. Just be careful…general tactics are a big time suck!
Work with a business & marketing strategist to apply it to YOUR business. I have a 30-minute Marketing QuickHelp that’s designed for this purpose. Use it to get answers, tips & instant feedback. Investing in this session will give you a greater return on investment than going to yet another free talk. I know, because I’ve given a lot of free talks… and it’s NOT SPECIFIC information. The talks are designed as a preview so you hire the person. So just skip ahead to hire the right person to help you! FIND OUT ABOUT THE MARKETING QUICKHELP »
Don’t even THINK about organizing an event or group if you’re already overwhelmed! It is very difficult to get a good ROI from the time, money & energy you put in. I know this from experience with over 47 events & groups. Yes, 47 that I have attended, unofficially talked with the organizers, helped to promote or market, been a speaker / facilitator and been a member of boards or consulting. It is very, very difficult. You WILL make mistakes. If you would like to learn from my experience, you can WORK WITH ME »
I’ve stopped my networking overwhelm! My lessons learned make networking more efficient & a more enjoyable investment of my time.
Here’s just a few key points:
Get back in touch with your current connections instead.
Know the different types of connections you want to make.
Social media allows a networker to connect from the convenience of your own office (or comfort of your own home).
Pre-qualify a person as a good potential connection before doing 1-on-1 coffeee meetings.
View an RSVP list and make a plan of who you want to meet ahead of time.
Networking will continue to be overwhelming if you let it. Make a strategic plan and a SIMPLE online brand to work for you.