Here’s the first of EWL’s 7 secrets of effective networking, and the most important one in our opinion – understanding the game.

BE PROACTIVE

You need commitment and the right attitude.

Research shows that

– 55% is the way you look

– 38% of what you communicate is the result of your attitude, conduct and your enthusiasm

KNOW WHAT YOU DO – AND WHO FOR

Focus on the solution you provide to your target market. The temptation to try and appeal to the widest audience is counter productive. It can mean that no-one understands what you are looking for.

For instance an event freelancer shows no knowledge of their subject (or what they are looking for) when they say

I work with small companies as their outsourced event manager, but I also work alongside larger companies when they need extra resource

The event freelancer who says

I help retail and fashion companies hold profitable events

focuses the audience on their expertise and market.

COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

Learn to ask questions, listen attentively and make links to other people that you know.

Show a genuine interest in other people and remember relationship first – business later.

MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION

Present a professional image with your business cards, badge, email address, website and social media profiles.

Be reliable, trustworthy and do what you say you would.

Demonstrate your competence with:

– Producing professional business literature

– Public speaking

– Blogging

COMMIT YOUR TIME

Don’t be in a hurry. Getting business through networking takes time, and quick wins are rare.

Don’t be seen as someone who only networks when they need something.

COLLECT PEOPLE

Look for networking opportunities where you can find people relevant to your profession ie. other professionals.

But remember the larger and more diverse your network the more help you can be to others.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

All things being equal people do business with those that they know, like and trust… All things not being equal people do business with those that they know, like and trust.

People buy people so relationships come first and business follows. You build relationships by spending time with people on a 1-2-1 basis.

BECOME AN ADVOCATE FOR OTHERS

Develop a giving mentality and become an advocate for others. An advocate is someone who promotes you and your services without being asked or paid.

Remember what goes around comes around.

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