Business Networking Basics: The Why, How and What the Heck?

Joining us today is Frantic Mommy, who is here to give us the lowdown on business networking: the why, how, and what the heck? She’s dishing on why you need to get involved and how business networking can be especially important to bloggers.

Blogging and business networking are not usually two skills you see go hand-in-hand. Unless, of course, the business networking you are talking about involves the words “hardware” or “essential components.”

The “networking basics” I am referring to is business networking. The act of the face-to-face connecting with like-minded business peers in an effort to get referrals and grow your business. This may be a bit of a foreign idea for some since many bloggers are introverts, (not that that’s bad!) and our world is the Internet and the Blogosphere. As a blogger, most of the people we connect with on a daily basis are people we are not eye-ball-to-eyeball with.

I have lived in both worlds. I am a blogger/writer just like you as well as being a “recovering sales professional.” As a blogger, I know darn well personal face-to-face interaction with our peers is not something that happens on weekly or even monthly basis, and yet it’s still soooo important.

business networking basics for bloggers

Why Network?

Imagine if you had the key to attracting more customers, growing your business faster, and creating sustainable success in your personal and professional life.

YOU DO. It’s called business networking.

Business networking puts a face to your business and gives you a physical business presence outside of the walls of your biz. Imagine yourself connected to a group 50+ like-minded individuals who were willing to refer their friends and family to YOU when the need arises. It would be like a big, giant Sales Team working for you and your business. It is estimated that the average person knows about 250 people. And each of those people knows, in turn, another 250 or so people. This means that for each new person you meet, you gain access to a potential pool of 62,500 people separated from you by just two degrees!

How Business Networking Works

Do Not Fear The Paper Nametag

Ever see someone at a gathering that you know you know, but you can’t remember their name? So, being too embarrassed, you don’t speak to them at all? Possible opportunity lost. The funny thing is, they are probably thinking the same thing about you. Wear.A.Nametag.

Get To The Point, Homey

One of the quickest ways to make people glaze over and tune you out is to blather on for 15 minutes to answer a question, “So, tell me about your blog.” Unfortunately, people have 9-second-gold-fish-attention-spans these days so you need to pare your answer down to the lowest common denominator. In one sentence, sum it all up for them. “I blog about travel” isn’t going to cut it either. Be specific; “I blog about traveling abroad as a family with small children.” Use your intro or “elevator pitch” to inform people of three things (quickly):

  1. Who you are.
  2. Readers you are targeting.
  3. A problem you’re trying to solve or a passion you are sharing.

Practice The “3 Ups”

In business networking (whether it’s face-to-face or virtual) always remember it’s not all about YOU.

  1. “UP” number one is Ante Up. If someone asks about you and your blog, reciprocate.
  2. “UP” number two is Show Up. Bust out of your comfort zone and show up to conventions, gatherings, and function. Be seen, darn it.
  3. “UP number three is Wear Your Business Bling: Arm yourself with hot business cards and even logo’d clothing. Business cards are mandatory. Not only because they are professional, but because I have a bad case of Mom Brain (and I am sure I am not alone). I need something to remember you after I leave the gathering.

be yourself

Be Yourself!

I know this sounds complete cheeseball, but just be yourself. “Authentic self” is not just a hip buzzword these days; it’s an honest way to conduct yourself. Obviously I don’t want you cursing like a sailor and showing people your new back tattoo, but I do think you should be YOU.

“Sometimes to move forward in your dreams, you need to take a chance. AND be ready to do so!”

What the Heck? The Golden Rule of Business Networking

Give First. Get Second. Be of service, a giver of value first, and then receive. Trust me. It does come back to you. No, this is not some screw job. This is not volunteerism. It’s building of trust and goodwill. I help you, you help me, and together we grow our businesses and become awesome.

“Let’s face it; sometimes business networking gets a bad rap. That’s because people think business networking is about selling themselves, pitching their product, or getting business leads. Positive business networking is the opposite. It’s not “all about you”; it’s about what you can do for someone else. The magic is that when you start networking this way it will take all the pressure off. People stop selling themselves, and start listening and focusing on the other person. It’s about opening a relationship, not closing the sale. It’s the power of connection.”

-From the book, Working The Pond

So are you ready? Chomping at the bit? Good. You need to be. Don’t miss out on golden opportunities to become acquainted with those who can help you personally and professionally. To network properly, you need to get out of the cubicle.

Business networking is a “contact sport” that can’t be done from behind a desk sending emails. Form a plan. Research business networking groups in your area. I can honestly say, of all the business networking groups I have been in, I can without a shadow of a doubt recommend your local BNI Chapter. Their structure, guidelines, effectiveness, and success rate can’t be beat. Find one close to you and ask to be able to come as a guest. Bring business cards and be ready, your are about to tap into a whole pool of proactive business people.

Enjoy!

