Whether you are networking at a meeting or online, the bottom line is it is all about relationships. If you can’t network offline – you won’t have any success doing “social networking” on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.
Relationship or social media marketing are now the “buzz words” and- but you have to know that it’s more than just about trying to sell. You have to care, have compassion and really, be a nice person – an authentic person.
Here are five tips to help you network better and have fun while you’re doing it!
- Be visible. Dress sharp and snappy. (If online, have a polished brand, good headshot). Look like someone others want to know because your image says “success.” Be willing to attend functions alone. Networking expands your circle of influence, builds your personal brand, and garners support.
- Give before you get. Sow before you reap. Share information and resources with contacts before asking them for anything. Search for their interests and goals when meeting someone new. Figure out a way to help them. Make up your mind to be a giver, to be a sharer!
- Gather, collect, and distribute info. Position yourself as the “go to” person for ministry information. Provide regular updates about helpful events or books. Use an email database system like Aweber to simplify the process and send information attractively.
- Write your vision. Make it plain. Make the most of networking opportunities by having eye-catching marketing materials. Have more than a business card when going to a conference or event. Be intentional about your purpose. Have a bookmark or postcard describing your book or product. Offer a CD or brochure as a speaker.
- Demonstrate your sincere faith by being a person of character and integrity. Follow the Golden Rule which says, “Treat others as you want to be treated,” with respect and courtesy. Follow up and follow through. Deliver on your promises.
What ideas do you have? What networking tips can you share? Which networking events do you attend or online meetups? Feel free to share your best advice here.
Pam Perry is called “the connector” and known as a ministry marketing pioneer and PR Guru. Her public relations and advertising career spans over two decades. She spent the first ten years working in ad agencies and secular media. She has dedicated the past decade to ministry marketing. Her company has a roster of some of the most well-known Christian publishers and African American Christian authors in the industry.