Networking is one of those naughty words you hear when being a business owner. Everyone tells you that you have to network and the options available tend to be stuffy groups where everyone is part of the same industry and just want to collect business cards or it’s an event where the opportunities to force yourself to be someone you aren’t in the random hope that you may happen to meet someone that can contribute to your business.
I have a secret for you guys though!
Networking is talking to people and being able to mention what you do.
Hanging out at the coffee shop in the area that your target market attends and having a meet cute with someone there. Unlike a romantic comedy, you aren’t going to be romantic partners, but there is a definite partnership available here. Best of all, you are NOT looking for clients (but if you meet some, great!). Networking is all about finding businesses that have a similar client base and similar mindset. Get to know the people behind the businesses and you may be able to grow something amazing.
One of my favorite moments happened when I chose to do a free Photo Booth at a new kids music festival. It wasn’t anything special, but it was a ton of fun and I got to meet lots of fun kids and families. More importantly, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with business owners, one of who ended up hiring me for their chiropractic office.
We then got to meet and photograph their office, employee and some amazing clients of theirs.
It all started with just talking to people!
Who have you talked to recently?