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Networking Tips Every Business Professional Needs To Know

Aug 18, 2007
Networking: it seems to be the buzzword of business today. But what is it, and does it really work to bring in business? Whether you are looking for a new job, or new clients, networking is a way to introduce yourself (and your business), to a myriad of potential clients and customers.

Successful networkers know that the more people they meet and explain their business, the faster their bottom line will grow. Never pass up an opportunity to share what you know, and generate interest in your services or product.

If going up to a stranger and pitching your business, isn't quite your style, don't worry, that's not the best form of networking you could be using. Instead, try a few of the tips below for finding the perfect networking opportunities that will better help you market your business:

Business Cards.
Never leave home without them, Give them out to everyone; slip them in bill payments, hand them out at the bank or in the grocery line. Never miss an opportunity to hand out a business card. After all, it's a mini-advertisement of you and your business, and 10,000 business cards are a lot cheaper than a full page ad in your local trade magazine.

Volunteer.
Find an organization that fits your business expertise and volunteer your services either on a one-time or ongoing basis. It's a great way to meet lots of people who may be interested in your services or products in the future, and can give you a base for future customer relations programs.

Become A Speaker.
Share your expertise with a local group or organization. It's a great way to meet new people and showcase your talent.

Join Business Groups.
Join as many business-oriented groups that you have time for. Better yet, become an officer in one of them. There's no better way to position yourself in the business community than being on the Board of Directors of a service or business group on either a local, state or national level.

Position Yourself As An Expert in Your Field.
Make sure your local (or regional or even national), media outlets recognize you (and your business), as a leader in the industry. Offer your expertise for interviews. Better yet, create a compelling press release that screams "talk to this guy", in order to showcase your business in the media.

Attend Seminars, Classes and Conferences.
These are the places where the people in-the-know hang out. You'll meet other business people, speakers and industry heads that can help you meet new people and show you how to grow your business from the ground up.

Join A Business Support Group.
Running a business is hard work. No one knows the struggles and successes quite like those who have either one it, or are now doing it. Join a business support group to share ideas; learn new tactics; and just get support.

Networking isn't hard. All it really takes is sticking your head out of your office once in awhile, and being willing to offer your services and expertise in a friendly and outgoing manner. Whether you help a mom solve a computer glitch at the park while playing with your kids; or volunteer to run your industry's booth at the local job fair, networking is as simple as being friendly and considerate, and letting people know what you have to offer.
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