Of the numerous forms of marketing that are available to us today, networking wisely can bring huge dividends, especially in Central Oregon. The question is, how does one network wisely?
While there are numerous books published on the topic of making the most of networking functions, I have found that three elements will make it or break it for even the most dedicated among us. These are:
1) Carefully selecting which events to attend;
2) Focusing on ‘who’ we are in these events, and;
3) Paying attention to ‘what’ we do in these events.
This is the first of a three part series to explore these three components of networking wisely, beginning with ‘carefully selecting which events to attend’.
There are far more networking events in Central Oregon than any of us can possibly attend. We have five Chambers of Commerce, numerous clubs, organizations, seasonal events, golf tournaments, fundraisers and the list goes on.
While some of us will push ourselves hard to attend every conceivable event, others of us are so overwhelmed at the myriad of possibilities that we will attend very few or sadder yet, none at all.
Some of the opportunities will demand more of our time to serve on boards and committees while other easier functions simply involve us walking in the door and enjoying great food, beverage and company in a pleasant atmosphere.
The key to determining which events to attend is to ask one simple question, “What do I want to create?” Do I want to create more business, referrals, and contacts; to give back to the community; to support a cause that I believe in or to have a little fun? All of these will potentially bring more business our way.
Additionally, do I want to become heavily involved in and make a big impact with a few select groups or do I want to become less involved yet still visible with several? Either way is fine-just take the time to answer the question! “What do I want?”
Where we run into problems with networking is when we do not give thought to which events to attend. Saying ‘yes’ to it all results in spreading ourselves too thin and becoming involved over our heads. Sooner of later this will have the opposite affect on our business that was originally intended. This is a common pattern that I see in coaching highly successful professionals.
By carefully selecting only networking opportunities that will provide you with what you really want to create, you will become much more effective at each event and thus bring in those huge dividends that you are after! In the next issue we’ll take a look at ‘who’ we are at the events that we have selected.
Ann Golden Eglé, owner of Golden Visions Success Coaching is a certified motivational coach and coaches executives and entrepreneurs throughout North America. She can be reached at (541) 385-8887 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Send her an e-mail to be placed on her free coaching “Thought of the Week” list.