Tag: Networking

Setting Goals with Your Networking

I’m a big believer in the power of networking to grow your business. However, having overdone this myself, I also know how important it is to be intentional about where you network, how often you network, and how to get the most return for the time, energy, money, and effort spent. Here are some things to think about as you are planning your networking strategy for your small business this year.

Timing

Before you start making big plans to get out there and meet people this year, take some time to really think about how much you can handle. It’s easy to burn yourself out on networking everywhere, making this a less effective strategy for your business than it could be if you approach it realistically.

Where in your calendar do you have wiggle room to attend networking events? How often can you realistically be away from your business without it suffering? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Your energy will be impacted differently, depending on your answer to that last question.

Before you seek out the right networking groups, be certain you have an idea of what you can handle. This will help your networking efforts be more successful. Then you can jot down your networking goal of attending X number of networking events each month.

Picking the Right Group

Just as important as factoring in your time and energy, find the right group(s) is essential. There are plenty of options available from large, national groups to local meet-up opportunities. Each group will have their own schedule, leadership, costs, and set of rules to follow. Some groups are more formal with lots of expectations and rules because they are dedicated to getting results for their members. Others are quite a bit more informal with less rules and little to no cost, but your return on your time can vary. If you aren’t sure which networking groups to try this year, visit a few. Also, ask around. Other small business owners you know will probably have recommendations on groups they love to network in!

How You Network

Turns out that people approach networking differently. There is a traditional way of meeting and connecting with people and that works because it doesn’t surprise anyone. It’s expected that you offer to go on a coffee date or phone call to get to know one another better. In some groups, you are required to do a few of these each month. However, as networking progresses, people are finding that being generous, listening, be specific about their ask (instead of just delivering an elevator speech), and creating an easy way for people to say yes to you may be more effective than setting up a ton of get-to-know-you meetings. As you are identifying your networking goals, take some time to get creative and find out how you can stand out and do things differently as a networker.

Being Intentional

I’ve found, from talking to other businesses who regularly network, that it can be quite effective to set goals for each networking event. A tough goal to reach is to sign up 2 clients at each event. There are a lot of variables involved and most people need a chance to get to know you better and build trust before they are ready to sign up for your product or service. A reachable goal, however, could be to introduce yourself to 3 new people at each event. It could also be to arrange 2 coffee dates a month. How about practice your pitch 5 times this month? By getting intentional with what you want to accomplish, you can walk away from each networking event knowing that you are making progress towards your networking goals for the year.

I love networking. I truly consider it one of the most valuable tools in my business-building arsenal. I love networking so much that I now manage my own chapter of WEBO in Southeast Denver. If you are seeking a group of passionate, motivated women entrepreneurs and business owners on this side of town, I hope you’ll check us out here.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

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#LearningIsAwesome – Roundtables & Masterminds


We all know that networking is vital to any business but did you know that it is even more important to network with people outside of your industry? Expanding your networking to professionals in different industries opens up a new world of knowledge and insight that you might not otherwise get. These professionals might have insight on things you are currently experiencing in your work, or may experience in the future. We recommend having monthly roundtables with professionals from different industries and here’s why:


Share Your Successes
It can be hard to share successes with professionals in the same field as you because of jealousy or competition.  If you share your professional journey with an expert in a different field, they can understand and relate to your happiness. When you collaborate with other professionals, you create a professional relationship centered around supporting one another and celebrating when success arises.


Collaborate on New Ideas
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to shed new light on a project or idea. It’s easy to get so stuck in your own industry that you aren’t able to see the overall impact of a new idea. Someone in a different professional field can offer the fresh perspective you need to fully develop your new idea (better yet, maybe they have an idea you’ve never even thought of!).


Give Referrals to Other Industries
By meeting experts in different fields, you can learn more about what they do and maybe even refer their services to your friends and families. Networking referrals don’t work very well when you only know professionals in your field because you don’t want to refer someone to your competition. By meeting experts in other industries, you can have a more rounded and holistic referral group and get more referrals in return.

Getting insight from a mastermind of professionals in other industries by sharing in monthly roundtables is a great way to expand your knowledge and enhance what you can offer to your clients. Do these work for you? Have any experience in peer groups, masterminds or roundtables? Tell us how they helped you #BeAwesome with your work!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.



