How to Network Like Practical Pig

 

It’s about the Relationships: Networking, whether you are on a social media platform or at an “in person venue” should always be about building relationships!  Strategic alliances and business will follow.  I say this every month at The Enchanted Woman monthly networking luncheon, and as I walk about the room, I still hear many of the guests  introducing themselves  in that “get clients now” kind of way.

Gone are the days of “working the room,” shoving a business card or flyers in someone’s face, and gathering business cards for your personal gain.  As the founder of a network, I still see this.  I also see how most people respond. Likewise, I have been told by the more accomplished networkers that those cards go into their “yeah, no” or “thanks for the warning” stack.  So, while VERY few people would say something out loud, most people are put off by this aggressive behavior . . . DON’T DO IT!

Value your connections:  People by nature are social animals.  We like to connect.  We want to be respected and valued.  We want to be “seen,” and we NEVER want to be treated as though we are a means to an end or a wallet.

The wisdom of Practical Pig:  Do you remember the story of the 3 pigs?  Two of them built their houses quickly:  one with straw, the other from sticks.  When the big bad wolf came along, he huffed and he puffed and he blew their houses down.

As the two pigs built their quick rise structures, Practical Pig commenced to build a house of brick and stone.  The other two pigs laughed because they were done long before he even finished his foundation.  But, they didn’t laugh when his house was the only one left standing; when his was the only one that could withstand the test of time, and all seasons.

Unfortunately/Fortunately:  Yes! This type of networking DOES take more time. But, it also builds a quality network; one that will serve you for a lifetime.  The “poach a group to get immediate clients” approach might get you a sale or two, but it won’t get you loyal, life-long clients/customers.  It won’t get you strategic alliances, or referral partners, either.   So, if you want to build a quality network where people return to do business with you, refer you to their family and friends, and most importantly where you value each other, and build friendship, then you are going to have to invest the time upfront to build the relationship, and trust.

The Practical Pig Formula for Networking:

  • Network to build relationships
  • Remember the Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want to be treated at a Networking event, whether online or in person
  • Become a Member and attend regularly, whether visiting a social media platform or a networking group–as we see your avatar/face consistently, we feel more acquainted, and then confidence and trust grows
  • Ask for the relationship, not the sale (when the time is right, you can talk referral and/or sales)
  • Smile and be approachable

There you have it:  The Practical Pig formula for networking.  Now go and build an AMAZING network!

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Success Starts when You “Jump!”

Jump shot 2
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Last week at “The Enchanted Business Woman’s Luncheon” I  shared a simple Leadership and Success tip, about business. “Just jump  in,” I said. “No matter where you are . . . just jump in and get started.” The journey will answer the  questions and show you the way.

As the week progressed, I penetrated some of the deeper layers of  that tip. Here is what I learned: So many of us get paralyzed in a desire for  perfection that we don’t ever jump; or if we do, we jump out as quickly as the  difficulties set in. We feel like “staying where we are” keeps us safe, but the truth is, it doesn’t. It just keeps us small.

I have been shape-shifting both my business vision and mission for  several years. I have had multiple names for it and muse that I have enough  business cards to “quilt a baby blanket.” I was sorta in it with one  foot, and I was playing it safe. I reasoned that it was because I was still  raising my last “dependent” child. And, while that was true, it was  also true that my business vision is BIG, and that scares the hell out of me.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, as  I transitioned  through the final stages  of the empty nest syndrome ” my business vision called to me, louder and  louder. I didn’t want to listen. A long story short, the pain of not listening  grew, and I eventually heeded the call and jumped more fully into “my  business game.”

By jumping in, I learned that jumping in, exactly where I was, and  not waiting until I had everything perfectly inline yielded the best insights.  It brought to my awareness insights that I needed to   competently move forward.  Insights
about:

  • Me
  • My project
  • My values and objectives
  • Those whom are a part of my vision—Clients, Colleagues and
    Strategic Partners

Jumping in also brought clarity, showed me where I ultimately wanted  to go, and the adjustments I need need to make to “get there” and achieve success.

Yes, I have hit my share of bumps along the way, and so will you,  but as long as we stay “open to the learnings,” and stay the course,
we can mine the experiences for knowledge and data.  In the words of J. Michael Derem, we can  “Fail our Way to Success.”  Walt
Disney did it!  So did Elvis, Sylvester  Stalone, and many others who became “household names.”  Those people dared to dream. They pushed
beyond their fears, and they jumped.  They  inspire us.  They have also shown us that  “jumping” and being willing to find our way as we go will ultimately  get us to our goals.

What is your Dream? What are your goals?

What say ye?  Shall we jump?

7 ½ Secrets to Networking Success Revealed

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7 ½ Secrets to Networking Success Revealed

Networking is a key part of building community and business success. If it isn’t already a fundamental part of your Marketing and Success Plan: ADD IT!