About the Author

Minnesota Mom BloggerQueen of the Kingdom of Tired: Being a parent i say “not-so-much” wwayyy too often. Parenthood is da bomb and Excedrin and Pepto are my friends. I write Frantic Mommy just cuz I know darn well someday I will become famous. And I kinda like to make people laugh. Especially parents. If I can give another Mom a moment of “oh thank goodness it’s not just ME…..” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

How Blogging Gives Back
How To Use Pinterest To Increase Your Readership and Social Media Following

About Francesca

One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I'd love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Thank you posting this. I’ve been looking for this data. Excellent data Let me visit to learn more

  2. I’d love to see some information about networking online. Strangely for me, the in-person stuff is not as difficult. What I find hard is trying to get out there online and connect with people in more meaningful ways than just following each other’s social media profiles. Any tips?

  3. Thanks so much everyone !! :)

  4. I just want to say I am new to blogging and hlesntoy liked your page. Probably I’m want to bookmark your website . You amazingly have remarkable posts. With thanks for revealing your website.

  5. I absolutely adore everything about this post and wish I had read it prior to Blissdom. I don’t think I did too poorly my first time out of the gate, but still. This would have helped. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us like this.

  6. Oh, such a great post…..and I keep reminding myself that a logo’d shirt or something wouldn’t be half bad during daytime activities. :)

  7. I.love.this. So true about give first, get second. I just got back from Blissdom where I took that exact approach. The results were amazing.

  8. I love this!! ““UP” number one is Ante Up. If someone asks about you and your blog, reciprocate.” So many times we get caught up in ourselves and forget to let the other person share as well.

  9. This is so so great, I’m so glad to have stumbled on it!
    (too enthusiastic?)

    I can’t help it. I’m among many of the super introverted. I started blogging to connect with others like me, mom life keeps you pretty grounded.
    I’m definitely aiming to put this into practice soon.

  10. This is so true. I have a coffee business along with my blog and my business wasn’t moving forward and I finally started going out 2 weeks ago and getting my name out there. Now I need to make business cards for my blog AND coffee biz. but this is great info.

  11. Great post! I love the tips you’ve shared.

    I’ve had to learn to speak less about myself and when I do speak about myself, I make it quick and thorough (hence, the elevator pitch you mention). I’m a chatter box and I had to teach myself the art of give and take when I started networking for my blogs.

  12. I keep meaning to order business cards… then I wonder why I have no networking connections— ya think they could be linked??

  13. Wow, this is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing, you are so right with these points. I think many of us are writing our blogs thinking it is just something to do, but in a way it is about networking and getting your words out there to be read by others who might enjoy what you have to say. If you don’t network, it’s more like a diary for only you to read. Even if it might be scary, putting yourself out there is a risk worth taking! Thanks again for a wonderful article!

  14. Lol! The Kingdom of Tired – hysterical! Thanx for this post from someone who’s pretty networking-challenged (me!)

  15. Super tips! I tend to clam up when someone asks me about my blog, so the hardest part for me is “get to the point, Homey.” I’ll be working my elevator pitch.

  16. Thank you for reminding me about the elevator pitch. I tend to blather when people ask me what my blog is about. A lot of the blathering is because I am self conscious and an introvert. But having a pitch ready will save me from myself. :) thank you.

  17. Excellent tips. I need to learn to break out of my comfort zone once in a while. Thanks.

    Peace. ;)

  18. I am horrible at “networking” but great at naturally talking and getting to know others….Maybe it’s the word I don’t like, it feels forced…

  19. “Give first, get second”! I love that phrase, and I think that sums up what networking is really all about. Great article and I really enjoyed the “3 Ups” too. I know sometimes I am so focused on what I am about to say, that I can’t focus on what is currently being said. Showing up means slowing down and really listening.

  20. This was really helpful to me. Not only with my blog but also my *future* career goals. Thank you so much for taking the time to elaborate on allll of it! Great job :)

    Madison
    http://www.belovelty.com

  21. You’re a star, as always.

  22. Great article. Networking is SO important. #3 is a problem I run in to… when I was younger I was really invested in networking, but now that I’m in my forties and have returned to the working (outside the home) world, I find myself bored with the pretentiousness that I see (I work in a non-profit, which comes with lots of volunteers who often just like to see their name in print…). So this makes me shy away from networking – however, “get to the point” and “the 3 Ups” are both areas that I need to work on, so that when I do meet a REAL person I can exchange info with my old vigor!

  23. this is a great post, and so so true. I need to get out of my comfort zone (aka my couch) more often!

    • Thanks for sharing upserb informations. Your website is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great web site.

Trackbacks

  1. […] your doing wrong. More times than not the answer is pretty simple. Networking! If you don’t network and build relationships, it is going to be a lot harder to get people to your blog. Taking some […]

  2. […] I had the honor and privilege of Guest Posting for SITS this month and it was a Bucket List moment. My topic? Business Networking Basics: The Why, How, and What-The-Heck? […]

Our Story - Privacy Policy - Website Terms & Conditions