Networking is a key component of most successful businesses. But are you doing it correctly? In this episode of Cash In On Camera, Stephanie Bonte-Lebair of Empowered Business Networking shares the 3 mistakes she sees business owners make that are sabotaging their networking success.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll hear…
▶️ [1:34] Well, I think that a lot of business owners got into the business because they're passionate about what they do, but they didn't necessarily get the training of how to be a really great entrepreneur, right? There was no manual that we received and we decided we wanted to start the business. And so we are inundated with all this information from all these different sources on this is what strong businesses have in place in order to be successful. And I think that tends to give us that shiny penny syndrome where we think we need this thing and we need that tool, and we need this thing that's gonna help us make a hundred thousand dollars in 30 days. Or this coach or whatever that is. And it is a little overwhelming and we can get lost. And so that's why I believe networking brings us back to the basics because honestly, you don't really need all of that to be a successful business owner.
▶️ [3:13] Yeah. So tip number one is that most people approach networking from the position of this is going to help me find clients. And networking really isn't about finding clients as backward as that may seem. Networking is actually about finding partnerships. So finding people in the room who want to do business with you, not buy your stuff or your services or your products, but they actually want to be your cheerleader in the marketplace on your behalf, helping expose you to more people. If that is your primary goal, you are immediately gonna have more success in a networking environment.
▶️ [6:19] Yeah, I don't know if I've actually done that for my own business. What I do know is that when I network, I always find three to four people at any given networking event who are either potential clients of mine or great potential collaborators. And so if I'm attending two or three networking events a month, that's a dozen people a month that I could potentially be leveraging in some way to grow my business. And if you're not experiencing a similar result to that, then you wanna take a look at, you know what is it I'm doing when I'm showing up?
▶️ [9:23] Absolutely. I have different ways of introducing myself depending on the group I'm in front of. And the one way you can also clearly delineate a different way of addressing people is in your call to action. So part of having that captivating message is, do you have a call to action? are you inviting people, to connect with you after the meeting is over? Because if you're not, you're wasting your time at that networking event, right? Cause you're not gonna get to learn everything about each other with a 62nd introduction or even in a breakout room, if they give you five minutes to chat with somebody, you're not gonna learn everything you need to know. So are you saying enough and are you giving a captivating call to action that people wanna take advantage of it? They actually want to connect with you, they want to opt-in for whatever gift may be that you're giving or that call to action can be, "Listen, I'm looking to connect with these kinds of specific people. Do you know people like this?" Right. And not necessarily from a client perspective, but it could be a referral perspective.
▶️ [15:15] So, you know, one of the things I love about having a podcast and bringing intelligent people like you on is because I learn something in the process too. This is a real learning opportunity for me, and this is the area, as soon as you said that, it hit a nerve with me. I went, "That's me. I don't do a very good job at that, but I will improve that. I don't do a good enough job." Looking at those networking opportunities and then carve out the time and make sure that I have carved out the time to do the follow-up. I'm definitely more, "Oh, here are the people I wanna connect with", and I just try to jam it into the existing busy schedule that I have. I should do a better job of that. So thank you for prompting me on that one. And the rest are listeners I think this is a really key thing.
▶️ [17:51] If you go to networking, you're using your voice, and the more you use your voice and use your voice well and effectively with intention, the more people are gonna raise their hand and say, "Ooh, let's talk about your services. I wanna learn more about you." And that is so much more important, like hiring people to do your social media or your website or whatever you need those little tools to establish you as a real business in the marketplace but take your time, your personal time to use your voice.
▶️ [20:01] It's the non-salesy approach. I think we're gonna see more and hear more about this in the years to come as we progress and move from web two into web three. I think it's gonna be predicated on community and database and networking and the people and who you have access to and less about. All of the vanity metrics of social media and trying to like a scramble to get a million people on Instagram and all that, I don't think is really gonna matter as much going forward. It's gonna be about who do you know, who do you have access to? And that approach that you just shared about LinkedIn is right in line with that.
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