#LearningIsAwesome – Why You Should Attend Events & Conferences

You’ve been invited by your coworkers to another event or conference and you’re not sure if you should go. Those events can be dull or even just awkward when you are forced to meet new people. However, going to an event or conference can be one of the best things you can do for your career, education, and social circle. Here is why we think you should say yes when invited to an event or conference:
Networking Will Expand Your Job Opportunities and Social Circle
Remember when you were in kindergarten and you met your best friends on the playground from just starting up a conversation and deciding you were automatically friends? Meeting and connecting with people seems to be a lot harder nowadays. As hard as it may be to approach a stranger and strike up a conversation, you will be thankful that you did. You may meet someone who is looking to hire in your field or someone who you really connect with. Even if they don’t end up being suitable to add to your client base, they could be a great power partner to collaborate with and expand your reach. The possibilities when it comes to making new connections are endless!
You Will Learn About all of The Latest Innovations
Conferences are an excellent time for companies to show off their newest gadgets and it is a great opportunity to learn about technology that you may eventually need to use in your work or personal life. You can watch as many Youtube videos as you want, but you wont learn nearly as effectively as when you are surrounded by likeminded and interested people. Staying on top of the trends in your industry will help you become an expert in your field and people are drawn to influencers and experts.
You Will Learn About Yourself
When you attend conferences and invest in yourself, you will learn a lot about yourself as well. Throughout workshops you may learn that you actually have a skill for what is being taught. You will learn that you are great at meeting new people and wish you had been doing this a long time ago to expand your professional network. You may even learn that you love public speaking and would like to lead and host an event by yourself. When you try new things, especially when they involve meeting new people and gaining exposure to new ideas, you end up learning things about yourself.
Going to a business event or conference can be daunting but there are so many benefits to taking the plunge and going. Instead of psyching yourself out, go and see how much you learn.

And not to mention there may be some really good food and memorable conversation as well! Can’t wait to see you #BeAwesome and successful in these social settings!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#RelationshipMatters – Being Compassionate Instead of Judgmental in Social Media



We are all judgmental in some way. Think about it: we see someone, and based on their looks or actions, we judge them. Not necessarily a good judgment, either. It often happens without even knowing the other person. The problem is we become judgmental to feel better about ourselves in the short term. However, being compassionate with individuals instead leads to greater, long-term rewards.
Let’s look at social media as an example. Using social media allows us to express ourselves and provide our perspective, yet sometimes our comments can come across as being judgmental. This sets you up to be critiqued by others in turn.  It is easier to forget about the very real, living being on the other side of the screen. It is a vicious cycle and the only way to get out of it is to demonstrate compassionate behavior that others will want to copy.
How can you be compassionate on social media rather than judgmental? Here are some simple tips.
If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all – This old adage is one we all heard growing up whenever we said something mean to another person. It is a concept to keep in mind when interacting on social media as well. Before hitting submit, think about whether or not it is a comment you would like to receive. If the answer is no, then it is best to not send it. The same goes for your own posts, flip the script and imagine it was directed at you instead.
“If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.” Kid President

Watch your language – If you truly want to share your opinion and help someone, consider the way in which it is presented. Instead of telling the individual what they must do, suggest how you might do it instead. Avoid using words that are overtly negative, patronizing, or demanding. Instead use phrases such as ‘I find using such and such easier’ or ‘Personally, I prefer…’ this way you are demonstrating what suits you while providing them an alternative option.  The use of “I” statements is an effective technique in conflict resolution because it forces people to examine their own feelings and actions instead of pointing a finger at another.
Accept we are all different – What might work for you will not necessarily work for someone else. Why make them feel wrong for not doing things the same way as you?  For example, someone has chosen to use a particular system and is looking for help on it. Rather than tell them how the system you use is far superior, provide a few tips on making their current system easier to use. Perhaps they chose to do something for their own reasons or circumstances, which are probably far different than yours.
Once you are aware of behavior that comes across as judgmental you can start to change it into more compassionate behavior instead. Not only will you come across as a nicer person, but people will be less judgmental of you in return.

“Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.” Kid President


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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

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