Posts

How To Find People To Connect With In Your Industry

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Connection in Business|How To Find People To Connect With In Your IndustryWhen it comes to owning your own business, one of the best things you can do in terms of growth is to connect with people in your industry. When people say ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’, they are 100% right. Connecting with people within your industry could not only lead you to incredible opportunities, but also to making some lifelong friends that understand what you’re going through on a daily basis. It will help grow your business, give you a better understanding of the industry and allow you to enjoy what you do even more than you already do. With that in mind, here are a number of ways to find people to connect with in your industry:

Use LinkedIn To Search For People In Your Industry

One of the best ways to find people that are in the same industry as you is to use LinkedIn. As a social network that has been designed for professionals, this is a great way to connect with people that follow the same line as work as you. Whilst you may find it difficult to build your connections up at first, once you start having meaningful interactions with people your followers will grow. Once connected, you can regularly engage with the content they share or open up a private discussion in their messages. For a guide to using LinkedIn as a business owner, you can visit this site here.

See Who Else Is Using Your Popular Industry Hashtags

Within your industry, the chances are there will probably be some popular hashtags that are used. The best thing to do is do some research into what hashtags your competitors are using on popular social platforms, following them so you can interact and engage with people in your industry. If you’re looking to follow more people in your industry, you can scroll through the hashtags and connect with people that you think sit perfectly within in your niche. Whilst it does take time, it is one of the best ways to connect with people in your industry. For a guide to finding people using hashtags, you can visit this site here.

Use Public Directories And Search By Occupation

If you want to find people in your industry but you don’t feel as though they will have a strong presence on social media, it may be worth using public directories to search by occupation. With directories that provide both email and phone numbers, you will be able to reach out to anyone that you feel may be a worthwhile connection. For an example of a public directory page, you can visit the Aubrey Ferrao page here.

Think About Attending Industry Events And Conferences

Finally, attending industry events and conferences is one of the best ways to connect with new people. You will have plenty of options to meet with people in person, giving you much more of a starting point that if you were to meet someone online. It may be daunting, but it’s the best way to find people that have things in common with you.

The 5 People You Need Around You To Succeed In Business

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article |Success in Business|The 5 People You Need Around You To Succeed In BusinessSucceeding in business is not something that you can do alone. Whilst many of the ideas that you use will be entirely down to you, and you will be making all of the big decisions for your company, the truth is that you won’t make it unless you’re surrounded by some great, awe-inspiring people, who know the world of business like the back of their hands. But which people do you need around you if your company is going to become the next big thing in your field?

Here are 5 of them…

#1: The innovator
When you’re hiring for your business, you need to make sure that you’ve picked out some people that don’t always toe the regular business line. Whilst there are some things that are proven to work for most businesses, you’re never going to push through to the next level if you’re not surrounded by people who aren’t scared to take (well-informed) risks now and again, so pick out some innovators.

#2: The mentor
Whilst it’s a good idea to choose out some fresh talent, there’s nothing better than finding out a good mentor, who can tell you all that you need to know about your industry. Ideally, you’ll be able to talk to somebody who has a lot of years under their belt, and has owned various businesses (or one successful one) that has much in common with the direction that you’ll be taking. Seek a mentor!

#3: The expert
Most business owners do all that they can to teach themselves the various tricks of the trade. Whether you’re trying to figure out your IT, your finances, or that perfect logo for your brand, you have to understand sometimes that only the experts can get the job done properly. Seek out some IT support from places like https://www.capstoneitinc.com/location/treasure-coast/, and look into other ways to get the experts on board.

#4: The friend(s)
Often overlooked in discussions about business, you do actually need to have a good network of out-of-office, non-business friends. Not only will this keep you grounded, but having the support of your friends and family will really help you when you’re trying to make your way through the tough first few months (and years) of business, so don’t underestimate the importance of your support network.

#5: The passionate
You can have all of the people mentioned above around you in your business, but if there is no passion when you walk into your office, then you need to do all that you can to change this. Whoever you meet and manage to get on board, make sure that they’re bursting with passion, and that they really think about what they can offer to help make your vision a reality. Passionate people, apply within.

So, if you want to succeed in business, then make sure that you have these 5 types of people on board with you. It can make or break your company, so don’t get this wrong!

Five Networking Tips for Entrepreneurs

Networking is one of the lesser appreciated talents that the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have mastered. It is not an easy skill, either. Knowing how to network is a fine line between making friends and actively seeking out business partnerships. You cannot become best friends with everyone you meet, after all, but you do need to make a good enough connection to trade favors with each other. Reaching that stage can be incredibly difficult because if you aren’t careful people will only see your efforts as wanting of something. To properly master the art that is networking, try adopting these top five tips.

