There are many tools to help promote your business products and services as well as developing your brand.  Face to face networking is one such tool that can become a powerful means of acquiring new business and developing those all-important business relationships – remember, people buy from people.

See our top ten tips below:

  1. Business networking is about building relationships – do not go with an intent to sell, talk to people and build confidence, reliability and trust.
  2. Listen to others and don’t discount anyone – you never know who they know and could refer to you.
  3. Talk to like minded people with similar business issues, don’t be afraid to share some tips relevant to your area of expertise to help show your knowledge – draw on similar clients experiences you may have worked on.
  4. Find out the latest local or relevant business news – there may be an opportunity for your business or even business grants available.
  5. Build credibility and trust to develop as a thought leader in your field. If given the opportunity to talk or submit a piece for a newsletter – take it.
  6. Take advantage of opportunities to run seminars or workshops in your area of expertise to other members to help develop the brand – remember not to do a direct sales pitch but to focus on the benefits to the audience.
  7. Attend free seminars and workshops to build knowledge and awareness – these are places where you can often meet key influencers in an area or on a specific topic.
  8. Ask the organisers for introductions to key people within an organisation you are trying to reach.
  9. Raise the profile of your business and brand by attending regularly to ensure consistency and get to know fellow members – these are the people who may refer you in the future.
  10. Be open to finding collaborations and working with others to enhance your business offering – it may be taking part in charity events – another great way to network.

Networking can be through joining Chambers of Commerce, attending award ceremonies within your sector and joining associations or groups with those of similar interests.  Don’t be afraid to test out a few avenues to find the one that is most likely to work for you and your brand and the person representing your brand feels comfortable with.

Photography credit: CEDIA