- Search on meetup or Facebook for your town or area and "small business" "networking" "entrepreneurs" "vendors" to find groups and events.
- Stay positive NO MATTER WHAT. If this is a struggle area, I recommend Dana Wilde's book and trainings. Keep in mind that YOU are your brand - what you post ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE is a reflection of you/your brand!
- Have a great elevator speech, 30 second commercial, response to "so, what do you do?" that focuses on meeting a need and conveying emotions. Here's mine: I am a professional leader, author and speaker. I help women have Pinterest style nails at home in a fraction of the time and cost of a fancy salon. I am a Jamberry Nails Founding Executive (and I give free samples!)
- Set up one on one appointments to find out about other people's businesses and their needs. Refer whenever you can...
- Networking Successfully on Social Media
- First, like each person's post as a way to show THEM that you've acknowledged it. If you have a connection for them or with them, TAG them and ask an open ended question.
- After a few comments, add YOUR post (here's mine: I am a professional leader, author and speaker. I help women have Pinterest style nails at home in a fraction of the time and cost of a fancy salon. I am a Jamberry Nails Founding Executive (and I give free samples!) - notice that I crafted my own entry to show how I want to show up in the world! and that I sprinkled a little fun in - and my 30 second commercial! You can tell from my comment that I'm not just selling some things on the side, I'm a professional. Also, notice I didn't link to my page or website!!! That's important!)
- IT will take a while to go through all the comments and "work" the thread.
- Open up 2 tabs on your browser. In one, scroll all the way to the bottom of the post, so that you can make comments and tag people. In the other, scroll all the way to the top of the post.
- Starting with the first comment, read it and THINK about how you could interact with that person. Can you relate to them (SAHM, # of kids, etc.)? Are they looking for work? Are they new in the area? Can you connect them with a resource or local group? Etc.
- Once you've assessed whether you can help them, then right clicked on their name and open it in a new window. If you have mutual friends, you can send a friend request and a message. If you do not have any mutual friends have mutual friends, just send the message.
- Make a comment on the thread and TAG them to let them know that you sent them a PM.
- If they've shared a link to their their FB page, like the page and then post on it "new like from (name of group)". Then go to their photos and like, share and/or comment on at least 3 (this "tells" FB that there is something worth doing over there, and helps them get more traffic)
- Private message any people who are looking for jobs. NOT with info about Jamberry, just a "what kind of job are you looking for?" and an offer to help them connect.
- Schedule appointments with any companies that have a service that you need. For instance, our AC was out. There were 2 ladies who posted about AC companies - I PM'd them and scheduled an appointment.
- If there are people who are good fits for positions that you know are open, send them the links and/or contact info.
- The goal for this type of networking is to establish yourself as a resource and a person who is interested in other people, not just selling nails and signing recruits.
- CONNECT with others, help them, and business will follow!
I network in person with 2 groups primarily. One is extremely local and most events are free. It is a mix of men and women, entrepreneurs, business owners and direct sellers. There is a lot of opportunity to be a guest speaker and share with the group.
The other is eWomen Network. It is a paid membership (and not inexpensive either!) I chose this group because it is professional women who are invested enough in their success to pay to be there. It puts me in front of, and next to, successful business women of all industries and backgrounds who are committed to helping other women-owned businesses succeed. Most MLM or DS consultants don't make a professional commitment to their business. Being a member of this organization gives me an instant reputation boost. If you would like a referral to your local chapter, please email me.
- The first web search I make is for the local Chamber of Commerce. I go straight to their calendar of events. Call and ask if you may attend as a guest to a few of their Women in Business events to see if it is something you would like to officially join.
- Meetup.com is another good resource.
- Ask if they need a speaker on marketing, building relationships that last, customer service, follow-up, etc.
- Find out what the next fundraiser is and ask if you can get on the planning committee. Volunteer. Don't just donate a basket giveaway, donate your time so people get to know you.
- Wear your wraps and logo wear - become known in your community.
- Connect people to resources when you can.
- I love networking groups! I just got home from one. I was a little disappointed when it was mostly men. I met several women who were excited to try them and wanted to do a party. (As in, they actually asked me if I would do a party before I mentioned that I could do a party!) I met another who makes popsicle and wants to share contacts. (Good thing I kept extra popsicle wraps! She's dying to get them! She wants custom ones too!) But the best was the CPA who got so excited when I told him that I would select wraps for him to give as gifts that I had to stop and think if I had accidentally offered him something inappropriate! Hilarious!
- Ask the people that you meet at the first networking event you attend to recommend more.
- (in answer to the question of "What is Networking?") It's a lot of going to lunches or dinners to check out different groups and what they are about. Some are way too stringent for me (you must go every week, you must refer X number of people every week…that's not my idea of "fun"). Some are strictly social and in the course of meeting women it comes up what you do and of course, your nails are rocking… Some have short presentations by members. Some cost to join, some don't. I have a full time job at home in addition to Jamberry so it has to be a group that works for me. I have found very few Jamberry consultants in the groups in my area. Some groups limit DS participation to one per company. People are always interested and relationships develop. It's less about selling and more about building relationships. I've gotten leads on events that worked with my schedule, too.
- Most networking groups are open. Leads groups are different and limit membership. A new one in my area made the decision not to limit to one per company because not everyone clicks with everyone they meet.
- Also, I go to maybe 2 a month. I'm older so I don't have connections in the schools anymore to find younger women to share Jamberry with. This is something that I've been pushing myself to do. I rock behind a computer screen, but getting out into the real world is more out of my comfort zone. But I love Jamberry and that is what I share…and I always have the newest wraps and catalogs/brochures, etc. with me for my 1 minute introduction.