It’s often not what you know but who you know. Yes, talent and expertise are great but making the right connections can make all the difference.
Many of my podcast guests’ careers were boosted by being in the right place at the right time. Someone heard them and gave them a shot. I’ve done this for bands and solo artists more times than I can count. I’ve also connected many entrepreneurs with the right people and people have done the same for me.
Why it pays to network
This week in my “September Success Strategies” series, I’m featuring local networking guru, speaker, and best-selling author Joe Novara. Joe knows that networking can really pay off. In his best-selling book, Intentional Networking: Your Guide to Word of Mouth Marketing Greatness, Joe stresses the importance of selecting the right people to connect with.
Here are some of Joe’s top tips:
1) Be strategic! Attend events or join groups that contain your target market. Know what type of person you want to connect with and focus on those peeps (Eg: Realtors, event planners, authors, etc.)! If you’re connecting online, do your homework! Don’t randomly spam people! If you’re at a live event, don’t push your business card into everyone’s hands. It’s all about building relationships.
(Note from Dori for creative professionals, musicians, and singers: Connect with people at art and music events. Don’t just show up, do your thing, and leave! Talk to people! Someone in the crowd may lead you to your next gig or client.)
2) Be a connector! Don’t meet people and instantly do a sales pitch! Listen, ask them what they need, and then start thinking of people to connect this person with. I love when people say “Dori, you need to contact so-and-so!” In fact, Joe goes one step further. If the person is in the room, he’ll walk you over and introduce you!
3) Follow up! If you meet someone and get their business card, follow up! Joe recommends sending an email within 24-48 hours to say that you enjoyed meeting the person. If this person is a really good contact for you, arrange a time to chat (online, by phone, or in person).
Your assignment: Write down the types of people who are good referrals for you. Do you know anyone in those categories? Need help?
If you need networking training or someone to speak to your group about networking, contact Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also go to his FB page to see if he’s doing a talk near you. If you’re a creative, musician, or Christian entrepreneur, I may have some ideas and leads for you. Click here to snag a free phone consult.
Dori Staehle, MBA lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Founder & CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) at Rock the Next Stage. She is a Musician on a Mission: To help people rise up and rock the next stage of their talent, business, and their life. Dori is also a speaker, business and success coach, therapeutic drumming facilitator, percussionist, podcast host, and a best-selling author. For more encouraging tips, click here to sign up for Dori’s newsletter. You’ll also receive a free E-book on tackling time management!