Talk to any successful business owner and you’ll find they have a nice network of people around them helping their business thrive.
No, those people aren’t necessarily customers or clients. They might not ever use or need your services or products.
But they are in the sphere of influence.
You know. Your network.
That group that tells others about you, helps refer your products to people who need them, and help keep your brand and you in the forefront of others’ minds.
That doesn’t happen overnight.
While it takes time to get out there, connect, shake hands, and have conversations, it does have to be done. And, I know. It’s a different world out there. With the internet. Social media specifically.
It’s easier than ever to meet and greet online and it can be the beginning of an eventual offline meeting. One fact remains:
It’s still WHO you know.
And, -it’s still requires networking to build your sphere.
Many say it’s not the same and I agree. You can never replace a face-to-face encounter. But with Skype and now Google hangouts, we are coming pretty darn close!
In fact, I think it’s getting sorta blurry.
LinkedIn groups have replaced networking lunches and Facebook groups have created small tribes.
Social Media has taken networking to a whole new level!
Or has it?
The only way to surround yourself with a core network that will support you, is through relationship building. Oh yes, it’s great to have a gazillion likes on Facebook and another bazillion on Twitter, but that’s not a real network.
That’s an ego booster.
Real networking is the starting point of cultivating relationships and it’s the relationships that lead to a thriving business.
The bottom line is this: Relationships count.
If you want to build a network of who you knows instead of a network full of faceless numbers, you have to make an effort. Go the extra mile. Connect. Yes. Then, converse.
It’s at the core of building relationships. We have an opportunity like never before in history to meet folks from different walks of life and various parts of the planet.
Interaction, engagement, and sharing are where the riches are. And, connecting with quality over quantity will never lead to failure.
Now, go out there and start networking!