Week Seven ““ Pulling it all together
Sorry for the late post everyone. I had to put my old Honda Accord to rest due to a very fortunate accident for me. Dealing with insurance claims and new car shopping was a time vacuum that took more out of me than i can relay. The good news is that I replaced it with an Infiniti M45! Oh my! I finally bought a mid life crisis stud car. Look forward to pictures in future posts:-).
Ok, let’s get to work!
There’s never a better time to start networking than the minute you’ve finish your written plan of action. The use of technology today can help you do so much information gathering that developing specific ideas and solutions are often a click away. The sky is the limit!
By using networking or word of mouth strategy to market your business you’ll benefit in several ways:
- Save thousands of dollars in collateral material and advertising
- Build personal customer relationships within a very targeted specific market
- Create opportunities for other professionals to assist you and profit themselves along the way
Ultimately you avoid the added cost at a time when funds are likely to be most stretched.
Cutting out the heavy administration of a full on traditional marketing program will allow you to spend time doing the things that you love in your business. You are in control and have the freedom and flexibility to decide your working hours and create the perfect environment in which to do it.
The first step
Whether you are just starting to network or if you’ve been at it for years the first step, is always – coming up with the big idea! To come up with one, ask yourself these three questions. Just start creating lists and add to what you’ve already done.
1. Is there a gap in my current network where synergy can be achieved?
Does everyone know what you are up to and why? Are you talking about your vision, mission and goals to people that you love you? How about members of your church or gym? Are there people in your networks that others can benefit from knowing? Wherever you find yourself you need to have the ability to network, communicate and build connections. There is no time off for real networkers.
2. Can I utilize my hobby/passion/skill?
Thousands of people turn something they love doing (arts and crafts, pet care, health & fitness) into a way of making a living. How can you do what you do well to increase your value amongst your networks?
3. Can I do it better?
What do you need to do to reach a level of excellence within the boundaries of your talents? Remember, talent is found in your recurring patterns of thought and behaviors. We all have talent for something. You need to find yours and use it for the benefit of the world!
When answering these questions, bear in mind that the more you niche your ideas, the better. Rather than aiming to work in all kinds of networks with all kinds of people, think more about special niches with certain groups or types of people. The more niche your business, the more you will understand your networking activities and keep control of things. This will also keep marketing costs low.
All out of ideas?
If you have run through these questions without success, go back and try again! Use the who, what, when, where, why and how analysis approach. If that doesn’t work, try mind-mapping solutions. If all else fails borrow someone else’s ideas. There are literally thousands of articles and podcasts on every idea that you can imagine. Why not buy into someone else’s ideas. There is a growing number of google-able ideas out there.
An idea shared
People often ask if they should talk to other people about their networking ideas. The answer is yes. In fact, that’s the whole point. Share your networking ideas with anyone that is interested. In the beginning, talk to friends and family and the people you trust. Share your ideas with them and ask for feedback. What do they think is a great business conversation starter? Practice your elevator pitch. Get a friend to re-write your vision and mission.
Once you’ve come up with a big ideas, it’s time to write them down in the form of a business plan, which is a far easier task than you might imagine but we’ll cover that part next week!