Skip the Sales Speech

If you go into any new relationship with a goal to sell products or gain a favor, you will most likely fail. Only a very few people have mastered their charm to the point where people will be willing to help out or buy something new from the get-go, especially if they weren’t expecting you. So, skip the sales speech and instead start a conversation. It is far easier to connect with someone in an organic conversation than it is if you give them an elevator pitch.

Help First, Ask Later

One of the easiest tips to follow and arguably one of the best is to find out what you can do for someone else. Be proactive about networking. This way will help you make connections, diversify your portfolio and skills, and of course give you an acquaintance you can later ask for help. You don’t need to be best friends with people, but you do need to foster mutually beneficial relationships.

Take Notes and Keep Track

Try as best you can to keep track of information about the person in question. Keeping notes in your contacts app can help you stay in touch and give the personal touch all at the same time. Try to keep track of both corporate information (their job position, who they work for, etc.) as well as personal information (if they have allergies, for example). People respond when they feel like you care.

Collaborate

Another way to network is to collaborate. This way you can put effort into fostering one relationship, and then meet others in that niche or industry in a far more organic way – being introduced. As a bonus, you will also be working in a new field or project on the side that can further your career and show your ambition.

Host Your Own Event

Finally, consider hosting your own event. If you are a consultant or own business, for example, you can organize an event, create a great atmosphere, offer free drinks served by professional bartenders from services such as eventbartenders.com, and get key people from your industry to attend. Then, as the host, you can get to know each and every one of them with a position of authority. They will be interested in knowing you because you took the initiative to create a great event everyone in your industry will be talking about. In turn, you can make new business relationships and connections.

Networking is a never-ending task, but it should never be seen as a chore. Instead, connect with people. Try to gain insight from them, help them, collaborate, and even host them. By doing this you not only network with people, but you set yourself up as a huge name in your industry.

Ten Serious Career Networking Myths & Mistakes

Human connection and communication make the world go ’round – especially in business and the corporate environment. It’s impossible to have a successful business and career without the help and support of your coworkers, clients and community. Networking is an essential activity but it must be done conscientiously and with skill in order to be effective. Unfortunately, all too often people make the mistake of thinking networking isn’t worth their while or even worse, network with only their own interests in mind. The following ten statements are some of the most common misconceptions about networking and why they are so damaging. Do any of these sound familiar?

  1. “I don’t like to make contacts.” Making contacts is “the conscious and voluntary activity of establishing and maintaining genuine and long-term relationships with persons who we appreciate and respect.” It’s a part of living and interacting within a community and we do it every day!
  2. “Contacts are useful only to find work.” It’s a fact that 9 out of 10 jobs are landed, whether directly or indirectly, through contacts. But networking is about making those relationships worthwhile, renewing the bond and mutually redefining our identity, image and reputation with each interaction!
  3. “I network only when it’s convenient for me.” This is tantamount to saying “I remember you only when I need you.” Networking solely for your own benefit is self-centered and may be even manipulative. It’s the perfect way to destroy a relationship. People can smell manipulation miles away!
  4. “I’m too busy.” Although nothing beats face-to-face interactions to build relationships of trust and affection, digital alternatives are an effective way to prevent us from vanishing from the face of the earth, a deadly sin in the professional world.
  5. “It distracts me from serious work.” Networking takes time and energy but it is key to employability: it is the “sales force” of our image and reputation. Without contacts, our accomplishments and progress remain unknown and our personal brand ends up being worthless.
  6. “I don’t like to go to social events.” The professional world also provides alternatives to interact with new and diverse people, and expand your thinking patterns. Hanging out with the same people every day shows disregard for others and we may end up left behind.
  7. “You didn’t hear this from me but…” Using the contact network to harm reputations or to gossip destroys our credibility and our own reputation as serious or loyal individuals, even if we only become involved by listening. Is it worth it? You never know when gossip will come back to haunt you.
  8. “I can only afford to build relationships with important contacts.” It’s a serious mistake to think that only high-level contacts are valuable and look down on others or be arrogant. All people are worthy regardless of what they work on. There’s no such thing as a small contact!
  9. “I have very few contacts.” As adults, we usually have 500 to 1,000 friends and acquaintances between school and college classmates, work colleagues and former colleagues, people we know from our club, gym, the neighborhood, church, from our business, and the relatives and acquaintances of all of the above. Suppliers and clients, former suppliers and clients. Parents of our children’s friends… Make your list and protect it – ideally, in the cloud.
  10. “I must impress my contacts.” The essence of every good relationship is trust, not impressing others. Acting appropriately, and being genuinely warm and authentic opens the doors to trust and credibility. Being polite to everyone and listening to them with a real interest benefits your personal and professional image and reputation. The secret is to inspire others and always leave something valuable for them in every interaction!

