In business circles, the great debate continues around social networking versus in-person networking.
With the emergence of new technology that has enabled networking to take place online, many are rushing to join the ever-growing population of online networkers. Has that resulted in traditional face-to-face networking losing its place in the realm of contemporary business relations or does it still offer a unique value that social media networking lacks?
The simple answer is both have something to offer you. Both deserve your attention.
Social Media Networking
- Allows you to make the same number of connections in a day that face-to-face networking would take years to make.
- Allows you to discover which connections belonging to your friends and colleagues might be useful to you, increasing the chances of getting the introduction you need.
- By using social media networking to assist your contacts in achieving their goals through promoting their good work and helping them make connections, you are more likely to receive help in return.
- Social media networking is a great way of interacting with someone, getting his or her attention and then arranging to meet with them in person. It allows you to make easier first contact and then follow-up with a more personal communication, utilizing the best of both worlds.
- Many people who attend traditional networking events are very active on social media platforms which allow you to do some research in advance and plan who you want to target at the live event.
- The meaningfulness of connections made online is frequently under question. The type of relationship whereby some would be willing to go out of their way to help you requires a certain amount of depth which is difficult to emulate online. Many choose to make initial contact online and then move to an in-person encounter.
- It’s one thing for others to read of your enthusiasm for your book and your subject matter. It’s quite another thing for them to hear the passion in your voice, see the fire in your eyes and sense your excitement via your body language. In-person networking presents you in a way that social media networking can’t. It’s up close and personal and it’s infectious.
The bottom line is social media networking and in-person networking both offer benefits unique to each. As such, both forms of interaction should form an integral component of your overall marketing strategy.
“A networking plan is a hugely popular, extremely well-designed strategy that we’ve used for many, years in order to fill our seminars, our previews, our appointment books, our calendars… it is a lead-generating strategy which is powerful but requires work,” says JG.
“Lead generation requires one of two things – a lot of work or a lot of money. You have to be prepared for one of those two things. A networking plan is, frankly, dirt cheap but it requires that you pound the pavement, hit the floor and get going. A networking plan is a philosophy. It’s a strategy.”
JG Francoeur notes that your networking plan should include a master template listing networking events and trade shows, possible contacts and Joint Venture opportunities in your area – “Get them in your calendar and get there.” Then, adds JG, you complete a report each week, detailing your networking activity and results arising from that.
Key to any success your networking plan brings you is having a keen eye for opportunities. No matter where you live, there are regular events that offer the wonderful opportunity to engage others one-on-one and captivate them with your passion and knowledge. From such encounters, the sky is the limit in terms of what may develop in terms of new opportunities that will take you to new heights.
Growing Her Network Has Taken Renee Lopez to Another Stratosphere
In the boardroom and on the soccer pitch, Renee Lopez has known nothing but success as a leader – the former seeing her serve as CEO of her own leadership development and coaching education consulting service and the latter seeing her patrol the sidelines as a college soccer coach for 14 years.
A key strategy for Renee has been networking, allowing her to grow her authority in her field of expertise.
“I always look to use my already established network of coaches, athletic directors and media connections that I have known for years,” says Renee, the author of Looking For A FULL RIDE? An Insider’s Recruiting Guide.
The list of connections Renee has made is longer and diversified – financial planners, college admissions directors, a mental training coach and an expert on community scholarships are in the mix. In addition, Renee has made full use of resources such as SourceBottle, podcasters, and ESPN and Sirius FM Radio contacts.
“Locally, I joined an entrepreneur group, regularly doing speaking engagements for community groups, and I many business seminars within an hour of my house. Each of these steps allows my network to grow every day.”
Success has followed accordingly. Renee is regularly featured as a keynote speaker and teaches seminars for Fortune 500 companies, sports organizations, not-for-profits, and community groups. In addition to being a guest blogger, she was recently featured on ESPN Radio, and is a certified speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell Team, the Jon Gordon Company, 3Dimensional Coaching and the Positive Coaching Alliance. She is also a licensed speaker with Black Card Books.
To learn more about Renee Lopez’s work, visit her website at www.rlopezcoaching.com. In addition, be sure to connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/recruitinghelp/ and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lookn4aFULLRIDE.
Renee can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings, consultations, and speaking engagements.
Coach Renee Lopez is truly a powerhouse in Networking Planning!
Chloe Hung Reveals Her Formula of Success that Strengthened Her Network
With a passion for enriching others via her extensive knowledge and experience in the mathematics field, actuarial science and finance graduate Chloe Hung is a sought-out international actuarial consultant and coach, helping young professionals, students and graduates open doors to opportunities.
To strengthen her expertise, Chloe invested time in network planning and started to gain leads and more attention as a result.
“When I was first starting out, I was terribly afraid of networking but I wanted to gain more exposure for my book,” says Chloe.
“I started a public profile on Quora, an online networking site. Quora is a really powerful networking tool if you are looking for international exposure, an increase in credibility and increased traffic to your website, Youtube channel and so on. Plus it’s completely free and is the perfect tool for those who are more introverted as you can network from your home.”
Networking has helped Chloe expand her circle of influence and land huge clients for her business. She secured a contract with a private university in Malaysia as a result of networking with professionals when she was working on her book.
“Networking opens doors to endless possibilities. It’s definitely not something that only extroverts can do. I myself am an introvert. Find a way, be it via speeches, online forums or networking events, to showcase your knowledge. That will help you scale up your business and land that dream client of yours.”
Black Card Books is so proud of Chloe’s immense achievement!
The message couldn’t be any clearer – get out there, meet new people, share your common challenges, discuss unrealized opportunities and, together, resolve to take things to the next level via a relationship which sees you give as much as you take.
Networking is an inexpensive activity you need to adopt now as an integral part of your marketing strategy. As we heard from two authors in this edition of The Power of Performance Newsletter, the rewards are too good to ignore. Devise a networking plan and stick to it. There are people to meet and new opportunities to tackle. Good things don’t come to those who wait. Great things come to those who act.
As Black Card Books CEO JG Francoeur notes, the importance of having a networking plan can’t be overestimated. It is your road map to continued success, both in terms of increasing sales of your book as well as heightening your credibility as a highly credible expert in your field of interest. By growing your community of contacts and keeping in touch with those in your circle, you greatly increase the likelihood of new opportunities coming your way.
Each day is comprised of 24 hours; each hour is comprised of 60 minutes. Time is a constant but how you spend that time is a game-changer in terms of your success. An investment of your time in network planning, and consistently acting on that plan, will bring rewards.
Rest assured, like any other new-to-you approach that takes your success to new heights, you will soon be asking yourself “What took me so long?”
Black Card Books remains at your side as you continue to begin or continue your author journey, offering a series of exclusive programs which will not only enhance and build upon your networking skills but show you how to put those skills to work to your full advantage.