Now-a-days there are two primary ways to network: online and in person. Commit time to both and let your efforts be driven by an intention to connect and build rapport. Remember: The quality of your network depends on the quality of your connections—that, by the way, is the second half of secret #1, and the most valuable of the secrets.

Alrighty then, let’s get on with the rest of those secrets . . .

  1. Serve: People who show-up at networking events with a desire to connect and serve, build higher quality networks. So, if you want to get the most out of your networking efforts, don’t ask for anything until you have given first, and remember: networking is, first and foremost, a social experience . . . forget that you’re “networking” and connecting will be easier.
  2. Have a Networking Plan: Networking can be intimidating. You can make it easier by having a networking plan. Go over your introduction so you know what you are going to say when it comes time to introduce yourself. Write down a few questions that you can ask to start conversations. Start with simple questions such as: name and hometown? If it feels right you can ask about children, too. When you ask about someone’s business, show genuine interest. After they have shared the preliminaries you can ask how they got into their field, what they like most about it, who their strategic partners are . . . and so forth.
  3. Show Up: I’ve heard it said that 90% of success is Showing Up. In the context of networking that means just showing up will get you exposure; just showing up provides the opportunity for you to refine your networking process; just showing up will earn you credibility, etc.
  4. Build a Network Not a List: There are two basic ways to network: You can either go to a networking event to “work the room” and build your list or you can go with an intention to build relationships. The former might get you more business cards but the latter will get you a better quality connection . . . and possibly a new client or referral. It’s the people we build rapport and relationships with that end up “playing” with us and referring their friends.
  5. Consistency: Statistics say that most people need to be exposed to something 4-7 times before they will act. Translated to networking, that means that you are going to have to be seen at least 4-times before the average person will consider trying your product or services. Additionally, the more consistent you are about networking the more recognition you get. The more recognition you get the more professionalism people attach to you. The more professionalism you have the more people will trust you . . . and did I mention that TRUST is critical in conversion.
  6. Follow-Up: Have a follow-up plan in place. It can be as simple as an email template with a call to action —a free report or an invitation to visit your blog. Follow the email up with a simple, “Hello, it was nice meeting you. How can we help each other to even greater success,” phone call. Don’t wait for them to call you. Call them. If you have sent an email you can place the phone-call 3 to 4 days later. If not, call within 2 days of the event. . . . A tip: if you are not calling to get a client, make a sale or some other form of immediate cash conversion the call is easier to make. So, follow-up with some sort of “free sample” offer that’s even better than the one offered in your email. It can be a free consultation, a free assessment, a free ticket to a mini or “sampler” workshop where you can show your value and sell them “seamlessly” into a larger package.
  7. Enjoy yourself!

There you have it: the Alchemist’s Secret Potion to Networking Success. Networking opportunities are, or can be made, available in any town from local chambers to Meetup Groups. There are fee based groups and free groups. There are women only groups, casual groups, professional groups, corporate groups, etc. If one doesn’t exist that fits your style or needs, start one—it’s a good way to set yourself up as a leader in your community.

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Why Should I Blog

A diagram of some Usenet servers and clients. ...
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Hmmm, that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked. But, before I roll out a list of reasons may I tell you a bit about what the thang is and how it got started: 

As you may or may not know a blog, or weblog, as it was initially called made its debut in the late 1990s, but it really goes back, even further, to the early 1990s when people like Justin Hall kept online diaries or journals.  And, if you dig even deeper you will find some relics arguing that they were posting stuff of a similar type on Usenet. So, where ever it began, it has evolved, and I am happy to say that it is here to stay.

 Why, is it here to stay, you might ask: because it is about extending our reach, communication, sharing our thoughts, and connecting . . . and everyone has something to say.

One awesomtastically cool thing about blogs is that the author of a blog is usually also the publisher.  And, for those of you who are not from a writing background that means you get to: 

  • Personalize it
  • Have a voice
  • Share your opinion
  • Share your humanity
  • Share knowledge and wisdom on all your favorite subjects . . .

and you can even share pictures, videos, poems and rants

  • Invite guest bloggers to share their thoughts

It also means:

  • You can feel a sense of belonging and contribution
  • You can build a community and share yourself within it
  • You can develop yourself as a writer
  • You can be perceived as an expert—if you know your subjects well.
  • The playing field is wide open
  • You get to make the rules—but don’t get too crazy: you do want people to read it
  • You get to decide what to write about, and how you want to present it
  • You can use words like: thang and awesomtastically, if you feel so inclined

And finally, the grammar and writing gods are more forgiving—but you’ll need to keep enough structure so people can understand what you have written.

So, if you are writing for personal fulfillment it is a great vehicle to self-express and share. If you are writing for business reasons, and you know what you are talking about: it builds credentials, community, and dare I say– it can increase your bottom line.

So what say ye: What are your reasons for blogging . . . or not blogging?

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