Networking isn’t so much about making as many connections as possible, it’s about strengthening the connections you have, ensuring they become more meaningful and authentic. When you ditch the myths and avoid the above networking mistakes, not only will the connections your forge flourish but so will your personal brand and your career.


About the Author

Ines TempleInternationally-regarded, award-winning career success pundit, consultant and speaker Ines Temple is President of LHH – DBM Peru and LHH Chile—companies that are leading career transition and executive coaching organizations in their respective countries. She is also Chairman of the Board of CARE Peru, a leading non-profit humanitarian organization fighting the injustice of poverty with a special focus on disadvantaged girls. Temple is also a speaker at conferences and universities around the world due to her keen perspectives and insights, also making her a valued media expert source. She may be reached online at www.InesTemple.com.

Face-to-face networking is still the key to connections.

How important is face-to-face networking to sales, relationships, career, and success?

I asked my commercial insurance agent, John Cantrell, to give me a synopsis of his networking strategies. John has been a friend, client, and vendor for the past 22 years. Here are two important facts about John:
1. His insurance business has exploded with growth over the past 22 years.
2. He is a MAJOR business networker in Charlotte.

I wonder if these two facts are connected? (Hint: THEY ARE!)

I asked John to tell me what networking has meant to him and his business over the last 20 years. His immediate answer was, “It has been the foundation of my most valuable clients, friends, suppliers, and relationships!”

Here’s the background of how to succeed as a local business networker from arguably the toughest sales category on the planet: insurance.

Here is John’s story and tips in his own words:
When I started in the insurance business, the first things I did was join the Charlotte Chamber. I started in the insurance business in 1993 as a fresh graduate from East Carolina with a finance degree. My dad gave me an opportunity, a desk, a chair, and a salary with a declining scale. He wasn’t going to throw me into the 10 foot deep water immediately, but he did make the impact known that I had to learn how to eat what I kill.

Shortly after joining the Chamber, I was a little discouraged. One of my best friends, Richard Herd, and I were talking one day about me not continuing to participate in the Chamber. It was about six months after my joining and he said, “just stick it out, get involved, get on some committees, and see what happens after a year. If you don’t like it, I’ll pay for your membership.”
Little did I know that 20 years later some of the people that I met then would be my best friends and longest term clients. People like Richard Herd, Jeffrey Gitomer, Michael Meehan, Eileen Covington.

Here is John’s networking and leadership history in the Charlotte Chamber:

  1. Business Growth Network. Served on committees welcoming new members and meeting other small business owners.
  2. Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Committee Member and Chair for three years. Involved in selecting, interviewing, and running the event held at the Convention Center.
  3. Charlotte Chamber Business Owner Peer Group. For five years he met monthly with non-competing business owners to discuss business problems. How to hire, fire, train, and market business.
  4. Chamber New Member Orientation. For two years he chaired and led a monthly meeting to explain how the Chamber works for new members.
  5. Charlotte Area Councils. John has been involved in this for ten years and he’s still active at the monthly lunch meetings where they bring in a speaker and offer time to network.
  6. Business After Hours. Cocktails after work with other business professionals at different venues around town. Great way to keep friendships current.
  7. Charlotte Chamber Board of Advisor. A higher level membership that attracts more of the high-level business owners and managers.

John says, “It’s about the developing core networking places and participating, getting involved, and establishing a leadership position. But, everyone is different. Some people are morning people, and some are night owls. Work at your best system and process that lets you get the most done in the time that you dedicate to networking.”

Here are John’s other core networking groups described in his own words:
Rotary. I have been in Rotary clubs since 1997, where I was the founder of Mecklenburg South Rotary. Rotary has been a great organization to participate in. It is not a sales networking organization. It is a service club that gives you the opportunity to meet and network with others.
Leads groups. I have been in numerous different groups that have differing levels of success. One of the best things that you can do in those is use it as opportunities to build relationships with people that you trust and value and work in similar circles as you do.

NOTE FROM JOHN TO NEWCOMERS: When you are brand-new in the sales world, you don’t have a lot of things filling your calendar. Fill it with networking events and Chamber events. Fill it with opportunities to meet and build your network of people. The best strategy is to help them achieve the things they’re trying to achieve. Pay it forward and you’ll always get paid back.

NOTE FROM JEFFREY: Thank you John for providing your personal achievements. You are a model networker. I hope many other salespeople and businesspeople will follow your path.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].