No matter what business you have, the BEST way to gain exposure, relationships and build your client base is to NETWORK! Even as a Virtual Assistant the need for me to network both face to face and online is crucial for my business! Let's dive into networking for business a bit further....
The key to any successful business is the relationship you have with your potential clients, your target market, your audience and those that will later refer your product or services on.
Relationships require work! And if you want to build a successful and sustainable relationship with potential clients and people who may refer you to others, there are a few things you should be doing to help aid in the process.
There’s nothing worse than putting on a persona online, only for people to meet you and go “ahhh, this isn’t who I thought you were”. Be personable, people like to know the real you!
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Make sure you block out time in your diary for networking. For example, I block out my networking events in my diary each month (these are my face to face events that I attend). This is good for business! Getting your face out there and meeting new people! Which is great as a Virtual Assistant because for me, sometimes it can be difficult to meet new people, you know, being “Virtual” and all.
Now for online networking I make sure I’m on my socials everyday and engaging with people on my pages, in my groups.
Pretty straight forward concept here… instead of asking “hey, buy my product!” which, by the way, is a BIG no-no! Try something like “hey, did you know a really good time tracking software to use is toggl” - *insert Virtual Assistant voice!*
Offer free advice (without giving away the pot) but there are so many hints and tips that you can give out for free, you’ll really assert yourself as an expert and people will more than likely buy from you.
Networking, believe it or not, is not actually about selling your “stuff”. It is about building long lasting and sustainable relationships, to build your network of like-minded people and to just be a total rock star and get out there!
Get over it!
Ok, that may sound a wee bit harsh but how many times do you hear “I’m an introvert and I find it hard to network”… Look, I’ll be totally honest here… you need to build your courage up and *just effing do it!* I’ve been to many networking events and I can tell you, there are others there feeling the exact same way you are! So, put on your big girl (or boy) pants and get out there!
I hope you’ve found this useful, if you feel you need a little help with networking, take a buddy along (even someone who doesn’t have anything to do with your business!)
Or ask me! I’m always available for a chat! firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t just sell things, I build relationships too! 😉