“Networking is a vital piece of how you grow a business.” – Christine Smith, co-founder RiplEFX
If you are a business owner, you know how critical it is to connect with your ideal client and attract the business you desire.
The question is, how do you do this?
One route is investing in advertising. But perhaps the best way to grow your business is word-of-mouth and connecting with your ideal client. AKA, networking!
If you are shrinking back at the thought of having to go to one more virtual happy hour, post one more piece on social media, or offer to have a 1:1 chat via Zoom with a stranger…keep reading because you might be surprised to learn some new tactics!
Christine Smith calls herself the Obi-Wan Kenobi of networking for a reason. If you are a Star Wars fan, you know that this ultimate Jedi reference means she knows her stuff.
When Christine and I chatted on Sassy AF TV, she taught some valuable lessons about how to really promote your personal brand and be effective at networking in today’s business climate.
Make sure to watch the entire interview for the full conversation, but here are 4 tips Christine offers to help your business and personal brand stand out.
Tip #1: Keep it professional
There is a big difference between being vulnerable/sharing from your heart and word vomiting about topics that get others riled up. Whether you are posting on social media or working the virtual room during a Zoom networking event, make sure you stay away from topics like religion or politics. Opinions are important and valued, but you want to make sure your conversations stay in the professional realm and you know your audience.
Tip #2: Be vocal about things you are passionate about
When you are building a personal brand and really want to make an impact, then speak out about what you believe in. Are you interested in the environment or sports or entertainment? Share about these topics and others that really light you up! When you share authentically from your heart, others who are drawn to similar topics will connect with you. The more you can create that “know, like, trust” factor with your ideal client avatar, the more likely they are to become raving fans!
Tip #3: Be yourself more
How can you share vulnerably in ways that endear you to your audience? When you are networking, ask others about their family, their values, and share what is important to you. At the end of the day, we are all humans seeking connection and the more you can offer about your real self, the more you will stand out amongst your competition.
Tip #4: Exposure, engagement, consistency
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is that they don’t take networking seriously enough. Perhaps it’s because it makes them nervous or feels out of their comfort zone! That said, it’s time to break through that place of comfort and really get out there. If you want to network intentionally, stand out, and build your personal brand, you have to be consistent and engage with your audience. Don’t “post and ghost” or attend a networking event and walk away without having really connected with 2-3 people. When you look at networking as an investment in your business and personal brand, you will be more effective and make a bigger impact.
Christine has one more valuable reminder, “Everyone is not going to like you! And that is OK!” Remember, you have to continue to show up as YOU…this is a PERSONAL brand, right?
As long as you stay true to yourself and follow the rules outlined here, you will continue to thrive as a professional and grow your personal brand.
Make sure to watch or listen to this full interview and let us know how this is helping you develop your skills at networking and taking your business to the next level!
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