Get yourself in the right company faster than Toke Makinwa
Networking is a key component of making money. The famous saying goes; your network determines your net worth. I have learnt generally that it is who you know and who knows you(or about you) that determines how far you go in your career, business or life in general. And networking is a key way of building relationships that would take you to your next level even if you are an introvert like me!
I am amazed at how Multimedia personality; Toke Makinwa has built and leveraged her brand in the last few years. She seems to be in all the right events and parties at the right time. She has gotten tones of endorsements and has built heavy online real estate that could easily generate her millions of Naira. I don’t think it was an accident, I think she has been smart and deliberate about it, leveraging both the good and bad news about her life to push forward.
Now you might not be the ‘life of the party’ like her, you might an introvert like me, but you can still build a solid network that converts for you and here are a few tips on how I have built my network over the years:
- Decide what you want and who you need: The first key in building your network is deciding what you want to achieve. Do you want to; Make more sales? Get in front of a decision maker? Meet a high level client? Get a high quality event speaker? Once you decide, think about the person or people who would help you achieve your goals.
- Find out who you know that knows them: check your immediate network to see if someone you know knows the person you need. I always make a mental note of who people I know, ‘know’. And sometimes, I just ask around people in similar sector that are already within my own circle and they might be able to get me the required contacts phone number or email address.
- Develop a mutually beneficial proposition: I don’t just approach people I need something from randomly. I try to plan, make a mental note of what I want and see if I can give something back in return. It could be information, a compliment or an introduction to someone they would also be interested in.
- Contact them and make it memorable: then I make the call or send the email and make sure it is ‘memorable’. If it’s an email, I write things that would make them remember me or want to associate with me. If it’s a call, I make sure the conversation is warm and engaging and tell them something about myself that would make them always remember me. I also try not to burn bridges even if I don’t connect with them every time.
- Cold call a contact: I have worked in sales for many years and cold calling is usually my last resort, but it has worked on several occasions. When I can’t find someone who knows someone I need to meet, I search for them online and look for their contact details. Linked in is usually a good source for professional contacts. When I contact them, I make sure the heading and first few lines are engaging enough to get their interest and sometimes they respond back and the relationship starts.
Be deliberate about your networking and your life would become richer and your earning would also grow.
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