I've been actively networking for the past 2 and a half years. Before that I would not be caught out at a networking meeting. I had been to a couple when I was in the corporate world and I always felt so left out. When I became an entrepreneur in 2007, I made the assumption that I could just put up a website and clients would flock to me. Ya, that didn't happen. Finally in 2012, my business coach told me that I had to network. So I started to meet people out in networking meetings. I remember coming home after each meeting and being so frustrating that I did not have one single client. After a couple of months, I just gave up networking. I wasn't getting any clients after all.
When I did get back to networking, I had changed. My energy was lighter and I was less desperate. This helps a lot. People I had met several months before were happy to see me again and immediately signed on as clients. I had quit networking just before I achieved success. This reminds me of the story in Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich where he talked about the man who dug for gold, but stopped just 3 feet away. I had stopped just shy of reaching gold.
Now I actively go out to networking meetings, jump onto Facebook regularly (sometimes too much) and dabble in Twitter (not enough, but I'm getting better). I love the people that I've met over the last couple of years and have now created some incredible friendships and client relationships that I never had before.
I still walk away from networking meetings without clients, but more importantly, I make deeper more meaningful connections with others who may become clients in future or even better, will refer me as a Business Clarity Coach to others. After all, the main reason for in person and social media networking is to get to know other people, build relationships and having meaningful connections. When people know you, and hopefully like you, they will learn to trust you. Once that happens, you will have more and more clients and people who refer you.
So get out of your comfort zone, stop hiding and get out to a networking event. Find one that you're comfortable in. Then, step out again and find another group. You want to be out at a networking event 2 to 3 times a month. Every month.
If you're new to networking, please reach out to me and come to a Pinkpreneurs meeting. I promise you'll feel welcome and you'll meet some amazing women who will lift you higher. I know, because every month, I am lifted higher by Pinkpreneurs.
Wanna join me?