Networking – How to create my marketing people – part 2
Networking is an excellent, personal way to create friends and colleagues for your business for years to come. The most important thing is to remember that your business is not just for the next two to three months but for many more years. Investment, continuity, and patience can bear many fruits, often from the least expected of places.
The value of networking events, whether you are an employee or an independent business person, is important for marketing yourself. Exposure is one of the landmarks of professional development, and it's certainly a constant part of our professional lives.
Let's consider for a moment – who of us hasn't heard of Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, Elite, and many other big names? Even if we're not counted among their consumers, we still recognize them and can describe their product. This knowledge is due to the major marketing efforts and enormous advertising budgets that each of these companies has to invest in order to maximize their media exposure.
As independent small and medium business owners, we don't have the immense budgets that these companies do. And so, it's important to use every small opportunity for exposure that we are given (60 seconds), especially when we don't have to pay it.
These opportunities - and others - are available, particularly at networking events. When given the chance, we must be prepared to use this exposure in the best way possible. Meaning, always be ready to speak in front of an audience to promote your business and to maximize the possibilities given.
The visibility of the product, which in most cases is us, is very important. Most people buy first with their eyes, and only after, checking for content and professionalism. Likewise, we identify with a service provider to whom we connect, and for that reason, every business owner should consider "how I look" before leaving the house.
Stories have been published about huge business deals made in flip flops and t-shirts, but statistics show that they are few and far between. This style can't be assumed as acceptable to those you're meeting, as sometimes a deal can fall through due to physical appearance.
As the first step in your marketing, it's important to notice the small details: cleanliness, organization, and smell. Consider getting feedback from friends or a professional (depending on financial possibilities), to be sure that you are as ready and willing physically as you are professionally and mentally for a meeting. One last point – a nice appearance also impacts how you feel inside. So going out feeling good will also help your business presentation.